University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

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Great Lakes Research Initiative

Located on Milwaukee’s inner harbor, the WATER Institute is the largest academic research center on the Great Lakes and a national leader for understanding freshwater systems and informing policy. Equipped with multiple aquatic laboratories, it faces a deep water harbor where scientists and students begin their voyages on the Neeskay, a 71-foot research vessel and floating laboratory.

In partnership with city and regional agencies, the Institute helps protect a resource that millions depend upon by monitoring water quality for pollution. It also measures the status of native fish and studies the impact of invasive species.

The NeeskayThe WATER Institute’s research vessel, the Neeskay, has served the Institute well but is badly in need of replacement. Built more than 50 years ago for military transport rather than research, it is too small to serve our students and ill-equipped to accommodate today’s scientific technologies. The proposed new vessel will be designed as a multi-disciplinary, oceanographic research ship that will also serve as floating, hands-on teaching laboratory. Support for the new research vessel and for a long-term maintenance endowment will make possible a higher level of scientific study of the Great Lakes, including environmental issues that pose significant health challenges to Wisconsin and the region.


For more information on gift opportunities at the WATER Institute or for the Great Lakes Research Initiative contact:

Eric Leaf
Director of Development, School of Freshwater Science
Phone: (414) 322-2130
Email: leafe@uwm.edu