Funded Projects

The Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin grants funding to UW institutions to enhance their water-related academic programs. The funding is part of a statewide initiative, backed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers, to tackle 10 grand water challenges and support curriculum development, undergraduate research opportunities, career development, and field training experiences for students interested in studying water-related fields at the 13 UW Schools. Initial funding was provided by UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Curriculum/Course Development

Aquatic Biogeochemistry of Wisconsin Waters
Institution(s): UW-Whitewater
Grant Description: Dr. Stephen Levas (Dept. of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science) and Dr. John Ejnik (Dept. of Chemistry) at UW-Whitewater will collaborate to develop an interdisciplinary course in aquatic biogeochemistry. This course will utilize the analytical instrumentation and equipment already available at UWW. Furthermore, this course will be part of a planned, future “Immersion Semester in Analytical Chemistry and Aquatic Toxicology” for FCW students throughout the UW System. This course will blend the expertise of our current faculty (in limnology, wetlands, stream ecology, marine biology, aquatic toxicology, and fluvial geomorphology) to offer hands on training and immersion in aquatic biogeochemistry. This course will be offered spring 2023.

Building Field and Laboratory Experiences for Freshwater Science Students
Institution(s): UW-Milwaukee, UW-River Falls 
Grant Description: This project will enhance the UWM B.S. in Freshwater Science program, which launched in 2021. In collaboration with UW Colleges, faculty will expand “Exploration of Inland Seas” to include field and laboratory components and will implement a capstone course, during which students work with a natural resource agency or industry partner to develop a professional proposal, plan in depth multidisciplinary analysis, and present on a grand water challenge. Faculty will design a techniques-focused course that teaches students professional skills in the field and lab. UWM faculty and a UW-River Falls professor who is an expert in oceanography will develop “The Great Lake Experience,” a handson course focused on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of Lake Michigan that incorporates fieldbased learning on real problems such as microplastic pollution impacts and mitigation policies. Courses are under development.  

Building Water Projects into an Environmental Math Course
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: “Building Water Projects into an Environmental Math Course” creates a new general education math course that shows students how to build and work with mathematical models that describe nature and how people interact with the environment. The course will highlight freshwater topics such as storm runoff models and fish stocking. This course will provide a solid foundation for students to study freshwater issues in more advanced courses and research projects.  

Course will be offered summer 2022 to any UW student. Watch a video about the course and learn about how to enroll at a non-UW-Stout student here. This course meets the UW System quantitative reasoning requirements and credits will transfer to any UW School. 

Collaborative Undergraduate Course on Managing the Mississippi River
Institution(s): UW-La Crosse, UW-Platteville
Grant Description: Rivers connect all of us. Goals of this new cross-campus, cross-disciplinary course (“The Mississippi River: Mighty and Managed”) are to connect students to their watersheds and to foster an understanding of how changes in one part of a hydrologic system impact those upstream and downstream. Students will examine how land use change and Mississippi River management have resulted in both the infrastructure that we depend on and the environmental impacts that threaten natural waterways. This transformative course will bring students onto the Mississippi River, highlighting it as both a natural and managed system. It will present the benefits and challenges of river management for diverse stakeholders. This 3-credit course will be offered in spring 2023.

Creating Collaborative Educational Opportunities with the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin
Institution(s): UW-Stevens Point 
Grant Description: The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will lead an online-educational pathway to a Freshwater Science minor. This program will allow system-wide access to UW-Stevens Point’s water resources curriculum, including core required courses and a series of electives. Select offerings from other UW-System schools will be incorporated to develop a collaborative UW-System Freshwater Science credential. The classes will provide fundamental understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of freshwater resources. The curriculum includes an immersive, hands-on experience modeled after the UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources Summer Field Experience. Future development by Freshwater Collaborative members will include expanding immersive experience opportunities. 

Development of a cross-campus certificate in Freshwater Studies
Institution(s): UW Oshkosh, UW-Stout 
Grant Description:
Faculty will develop a collaborative certificate in Surface Water Studies through UW-Stout and UW Oshkosh with eventual course enrollment open to students at any participating campus across the system. This 3-course, 9-credit certificate will include an introductory online course in surface water resources, and summer field courses taught in surface water resources and environmental monitoring a UW-Stout and UW-Oshkosh.

