Courses Offerings

The Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin network offers a variety of courses and lab and field experiences that will help you broaden your skills, perspectives and professional networks. 

A number of water-related courses are available to undergraduates students at any UW System institution. Courses may be in-person, hybrid or fully online. Work with your advisor to determine how a Collaborative course may fit into our academic degree plan and what you will need to do to enroll and transfer credits.

You can also enhance your skills by participating in lab and field experiences in rural and urban settings at UW System campuses throughout the state, including on the Mississippi River, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and many rivers, streams and wetland areas.

Check out our current offerings below:

Spring 2024

Marine Transportation Management, TRSP 325

Date: January 24, 2024 - May 10, 2024
Notes: Course meets Tuesdays and Thursdays on campus

This three-credit course addresses the management and future trends in marine transportation. The issues of vessel design, market share, finance, insurance, operations and sustainability are addressed for the ocean, inland and Great Lakes shipping segments. The development and application of national and international regulations that impact the marine transportation of freight and passengers will be analyzed. The topics of vessel financing, freight rates, vessel crewing, safety, environmental impacts, vessel operations, fleet management, port and flag state control, trade routes and intermodal operations will be explored.  Students not enrolled at UW-Superior can contact Admissions at for guidance on how to enroll in the course.



Summer 2024

EGRT 374: Field Sampling and Analysis

Date: June 10, 2024 - June 21, 2024
Notes: Open to any student enrolled at any UW campus.

Learn environmental sampling in Door County and at the Lowenwood campus in Land O’ Lakes. Through short lectures and hands-on labs and field trips, students learn how to sample for contaminants; how to take, preserve, transport and analyze field samples; how to interpret and how to present analytical results in light of regulations. Students learn how to determine the water quality of natural systems (e.g. lakes and rivers) or the quality of water from wells and engineered systems. Hands-on activities include field sampling, lab analysis and sample preservation along with an explanation of the theoretical concepts needed to understand, execute and design activities performed.

This is a two-week, 3-credit course taught by Dr. Marcel Dijsktra and Greg Kleinheinz (UWO) and 2-3 other faculty instructors.

Open to any student enrolled at any UW campus. Available for undergraduate or graduate credit through UW Oshkosh. Includes topics relevant for those seeking a master’s degree or are in need of continuing education credits at the master’s level. UW Oshkosh tuition plus a course fee to cover field experience. Housing is provided.

Contact Dr. Greg Kleinheinz ( or 920-424-1100 for a tentative syllabus or details on cost or the process of registration. There are sections set-up for UW Oshkosh and non-UW Oshkosh students to enroll.

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Freshwater Science Field Studies in Western Wisconsin (GEOL 491)

Date: May 20, 2024 - May 31, 2024
Notes: Application deadline: Feb. 2. Open to any student enrolled in a UW school.

In this immersive course, you will learn field and laboratory skills used to assess freshwater science investigations in geology, biology, geography, and agriculture. Study eutrophication in watersheds, contamination and restoration, and groundwater and surface waters. You will learn from instructors with expertise across a range of disciplines from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-River Falls, and UW-Oshkosh.

Course Enrollment: Complete the online application form by February 2 ( acceptance, participants will be given permission to enroll in GEOL 491 for 2 credits. Participants who are not currently attending UW-Eau Claire can enroll as a Special Student. More information will be provided to applicants upon acceptance. Applicants must be enrolled in a freshwater science-related discipline at their university and have completed at least two semesters of their program.

Expenses: Food, parking, housing, and transportation to field sites are covered through a Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin grant. Participants will pay to enroll in two-course credits through UW-Eau Claire. Participants will also need to secure their own transportation to and from campuses. Financial assistance may be available for participants with financial need. Questions: Email Sarah Vitale at

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Human Interactions with Lake Michigan Coastal Ecosystems, FRSHWTR 190-001

Date: May 28, 2024 - June 22, 2024
Notes: Application deadline: March 31. Open to any student enrolled in a UW school.

How has Wisconsin’s freshwater coast been impacted by climate change, wastewater runoff, agricultural runoff and coastal erosion? Students taking this summer field course along Lake Michigan’s coast will become familiar with Great Lakes ecosystem complexity by comparing natural areas against human impacted harbors. They will explore habitats from Green Bay, Peshtigo, Manitowoc and Sheboygan to the more urban areas of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha, learning basic sampling techniques and technologies to study the human impacts on the coastal ecosystem.The course is taught by faculty from UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay and UW-Parkside. No prerequisites.

This is a 3-credit blended course with online and in-person portions. Taught by Dr. John Janssen, Dr. Chris Houghton and Dr. Julie Kinzelman.

This course is open to any student enrolled at any UW System campus. Lodging and all meals are provided. Spaces are limited. Interested students must apply and be accepted to enroll. Deadline to apply is March 31.

More information and application at

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Summer in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Date: May 27, 2024 - July 15, 2024
Notes: Application deadline Feb. 10. For-credit and no-credit/no-tuition options available.

The School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee through the support of the National Science Foundation’s International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program provides an opportunity open to both undergraduate and graduate students to enroll in a field research experience in the Southern Yucatán Peninsula at the Laguna Bacalar International Research Station on the campus of CREN Normal College in Bacalar, Mexico.

Participants will have opportunities for research in a wide-variety of areas, including surficial and subterranean hydrologic system dynamics, limnology, biogeochemistry, stromatolite ecology, mangrove forest ecology, land-water interactions, environmental sustainability, and other related fields. Research will be directed under the shared mentorship of SFS program leaders, Mexican scientists/faculty and educators with opportunities to interact with students and faculty at the Superior Javier Rojo Gómez Normal College and the local high school.

Students interested in this course must apply by Feb. 10. Spaces are limited. This course is open to all University of Wisconsin students. Students not enrolled at UW-Milwaukee must enroll as a guest student upon acceptance to the course.

More information and application at

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Fall 2024

Introduction to Freshwater (BIO/EGR 119Q3)

Date: August 28, 2024 - December 21, 2024
Notes: On-campus at UW Oshkosh. Final dates and times TBD. Taught by Dr. Robert Stelzer and Dr. Marcel Dijkstra.

Water is essential for all life and humans rely on freshwater for food production, industry, and multiple forms of recreation. The course provides an introduction to freshwater and the critical role it plays in supporting people and ecosystems. The class will be rooted in the signature question: How do people understand and create a more sustainable world? The fundamental learning outcome is to summarize and evaluate the ways freshwater is important to society and natural ecosystems. Students will achieve learning outcomes from presentations, readings, class discussions, and lecture, laboratory and field exercises.