Spotlight Stories

Students looking in lab microscopes

Something Fishy About Pesticides

UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater toxicologists and students investigate off-target effects of popular pest control chemicals

“Neonics.” It’s a cute-sounding nickname for chemicals that are anything but adorable. Neonicotinoids have been used in commercial agriculture for more than two decades as potent insecticides. As their use has spread, so have some unintended consequences. “The pesticides are…

UW-Green Bay students hold the test tubes they use to analyze materials.

Fantastic Filters and Where to Find Them

A UW-Green Bay team searches for the perfect solution to excess phosphorus runoff

“It’s pretty much a Brita filter,” says University of Wisconsin-Green Bay assistant professor Michael Holly. Make that a very big Brita filter: “We’re trying to clean up the water in northeastern Wisconsin.” The material Holly hopes to identify one day,…

A Double Dose of Hands-On Learning

UW-Oshkosh's ERIC prepares students in both lab and field

On the banks of the Fox River, just a short stroll from Lake Winnebago, a nondescript building houses one of the state’s most important research and training hubs for environmental health and safety. Since opening in 2008, the Environmental Research…

Serious Mussel Power

UW-Platteville and Trout Lake Station team up to study Wisconsin’s secret superheroes

Mussels sometimes get a bad rap, thanks to destructive invasive species. While these unwelcome outsiders stir up trouble, dozens of native mussel species are quietly going about their business, cleaning our water and serving as sentinels for the health of…

A Great Lake’s Unwanted “Diamonds”

A statewide team digs deep into the persistent problem of microplastics

“Plastics can be like diamonds: forever,” says Lorena Rios Mendoza. The UW-Superior environmental chemist studies how the nonbiodegradable synthetic materials get into Lake Superior and the problems they can cause as they fragment or absorb toxic chemicals also present in…

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