Development of “People, Water, and The Environment” Course
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: This project creates a new introductory-level course for Stout’s B.S. in Environmental Science program titled “People, Water, and the Environment,” which introduces students to the human dimensions of conservation with a focus on water quality issues. This course will prepare students for careers in conservation that involve working with communities, landowners, and other stakeholders by combining theoretical, disciplinary, and practical approaches to human-environment interactions with applied case studies on freshwater issues, local field trips, and guest speakers. This course will be offered spring 2023.

Enhancing Water-focused Internships
Institution(s): UW-Superior 
Grant Description: UW-Superior has required TRSP-400 internships for all Transportation and Logistics Management majors since 1999. Water-focused TRSP-400 internships have typically been with marine transportation companies, ports, planning agencies and departments of transportation. This FCW project aims to broaden internships to include collaboration with marinas, recreational boatyards, tribal communities and non-governmental agencies engaged with recreational and transportation use in northern Wisconsin’s Lake Superior ports. The enhanced TRSP-400 internships will be designed to provide students with in-depth, transformative experiences related to Wisconsin’s freshwater through hands-on learning.  The methodology can then be applied across the state by other UW-System universities. 

Course offered summer 2022 to any UW System student. It is up to the UW university where a student is pursuing an undergraduate degree if the university will accept credits from UW-Superior. If the university will accept UW-Superior credits, then a student needs to go through the UW-Superior admissions office to get “special admission” which means they are not seeking a degree at Superior.

Environmental and Health Effects of Water Pollution: A Transformative Experience for Undergraduates (LECTURE)
Institution(s): UW-La Crosse, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater
Grant Description: This online, 2-credit course will focus on exploring and understanding the impacts of water pollution on aquatic wildlife and human health. This course will be collaboratively taught by faculty from three campuses.Students will be provided a general overview of the various sources, transport, fate, accumulation/magnification, and toxicity of various water pollutants from legacy contaminants to emerging contaminants of concern. Students will gain an understanding of the underlying principles of toxicity testing and how to analyze effects at different levels of biological organization (molecular to ecosystem). Students will also learn how toxicity data are used to create water quality standards.

Environmental and Health Effects of Water Pollution: A Transformative Experience for Undergraduates (LAB)
Institution(s): UW-La Crosse, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater
Grant Description:
This 3-credit summer course will provide transformative laboratory and field experiences for students at three different UW system campuses with highly accomplished scientists in their field. Students will have the opportunity to apply what they learned in the online course through experimental and experiential learning. Students will participate instate-of-the-science approaches to examining water pollution, in both field and laboratory settings. Experiences could include a shipboard cruise, field sample collection, toxicity testing, analytical chemistry analyses, analysis of genomes and gene expression, and use of various morphological and behavioral indicators of toxicity.

Freshwater 101
Institution(s): UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW Oshkosh, UW-Parkside
Grant Description: The proposal will enable a collaborative group spanning five UW System Institutions, including three comprehensives: UW-LaCrosse, UW Oshkosh, and UW-Parkside to develop an Introduction to Freshwater Sciences course that will serve as the foundational “Freshwater 101” course for FCW undergraduate students. To be offered across the UW system.

Freshwater Science Across the Curriculum: Linked Outreach and Advanced Educational Activities
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW Oshkosh, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout
Grant Description: The project continues to develop the Freshwater Science Field Experience (FSFE) in Western Wisconsin, an outreach and recruitment program targeting junior and senior high school students. It is a field-intensive, hands-on learning experience that introduces participants to a wide range of freshwater science topics with specialists from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and UW-River Falls. The course will be offered for two University of Wisconsin credits. The second objective of this project further develops an immersive eight-day Western Wisconsin Advanced Freshwater Field Course for undergraduates with hands-on experiences designed to increase the employability of UW System students across the state. This course is a collaboration between UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-River Falls and UW-Oshkosh.

