Why Our Work Matters

The need for clean water affects every being on this planet. The Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin supports programs that are training new water professionals and encouraging partnerships among faculty, government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and community members.

What Students Have to Say About Our Programs

“Wisconsin has very different water quality issues depending on the specific region. Getting to see various regions gave me a broader understanding of water quality issues in the state and better prepared me to solve unique water quality issues.” — Micah Robinson, undergraduate at UW-Madison, Ag-Water Nexxus field experience

 “It’s easy to do the science but not know if it matters. During those two weeks [on the Dam Crew], I got to really see how important the science is to the entire city and the entire watershed. And I feel a lot more prepared to enter the workforce.” — Zach Blacker, environmental geography major at UW-Eau Claire, The Dam Crew at UW-River Falls

What External Partner Have to Say About the Importance of our Work

It’s very rare that we’re able to do anything beyond photo monitoring for a dam removal project. The Freshwater Collaborative funding did a great job of helping to train the next generation of water resource professionals, and it provided us with a unique dataset that will provide really unique insights.” — Sean Morrison, geomorphologist at Inter-Fluve, partner on The Dam Crew project with UW-River Falls

“We really appreciate Jill and Heather’s [UW-River Falls faculty] involvement in setting up Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin funding. Having funding available to allow monitoring to continue over the years is really important. Also, the ability to provide a stipend for the students to participate is huge because you’re competing to hire students who may be taking summer courses or have another job. We’re hoping to have the opportunity to engage with Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin for many years to come.”  — Kent Johnson, Trout Unlimited Kiap-TU-Wish chapter, partner on The Dam Crew project with UW-River Falls

“The Crop Per Drop Project research is a game changer for Chippewa Valley Bean. Dr. Wojciechowski and his team at UW Stout are making a big difference in how we communicate our story. The ability to share new water management practices with our growing partners has long term implications as we begin to look at a future with restrictions on normally abundant resources. Not only is this important for our growers, but partnering with UW Stout on a true sustainability project is important to our customers as well. With sustainability becoming a big factor affecting consumer choices, our being able to show that we are working hard at reducing the inputs helps us tell a good story.” — Charles Wachsmuth, VP at Chippewa Valley Bean, partner on Crop Per Drop project with UW-Stout

“The mission and commitment of the Harry and Laura Nohr chapter of Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect and enhance the cold water streams of Southwest Wisconsin. In keeping with this mission, each year the Nohr chapter supports a student internship program working with the freshwater biology professor, Kristopher Wright, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Each spring following their research project, the interns provide a summary presentation and full written report of their work to our chapter. The monitoring and evaluations provide essential data on the health of our streams, before, during and after our restoration efforts. This project collaboration with UWP continues to be an invaluable and enjoyable highlight to our chapter!” — Carol Murphy, President of the Nohr Chapter of Trout Unlimited, partner on Mussel Project with UW-Platteville

“These place-based experiences that engage and empower students to better understand the ecosystem, gain a cultural perspective and then take action within their local watershed are crucial for them to understand and take stewardship actions. One of the highlights was surely putting on the rubber boots and getting their hands wet and feet dirty as they seeded and later planted the wild rice. This experience is a great example of using the outdoor learning classroom as a way to foster and engage students’ natural curiosity and wonder.” — Dave Landers, 6th grade science at Pulaski Community Middle School, partner on Wild Rice Program with UW-Green Bay

“For more than a decade the Door County Soil & Water Conservation Department (SWCD) has partnered with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh on numerous projects including: surface water monitoring projects, ground water monitoring of springs and private wells, beach restoration projects and beach water testing for safety notifications and or beach closures. Door County has over 300 miles of shoreline, 53 public beaches, 19 County Parks and 5 Wisconsin State Parks that contribute towards the attraction of approximately 2.2 million tourists annually. When you factor in the karst geology in Door County, we in turn offer a very unique and near endless opportunities to educate students, residents and visitors. The Door County SWCD has every intention to continue and foster this partnership long into the future.”Greg Coulthurst, County Conservationist, Door County Soil & Water Conservation Department

“The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance is an independent non-profit organization that works to protect and restore the water resources of the Fox-Wolf River Basin. With limited funding available for to conduct our work, the ERIC Lab is able to help fill gaps in regional capacity needs, thanks to the Freshwater Collaborative, while providing real-world hands-on opportunities for students. For example, the interns at the UW-Oshkosh ERIC Lab have helped us ensure high priority water quality monitoring occurs consistently each year in the Winnebago Pool Lakes to measure progress of meeting water quality goals. UW-Green Bay is also working on a project to evaluate filter media options for an agricultural practice that shows high potential of removing phosphorus from runoff and drain tile. This is in addition to the other complimentary work both campuses do as regional partners in restoration efforts. There are plenty of other opportunities to expand involvement and collaboration among regional partners and UW-Oshkosh through the Freshwater Collaborative and we look forward to continuing to build this important and valuable partnership.”Korin Doering, Winnebago Waterways Program Director, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance