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UWRF Partners to Protect Wisconsin's Freshwater
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 08/18/2023

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) has been awarded $155,441 from the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin to support five water quality projects. The projects will focus on studying and monitoring water quality, threats to water, and restoration of waterways.

One project will continue the work of the Data Analysis and Monitoring Crew (DAM Crew), a public-private partnership that provides hands-on training for students in river health and restoration. Another project will focus on hands-on laboratory and field techniques for studying freshwater. A third project will create two freshwater science field courses in western Wisconsin, one for junior and senior high school students and one for upper-level college students. The fourth project will study the causes of toxic algae blooms in the Red Cedar Watershed and monitor the effectiveness of existing efforts to reduce algae. The fifth project will provide undergraduates throughout the UW System with an affordable opportunity to conduct research and field work on Lake Michigan.

The funding for these projects comes from the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the University of Wisconsin System, and the Wisconsin Foundation and Council. The Collaborative was created in 2019 to support research, education, and outreach related to freshwater conservation in Wisconsin.

Jill Coleman Wasik, associate professor of environmental science at UWRF and the lead for the Freshwater Collaborative at the university, expressed excitement about the five projects that will help better understand and protect Wisconsin's freshwater resources. She said the projects will provide students with hands-on learning opportunities and help develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing water.

The five projects funded at UWRF are:

• Continuing the Work of the Data Analysis and Monitoring Crew ($79,300)

• From Field to Laboratory: Hands-on Techniques for Students in Water Sciences ($41,737)

• Freshwater Science Across the Curriculum: Linked Outreach and Advanced Educational Activities in Western Wisconsin ($14,280)

• Continuation and Expansion of the Red Cedar Watershed Monitoring Project ($11,400)

• Water, Health, and Habitat Interactions ($8,724)

These projects will help to advance the understanding of freshwater resources in Wisconsin and develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing our water. They will also provide students with hands-on learning opportunities and prepare them for careers in water conservation.

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