From Field to Laboratory; Hands-on Techniques for Students in Water Sciences
Institution(s): UW-Madison, UW-River Falls
Grant Description: Laboratory and field training are essential in water-related fields of study; thus, by a collaboration between UW-River Falls and UW-Madison campuses, faculty on this project will develop a two-credit transformative course that focuses on laboratory and field techniques for freshwater-related work. The objective is to increase students’ field and laboratory skills to support professional development and cultivate interest in freshwater sciences. Faculty will focus on practical knowledge of field measurements related to water quality and nutrient analysis and good laboratory practices pre-and post-sampling. They aim to reach out to an array of students from diverse backgrounds across Wisconsin.

How we see water: A Transdisciplinary Course on Wisconsin Water Resources
Institution(s): UW-River Falls
Grant Description: The course focuses on water-related issues impacting western Wisconsin and the needs of local businesses and organizations. It includes a substantial community-based learning experience that integrates a diversity of perspectives across multiple stakeholders, including cross-campus collaborations with other UW schools. Faculty from a variety of disciplines and students from different majors provide a team-based, transdisciplinary experience that expands how students understand and address water-based problems/opportunities in the region. The goal for the course is to serve as a model for other campuses seeking to address water-related issues in a transdisciplinary manner and to eventually become part of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin curriculum. 

Human Interactions with Lake Michigan Coastal Ecosystems
Institution(s): UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside
Grant Description: Faculty and staff will create a nine-day summer survey/field study course along Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan coast, stopping at major harbors and sites of social/environmental interest. Course content will be informed by completed/ongoing harbor mapping and the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary. Students will become familiar with Great Lakes ecosystem complexity juxtaposing natural areas against heavily human impacted harbors. The major focus will be on diverse efforts to restore/create a coastline in which harbors interact with the open coast in a way that facilitates “ecosystem services;” i.e., humans derive benefits from the natural environment. We intend coordination/engaging the WI DNR and local stakeholders. This 3-credit course will be offered in summer 2023.

Limnology: Conservation of Aquatic Resources (Zoo 315)
Institution(s): UW-Madison
Grant Description: This project will begin to build the curricular foundation for core FCW teaching activities at UW-Madison. We will develop and offer a hands-on summer limnology course, starting in summer of 2022, that aims to attract participation of UW System undergraduates.  We will also develop a freshwater-focused certificate program at UW-Madison. These are two important steps toward building UW-Madison’s contribution to the FCW. We will employ a suite of strategies to recruit students from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups into the course and certificate program, with the aim of building the pipeline necessary for diversifying the field. Partnering with the FCW Water Leaders Program and REU programs will also help recruit a diverse cohort of UW System students to gain enriching experiences at UW-Madison.  

This is a 2-credit summer course focused on physical, chemical and biological characteristics and processes of freshwater systems as well as environmental issues and rehabilitation of lakes. It includes multiple field trips to Lake Mendota. This course will be mostly virtual for non-Madison students, and those students should enroll under the special enrollment option at UW-Madison, and then transfer credit to their university upon course completion. Students with questions or concerns can email Jake Vander Zander,, for additional information about how to enroll at UW-Madison. Course flyer.

Microbial Ecology, BIOL 312
Institution(s): UW-River Falls
Grant Description: Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin funding secured by the biology department at UWRF will be used to develop the Microbial Ecology course. This course will help students gain understanding on the biology of microorganisms and apply this knowledge to explore how microbes help in the functioning of natural ecosystems. This course will offer hands-on experience for students to enhance their understanding on microbial interactions with plants and the environment. This grant will provide additional research and field opportunities for UWRF Biology students to work in the community and become competitive in the careers they want to pursue in the future. This course will be offered summer 2023.

Principles of Freshwater Informatics
Institution(s): UW-Parkside 
Grant Description: Funds will support the development and delivery of a new course (“Principles of Freshwater Informatics”), which will teach students the background and skills necessary to work with large and disorderly data related to freshwater disciplines. Topics will include sound data management, best practices and common pitfalls, and creating useful datasets. Students will use open-source freshwater data and gain hands-on experience while they problem solve as a team. Learning will focus on real-world water-sector examples to allow students to understand the “beyond the classroom” significance to the work they are doing. This course will be offered spring 2023.

