Wisconsin is a state shaped by water. From its western border defined by the Mississippi River to two of the five lakes that make up the world’s largest freshwater system to its north and east, the state is awash in this valuable commodity. The interior is defined by more than 15,000 lakes scattered across counties both rural and urban, more than 5 million acres of wetlands, more than 84,000 miles rivers and streams and 1.2 quadrillion gallons of groundwater.
Two Wisconsin programs provide a statewide and multidisciplinary approach to supporting livelihoods and enhancing lifestyles through the research of, education about and outreach focused on those waters. These programs are the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This new podcast series, Wisconsin Water News, highlights stories previously only available in print from these programs. Series Narrator and Science Communicator Marie Zhuikov brings the stories alive by featuring in-person and phone interviews of the people behind the news.
Episode 44: Research Survey Aligns the Wisconsin Idea with Water - 8/30/22
The Wisconsin Idea is one of the longest and deepest traditions surrounding the University of Wisconsin. It promotes the principle that education and the influence of the university need to reach beyond the boundaries of the classroom across the state.
Associate Professor of Geoscience Michael Cardiff and his research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are applying the Wisconsin Idea to groundwater issues. They received two years of funding from the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute to survey rural residents about their perceptions regarding groundwater quality and quantity. This first-of-its kind water survey will be sent by mail in early 2023 to people who live in rural Wisconsin communities.
Episode 43: Percolating Pollution – 6/1/22
A Wisconsin Water Resources Institute project is exploring how bacteria and other water contaminants flow through soil by applying a medical technology usually used for cancer imaging. Chris Zahasky, assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received two years of funding to study soil types in the two most vulnerable geologic settings in Wisconsin for groundwater pollution.
Episode 42, Great Lakes Teacher Mentor Project – 5/16/22
Teachers with a passion for the Great Lakes are sharing their expertise across the region with other teachers in a program that benefits the educators and their students. The mentor program, organized by the Center for Great Lakes Literacy (or CGLL), is funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Episode 41, Use of Fluridone in Lakes – 4/4/22
Gavin Dehnert with Wisconsin Sea Grant is part of a research team that found the use of the herbicide fluridone in lakes to control Eurasian watermilfoil is a good news, bad news story.
Episode 40, Road Salt and Groundwater – 2/22/22
UW-Milwaukee researcher Charles Paradis and his team are studying the year-round impact that road salt has on Wisconsin rivers and the groundwater that feeds them.
Episode 39: Making a Promising Soil Treatment for Nitrate Even Better – 1/21/22
Joe Sanford with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has spent his academic career getting his hands dirty. The assistant professor of soil and crop science has been studying uses for biochar, a form of charcoal that’s made by burning wood and plant byproducts (such as pine chips or dried corn plants) under low oxygen conditions.