University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

School of Freshwater Sciences


Fall Shuttle Schedule Now Available
The Fall 2014 shuttle bus schedule is now available. The SFS Shuttle travels between the main UWM campus on Kenwood Blvd. and the SFS Harbor Campus on East Greenfield Ave. See the Schedule >>>
Great Lakes Genomics Center
The UWM Great Lakes Genomics Center at the School of Freshwater Sciences has launched their new website.  Visit the site >>>
New Program for Fall! Applied Urban Aquaculture Undergraduate Certificate

Prepare for a career in this emerging industry!15 credit program begins Fall 2014
Climate change in the Great Lakes – New report issues policy recommendations
The Center for Water Policy at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences today released a new report on the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes, with policy recommendations to protect water resources. More>>
Fund for Lake Michigan boosts clean water research at UW-Milwaukee
The Fund for Lake Michigan has approved a $500,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) School of Freshwater Sciences to support its $53 million expansion along Milwaukee’s inner harbor.More>>
IAMUWM: Brady Moe - SFS Undergraduate Researcher
Brady Moe is taking undergraduate research to new heights at UWM's School of Freshwater Science by designing a drone for sturgeon tracking missions.
SFS Building Webcam
The SFS building webcam features new pictures every day, plus a timelapse spanning over 6 months. See it >>
Sturgeon for the Shedd
Making the 90-mile drive between Milwaukee and Chicago is generally unremarkable thanks to modern roadways. Yet one recent trip was anything but unremarkable. More>>
Water Technology Accelerator accepting applications
The new Water Technology Accelerator (WaTA) at the Global Water Center is now accepting applications.  Read More>>More>>
UWM SFS researchers among those awarded funding for Great Lake projects
Two researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) have been awarded grants from the University of Michigan (U-M) Water Center for two of eight projects aimed at restoring and protecting the Great Lakes.
Global Water Center opens with fanfare
(Courtesy UWM News)

UWM researchers occupy top floor

The Global Water Center, a water research and business accelerator established by the Milwaukee Water Council, officially opened Thursday with a visit from Gov. Scott Walker.
Maxon Ngochera receives award
SFS PhD student Maxon Ngochera received one of four Teledyne RDI 2013 Academic Product Grants for his research on Lake Malawi in Africa.More>>
IAMUWM: Lisa Sasso
Lisa Sasso is a Professional Science Master's student here at the School of Freshwater Sciences and a Sustainability Intern for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District working on their Regional Green Roof Initiative."I chose Milwaukee because it's becoming known as the world's Freshwater Hub.  There's so many businesses, academic and government agencies all here together to work on our freshwater resource - which is right behind me! The biggest classroom we have is Lake Michigan."
Does Lake Michigan's record low mark beginning of new era for Great Lakes?
Uncharted Waters | A Journel Sentinel Special Report
At least 150 years of rhythmic pulses in Lake Michigan's water levels appear to have shifted abruptly with loss of winter ice.  School of Freshwater Sciences Associate Dean, Paul Roebber weighs in on how lake levels have shifted through time.
Read the full report here >>
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UWM's New Water Policy Director Stresses Stewardship of Resource