Update to Healthy Recreational and Transportation-Focused Courses
Institution(s): UW-Superior 
Grant Description: UW-Superior has offered a course about marine transportation management and a course about port and terminal management each year for more than two decades. These are the only undergraduate courses in the state of Wisconsin addressing these critical subjects impacting freshwater quality. Collaborating with industry, tribal communities, government agencies and not-for-profits, this FCW project will update these courses to include topics related to sustainability, gentrification, waterfront management, recreational maritime business and the impacts of climate change. These enhanced courses will help educate tomorrow’s leaders to operate maritime facilities on the state’s lakes and rivers in a more sustainable manner. 

Western Wisconsin Advanced Freshwater Science Field Course
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW Oshkosh, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout
Grant Description: In this immersive course, undergraduate students enrolled in freshwater science-related majors will learn field and laboratory skills used to assess freshwater science investigations in geology, biology, geography, and agriculture. Course content will include the study of watershed hydrogeology, lake and river biology management, water quality, nutrient and bacterial contamination, landscape restoration, and community engagement with farmers. Participants will develop skills in field and laboratory data collection and analysis, map and imagery analysis, report writing, and communication. Collaborating instructors are from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-River Falls, and UW-Oshkosh.

This course will be offered summer 2022. Students are accepted through an application process. Participants must be enrolled in a Freshwater Science related discipline and have completed at least two semesters of their program. Students should complete the application form, which includes personal information, contact information for a professional reference, a statement of interest, and an optional statement of financial need. Students will be notified of their acceptance by May 3, and should enroll for 2 credits through their home institution (e.g. Special Topics course). Application. Field Course Flyer.

Wisconsin Water-based Sustainable Tourism Development Course
Institution(s): UW-La Crosse Course 
Grant Description: The purpose of this project is to offer a Wisconsin Water-based Sustainable Tourism Development course. First, an existing UW-La Crosse hybrid course, “Sustainable Tourism Development,” will be adapted so the course content and culminating experience focus on Wisconsin water-based tourism. Next, a fully online version of the course will be created to 1) make the course accessible to students System-wide, and 2) expand collaborative opportunities to other institutions and industry partners throughout Wisconsin. This course will create an opportunity to build students’ awareness of water-based tourism career opportunities, incorporate a High Impact Practice culminating experience where students collaborate with an organization engaging in water-based tourism activities, and foster a transformative experience by providing an opportunity for students to build their network and find a job or internship opportunity.  This course will be offered fall 2022. More about the course.


Student Field and Collaborative Research Experiences

A Freshwater Science Field Experience in Western Wisconsin: The First Step in Developing a Skilled Workforce
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW Oshkosh, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout
Grant Description: The Freshwater Science Field Experience (FSFE) is an outreach program targeting junior and senior high school students from across Wisconsin that will create a gateway for new undergraduate students interested in freshwater science. The FSFE will provide a week-long immersion experience into freshwater science topics in western Wisconsin. The FSFE offers a field intensive, hands-on learning opportunity that will utilize multidisciplinary activities (e.g., hydrogeology, stream flow studies, wetland investigations) to introduce student participants to a wide range of freshwater science topics in western Wisconsin. The fundamental goal of this program is to leverage student interest and participation in the FSFE to spark interest in a progressive, multi-phase intentional educational pathway through an undergraduate education into a career in freshwater science.

Building a Toolbox to Evaluate the ROI on redevelopment of Areas of Concern
Institution(s): UW-Whitewater 
Grant Description: Dr. Russell Kashian, of The Institute for Water Business at UW-Whitewater, will collaborate with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to help students develop a uniform model that would value the effects of Area of Concern (AOC) sediment cleanup and restoration projects on a community’s economic vitality. This work will build upon an initial analysis of the economic impact of the Lower Menominee River Area of Concern (AOC) and will help provide quantitative information on the value of water improvements with state and local decision makers as these partners consider future projects in other AOCs.  

