College students from seven states have spent the last eight weeks at University of Wisconsin-Stout studying a decades-old issue — lakes that turn green with algae.
The students are part of LAKES REU, or Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability Research Experience for Undergraduates. This is the second year of a three-year, $282,000 National Science Foundation grant.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, students will present their summer research findings during a public event at the Raw Deal, 603 S. Broadway St. More information is available at www.uwstout.edu/lakes.
Last year’s event at the Raw Deal was well-attended. “The research presented this year will be even better,” said Nels Paulson, the LAKES REU director and a social science professor at UW-Stout.
Paulson hopes the research and ensuing discussion will lead to meaningful improvement in the Red Cedar River watershed.
“We hope that this program can connect the community to the university here in west-central Wisconsin to ultimately improve our water quality and our community’s standard of living,” he said.
Like last year, students have examined water quality from several angles while being directed by five members of the UW-Stout faculty.
Research areas include physical and chemical factors affecting algae blooms in the lakes; groundwater and surface issues affecting phosphorous pollution in the Red Cedar River watershed; water governance and business impact on the watershed; economic impact of the problem on the community; and how farmers choose to use best management practices for soil health and reducing run-off.