UWM's new water policy director stresses stewardship of resource

Jenny Kehl has seen global frictions over water rights and warns against 'illusions'
Rocking Water Science on the Neeskay
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Fellow Caitlin Zant recently joined SFS researchers for a dive, and blogged about her experience.
SFS Building Construction Webcam
The SFS Building Construction Webcam provides current and time-lapse views of the construction progress on the new $53-million expansion project.See it Now >>
Images from the field: SFS students investigate a spill
Boat Madness:
Robot research: Reaching new depths in water technology
In September, UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mike Lovell delivered his Plenary Address, a review of the "state of the university" for UWM students, staff and faculty. At the meeting, he debuted the Spotlight on Excellence video of the research on underwater robotics being conducted by School of Freshwater Sciences Assistant Professor Tom Consi.
Tom Consi’s passion for robotics started in MIT’s Ocean Engineering Department, but he’s reaching new depths at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences.More>>
Shop talk – The SFS fix-it guys
One of Barske’s favorite projects was an in situ harbor sampler he made for School of Freshwater Sciences Professor Tim Grundl. “Harbors get notoriously polluted from the shipping and all the comings and goings,” says Barske. “If a scientist wanted to test for heavy metals in the harbor, he would have to collect a core sample – four inches in diameter and a couple of feet long – take it back to the lab, slice it up and analyze it.”
Grundl made a sketch of a sampler based on machines he had worked with in the oil industry and took it to Barske. Together they came up with the design for a sampler that could easily be loaded on the School of Freshwater Sciences research vessel Neeskay and lowered to the bottom of the harbor, where it could get real-time results without having to collect and analyze samples in the lab.  “Now we can map out a whole harbor in two days, where before it would take a year and lots of money. This machine can do the same job for just a few dollars per poke. It’s a real revolution,” says Barske.
Biomarkers in Brazil
Koskey is also interested in researching the microbial community profiles of different animals to identify new indicators of waterborne pathogens. They could potentially be used to monitor the level and source of animal fecal contamination in the Rio Jiquiriçá and other water bodies in the region. The McLellan lab has been working on developing host specific markers for different organisms. Reflecting on her work in Jenipapo and Volta do Rio, Koskey says that “It’s really neat to work with these communities and to help them in any way possible. Any opportunity for community education and outreach could prevent so many illnesses and potentially save lives,” she says. “Even if it's just talking to the little boy watching us and explaining to him why bathing in the water in this river caused him to get Shistosomisis months ago.”
Hooking them young: Creating a pipeline for advanced degrees and careers in freshwater
With four of five returning members, Spring Valley had been working since fall on the science and strategies. Their coach Michele Huppert had the team doing hour-long pre-class practices two mornings a week plus once- or twice-weekly after-school “buzzer practices” and team challenges. The tactic paid off, with Spring Valley winning its first regional title and now focusing on the national competition.If not for Lake Sturgeon Bowl, many students – especially those from small Wisconsin communities – would not have exposure to the field of marine science. But event feedback shows that studying for and competing in the event triggers an interest in the field. According to the annual NOSB survey, 76 percent of last year’s Lake Sturgeon Bowl participants said the event helped them increase their interest in freshwater and ocean science. This same evaluation indicated 59% of students feel they are more likely to pursue a science career as well as found the competition helpful in their other classes.While its name implies a purely oceanographic bent, regional and national NOSB competitions include freshwater topics, as well. And for the first time since its inception, the theme for the 2013 NOSB competition will be freshwater, specifically: “The Great Lakes: A Window into Freshwater Science.” Sutton is excited about the opportunity to host and highlight freshwater topics at the event April 18-21. “For the first time in 16 years, students from across the country are studying the Great Lakes. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn about the vastness and diversity of our inland seas,” she says.This year’s NOSB theme will also allow School of Freshwater Sciences researchers and faculty to showcase their work in the field. Dr. Cuhel and School of Freshwater Sciences associate scientist Dr. Carmen Aguilar have served as NOSB guest experts and Lake Sturgeon Bowl judges and advisors for more than a decade and also treat the second-place team to a research expedition on the school’s research vessel, the Neeskay. “We’ll miss having Spring Valley on board this year,” jokes Dr. Aguilar. The award for the top three to four teams at the NOSB Finals is an experiential trip that provides each NOSB team with a unique hands-on field and laboratory experience in the marine sciences. Past NOSB champions have had the opportunity to visit various marine research locations including Costa Rica, Bermuda, California and Florida. Last year, the team from Marshfield won a trip to Hawaii. Since winning the regional competition, Spring Valley has stepped up its prep, meeting three mornings a week and an hour-and-a-half after school twice a week. “We are making a lot of flash cards, writing a lot of buzzer and team challenge questions, and also planning a [nature documentary] Blue Planet viewing marathon,” says coach Huppert.The competition and the drills leading up to it are all part of the experience that NOSB hopes to create to engage young scientists. For Wisconsin schools like Marshfield and Spring Valley, it’s working. According to Spring Valley coach Huppert, “NOSB is one of the reasons our small school graduates a high percentage of students pursuing further educations in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics].” For now, Spring Valley is focusing on carrying on the Wisconsin legacy.
AAMHD & Midwest Zebrafish Conference
The School of Freshwater Sciences hosts the 6th Aquatic Animal Models for Human Disease and Midwest Zebrafish conferences June 30–July 3. More>>
UWM signs collaborative agreement with Ningbo University in China
Representatives of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) have entered into an agreement with a Chinese university that will expand educational cooperation and initiate collaborative efforts on freshwater-related research.Read Article >>
SFS REU program provides hands-on practical experience for undergraduate students
Students come the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences from all over the country to get hands-on practical experience in the summer Undergraduate Research Program. SFS senior scientist Russell Cuhel talks to Milwaukee’s 88.9 about the REU program here.