Collaborating to Protect and Monitor Streams in an Agricultural Landscape
Grant Description:
This project is a cooperative effort among UW-Platteville faculty advisors, undergraduate students, the Harry and Laura Nohr Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to monitor, and assist management of, stream communities and habitat in agriculture-based watersheds of southwest Wisconsin. Achieving a better understanding of Wisconsin’s water resources is essential for their long-term sustainability. However, for an individual agency or entity, limited access to personnel and resources can compromise this understanding. Our proposed student-focused, collaborative approach that integrates various stakeholders is intended to mitigate such a challenge.

Collaborative Planning for Water Research at the Mann Valley Farm
Institution(s): UW-River Falls 
Grant Description: The “Collaborative planning for water research at the Mann Valley Farm” project will design an outdoor, multi-disciplinary teaching and research space for studying agricultural water management issues in western Wisconsin. After investigating the available technologies through site visits and professional workshops, we will design research infrastructure for our campus farm that is adaptable to changing needs and emerging issues. This living laboratory will offer our students state-of-the-science training opportunities in agricultural water monitoring and management. It will also allow us to host collaborative programming, research, and outreach with other UW campuses, regional industries, and local stakeholders. 

Evaluation of Downstream Juvenile Lake Sturgeon Passage Through Two Dams on the Menominee River
Institution(s): UW-Green Bay
Grant Description: Lake Sturgeon passage has been embraced as a restoration prescription in the Great Lakes. Adaptive management strategies dictate that quantitative assessment of passage benefits be provided to managers. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of downstream juvenile passage on the Menominee River and through the Park Mill and Menominee Dams. We will evaluate the movement of tagged age-0 lake sturgeon to better understand habitat-use, downstream passage, and survival. Our data will influence future fish passage operation at the Menominee facility and others around the Great Lakes and build justification for restoring spawning habitats in upstream areas where passage is discussed.

Cross-Campus and Partner Expansion of the Red Cedar Basin Monitoring Project
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW Oshkosh, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout
Grant Description: The Red Cedar Watershed experiences frequent blue-green algae blooms due to phosphorus pollution. Numerous projects have been implemented to reduce runoff and restore stream channels and buffer areas. This project continues a pilot project to examine the effectiveness of those projects while expanding research efforts to determine the root causes of the toxic algal blooms regularly seen in lakes in the region. Students from UW-Stout, UW-River Falls, UW-Eau Claire and UW Oshkosh will work during the summer to survey streams and collect water samples to guide management decisions regarding the Red Cedar Watershed to serve as a model for other similarly impacted watersheds throughout the region.

The Dam Analysis and Monitoring Crew
Institution(s): UW-River Falls 
Grant Description: The “Dam Analysis and Monitoring (DAM) Crew” is a two-week, summer experience in which undergraduate students learn about and contribute to a dam removal and river restoration project on the Kinnickinnic River in River Falls, Wisconsin. The “Kinni” is a premiere trout stream in western Wisconsin. Students receive hands-on training from river restoration professionals in the region and then apply their newly developed technical skills to collect water quality and habitat data required in the official project monitoring plan. Two DAM Crew participants continue the work through part-time, school-year internships to collect data, analyze samples, and compile results. 

Developing an Easy-to-Apply, Integrated Approach to Modeling Freshwater Contamination from Farm Runoff Using Only Commercial Drones, Cameras, and Software
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: This project will study the flow of contaminants such as pesticides from farm fields to open water bodies. The project will use a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV/drone) and camera to collect flow data over large farm fields, and a commercial software to investigate flow patterns and predict contaminant spread. The goal is to develop an easy-to-apply process for users with minimal technical knowledge about drones or flow simulation. This study can help farmer communities, industrial farms, and state agencies dealing with Wisconsin’s natural resources make informed decisions towards protecting freshwater bodies.  

Economic Impacts of Wisconsin Fishing Supported by The Freshwater Resources of Lake Michigan and Bay of Green Bay
Institution(s): UW-Green Bay, UW-Whitewater
Grant Description: Student and faculty researchers seek to quantify the total economic value of the freshwater fishery resources of Lake Michigan and Bay of Green Bay to the state of Wisconsin. In addition, they will analyze how different fishery management strategies and climate change scenarios may impact the quality, and therefore economic value, of these resources. Changes in quality and economic value in turn affect the health of regional economies and welfare of residents and visitors. Ultimately, this information helps inform resource managers about the most efficient and effective strategies available to maximize the value of this resource now and in the future.

Educators and Students Rise to Freshwater Challenges
Institution(s): UW-Green Bay 
Grant Description: Educators and Students Rise to Freshwater Challenges will enhance community-based experiential learning opportunities for pre-college students and teachers around the Green Bay and Lake Michigan watersheds. The effort will build a community of freshwater-focused educators and middle and high school students, link to statewide water experts, and engage a diversity of urban to rural communities within the UW-Green Bay geography. Intended outcomes include promoting water career knowledge and aspirations among students, recruiting students to UW-Green Bay and UW System water-centric programs, building skills in students at all levels, and expanding efforts toward equity, inclusion, and diversity of participants. 

Establishment and Support of the Red Cedar Basin Monitoring Group
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: The Red Cedar Watershed experiences frequent blue-green algae blooms due to phosphorus pollution. Numerous projects have been implemented to reduce runoff and restore stream channels and buffer areas. This project looks at how effective those projects have been by using aerial imagery to identify streams in the watershed where work has been done and areas that might be contributing to water quality problems. Students will establish monitoring locations in streams that are being impacted by the land use around them and conduct monitoring through the summer/ fall to identify successes and areas for improvement in habitat management for water quality.  

Establishment of the Center for Rural Opportunities, Prosperity, and Sustainability
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: This proposal supports the establishment of a center at UW-Stout that will help develop successful rural communities in the region through environmental and economic sustainability. The target audience of the center is UW-Stout faculty, students, and the regional rural community of the Red Cedar Watershed. The goals of the center are to identify opportunities for research, service learning, outreach, community involvement, and student experiences, with a focus on examining agricultural water management and the nonpoint source runoff of nutrients to address issues in environmental, social, and economic sustainability.  

Expanding the LAKES REU to Wisconsin Students
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout
Grant Description: The goal of this project is to expand the learning, community engagement, and career development opportunities currently provided by the Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability Research Experience for Undergraduates (LAKES REU) program at UW-Stout to two students in the UW-System who are enrolled in programs related to the Freshwater Collaborative. The LAKES REU is a summer experience that brings students from across the country to UW-Stout to work on research related to phosphorus pollution and its mitigation in the Red Cedar Watershed. More information about the LAKES program can be found on our website: Enrollment is full for summer 2022.

Freshwater Camp: A Summer Field Experience for High School Juniors
Institution(s): UW-Parkside, UW-Whitewater 
Grant Description: UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater will offer a water-focused high school recruitment program in southeastern Wisconsin in June 2022. Opportunities for careers in freshwater are not well-known in underserved communities throughout the rural-urban corridor of this region. This program will highlight important freshwater habitats, build participants’ confidence and skills with hands-on field and laboratory activities, and present information on freshwater career and training opportunities to an initial cohort of 18 high school juniors from communities in southeastern Wisconsin. Enrollment is full for summer 2022.

Freshwater Science Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout
Grant Description: The Freshwater Science Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates is designed to develop a concentrated, thematic research program focusing on freshwater science involving multiple departments and regional campuses. This multidisciplinary thematic focus on freshwater issues, including the 10 Grand Water Challenges, is anticipated to make the FSREU program quite attractive to both students and faculty from numerous departments.  The FSREU is a collaborative project with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UW-Eau Claire and will provide funding for up to 10 research projects in 2022. Development of a Freshwater Science Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates will highlight both educational opportunities and potential career pathways in freshwater science to a wide variety of undergraduate students. 

The Impact of Agricultural Runoff on Navigation: A Literature Review
Institution(s): UW-Superior 
Grant Description: Recreational and commercial use of Wisconsin’s ports is a multi-billion dollar industry. Channels, slips, and anchorages can become unusable when silt, mud and organic material reduce channel depths or even block areas of use. Dredging is expensive and may have significant environmental impacts depending on the material being removed. In collaboration with various stakeholders of Wisconsin’s commercial and recreational ports on Lake Superior, a student researcher will help produce a literature review to identify gaps in research of the costs and environmental impacts of agricultural runoff on recreational and commercial navigation in northern Wisconsin.  

Lead, Facilitate, and Support Policy Research for the UW Water Policy Network
Institution(s): UW-Milwaukee
Grant Description: The Center for Water Policy leads, facilitates, and supports the UW Water Policy Network. This project’s goal is to foster collaboration on water policy research and curriculum across the System. Our strategy is to strengthen relationships among multi-disciplinary faculty, researchers, and students working on freshwater policy to build a community of practice. The Center convenes the UW Water Policy Network for presentations and discussions around key policy issues identified in the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin’s 10 Grand Water Challenges. The Policy Network serves as a hub for government agencies, private sector, NGOs, media, and other stakeholders, to identify water policy collaborators and experts.    

Leveraging the strength of the Wisconsin Agriculture-Water Nexus Network (WAW2N) for transformative student experiences
UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout
Grant Description: The cross-campus Wisconsin Agriculture-Water Nexus Network will create transformational education experiences that provide students with a greater understanding of the connection between agriculture and water and the need for multi-disciplinary solutions that support both food production and maintaining high-quality freshwater resources across Wisconsin. The project will also support the online delivery of a newly designed cross-campus course at the nexus of agriculture and water, which will highlight learnings at the ag-water nexus attained under previous Freshwater Collaborative–funded projects. A multiday field trip course built around variations in southwest Wisconsin agriculture will complement the online course. Bringing together experienced and new faculty/staff as well as community and academic partners to co-develop transformative student experiences will also strengthen the Freshwater Collaborative’s goals. This project grows the number of involved UW institutions from three to six.

My River Adventures (MRA) Pre-College Camp
Institution(s): UW-La Crosse 
Grant Description: The UW-La Crosse MRA camp is a six-day residential camp for incoming 6-12 grade students. Students will use the UWL campus as their home base while they enjoy a week of instructional sessions and visits to rivers in the Driftless region for hands-on fieldwork and lab activities in collaboration with UWL faculty, local educators, and community members. This camp strives to foster recruitment, access, and aspirations for a career in STEM, specifically water-related sectors. Students will create connections with community leaders and educators who can introduce them to different career paths to increase their interest in STEM post-high school. More about the camp.

Predicting Crop per Drop in Sandy Soils
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: The world population is growing and the corresponding demand for water and land from industries and municipalities increases. Farmable land and available water are becoming scarcer. The confluence of these circumstances pressure farmers to generate higher yields without the ability to increase resources. The goal of this project is for two undergraduate student researchers to learn how to use statistics, mathematics, and computer science to help growers manage water resources for growing dry beans in sandy soil types, which are not typically used for growing crops. In other words, it uses mathematics to help growers predict their crop per drop.  

The Root Magazine: WATER
Institution(s): UW-Parkside 
Grant Description: UW-Parkside will produce an edition of the Root Magazine devoted to WATER in Southeast Wisconsin. This project involves separate departments — Art and Design, Communication, and Literatures and Languages — and three classes, one from each department, during the academic year of 2022 to produce the content and design of the magazine. Stories and articles produced on local and statewide freshwater issues will be presented in both English and Spanish. This effort represents an amazing opportunity for the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences to collaborate.

Summer Research Experience in Freshwater Ecology for Undergraduates
Institution(s): UW-Stevens Point 
Grant Description:
This project supports the participation of five students in a Research Experience for Undergraduates experience coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit (WICFRU), which is part of the College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point. The WICFRU provides unique hands-on opportunities for undergraduates to work on applied freshwater research and collaborate with federal scientists, university faculty, graduate students, and researchers and agency personnel from the Wisconsin and Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and various tribal organizations from the Midwest.

Summer Research Experience Program for Undergraduates in the University of Wisconsin System
Institution(s): UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Platteville 
Grant Description: In summer 2022, 10-12 undergraduate students will receive internships at UW-Madison to work on water research projects. Students will be paired with faculty affiliated with Water@UW-Madison and will work in laboratories and programs on campus. They will meet together regularly throughout the summer, be given opportunities for professional development, and present their research at a reception in August. The internships are offered through the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin in conjunction with UW’s Sea Grant and Water Resources Institutes as part of a pilot program that will be expanded to UW campuses statewide in 2023. Enrollment has closed for summer 2022.

Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Engagement on Developing Rapid, Easy-to-Use, and Cost-Effective Test Kits for the Detection of E. coli/coliforms in Water
Institution(s): UW-Stout 
Grant Description: The coliform group including Escherichia coli has been used extensively as an indicator that other illness-causing bacteria, parasites, and viruses are present in water and has historically led to the public health protection concept. While current membrane filtration method for the coliforms and E. coli detection has adequate specificity and sensitivity, they are costly in time, equipment, and/or reagents. Faculty-student research engagement will be established to develop a test kit to 1) detect a single cell in a maximum water portion, (2) provide results within 24 hours at 37 C or 48 hours at room temperature, and (3) cost ~ $5/kit.  

UW Oshkosh Comprehensive FCW Capacity Building and Implementation Program
Institution(s): UW-Oshkosh
Grant Description: UW Oshkosh in partnership with the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin is pleased to offer student training opportunities at the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC). The ERIC is a state-certified laboratory for many water testing parameters as well as a contract R&D laboratory for various community and industry projects. The UWO-FCW collaboration will allow students from any campus to apply and work at ERIC field research sites (or take a field course) each summer, which embeds students in communities to study surface, well, and groundwater. Finally, via the ERIC, UW Oshkosh will offer access to a research and teaching boat to the Lake Winnebago system at no charge to FCW partners.     

UW Youth Water Stewards Pilot
Institution(s): UW-River Falls 
Grant Description: The UW Youth Water Stewards Pilot introduces high school youth to water monitoring, data analysis and stewardship through guided hands-on fieldwork and learning opportunities on and near UWRF campus. The project connects high school youth with university students and faculty and highlights water-related study and job opportunities. Students will also gain a stronger sense of community through collaborative service-learning and through sharing results of their research with relevant government and community partners.

Career Development

Climate and Water: Innovative Weather for Future Professionals
Institution(s): UW-Milwaukee
Grant Description:
The Atmospheric Science program at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee has provided a weather decision support experiential learning program called Innovative Weather to UW-Milwaukee students since 2007. This program serves the weather risk mitigation needs of community partners while serving the professional training goals of students. The Freshwater Collaborative support, recognizing the close connection between weather and freshwater, will extend this program’s reach across the state by providing this expertise to interested UW System researchers.

Freshwater Collaborative UWGB (University of Wisconsin Green Bay) Student Internships Through Collaborative Partnerships
Institution(s): UW-Green Bay 
Grant Description: This Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin project focuses on career development around water-centric internships in collaboration with community partners. This project will build linkages between FCW programming and businesses, industries, and agencies across a 16 county-footprint focused on water-driven economies stretching from the UWGB campus in Sheboygan to the shipyards near the UWGB-Marinette Campus. Internships will help attract, retain and prepare students to help partners solve water challenges. Initially focused on collaboration across our campus communities, the program could become part of the statewide-FCW network linking students to professional opportunities more widely. Our Environmental Management and Business Institute and Career Services Office support this project. 

Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin Statewide Internship Program
Institution(s): UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee
Grant Description: Internships provide essential on-the-job training for students; however, there is currently no internship program focused on water career opportunities for undergraduate students. UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison will create a statewide program by expanding their relationships with current industry partners (DNR, USGS, SEWRPC) and engaging new ones through their connections with the Water Council. They will also establish a new undergraduate-focused Industry and Agency Advisory Committee to strengthen and promote connections, and to learn what opportunities are available for undergraduates and what skills are needed for internships and job placement. The goal is to develop a streamlined process for matching qualified UW students with water-related opportunities. In planning stages. 

UWRF Ecological Restoration Institute
Institution(s): UW-River Falls 
Grant Description: The Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls provides trainings/certifications, internships, and career development opportunities for students. The ERI is engaged in a variety of restoration projects that serve as a living laboratory for demonstrating watershed and land management best practices. Trainings and internship experiences ensure graduates are highly skilled and can have an immediate impact in their careers. With Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin support, the ERI is excited to expand programming to students across the UW System and diversify projects and activities to become a leader in supporting next-generation agricultural water management practices.