Students, researchers to gather at watershed symposium

Watershed SymposiumArea high school students, teachers and university researchers will gather at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Tuesday, March 15 for the eighth annual watershed symposium hosted by the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.

The program provides hands-on science education for young people and has yielded important data on tributaries that feed the Fox River and influence water quality on the bay of Green Bay.

The symposium provides a forum for high school students from eight area schools to share their findings, interact with teachers and professional scientists, and learn about research and watershed management in the Fox River Basin.

The annual symposium begins at 8:15 a.m. and continues throughout the day in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall on the UW-Green Bay campus.

Pat Robinson, freshwater estuary specialist with the UW-Extension, will provide the keynote address on “Great Lakes freshwater estuaries: What are they and why should we care?”

Other presentations include:

• Jim Jolly, Brown County Land Conservation Department, “The Green Bay West Shore Northern Pike Habitat Restoration Project”

• Prof. Dan Meinhardt, UW-Green Bay Natural and Applied Sciences, “Skeletal Abnormalities in Frogs”

• Brenda Nordin, Water Resources Management Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, “Aquatic Invasive Species”

• Matt Maccoux, UW-Green Bay graduate student, “Phosphorus in Green Bay and the Great Lakes”

Monitoring program adviser Kevin Fermanich, associate professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, says, “We’re excited to be able to host this student watershed symposium for the eighth year. I’m particularly pleased that many new students and several new teachers will be attending the symposium. One of the those new teachers is Carolina Bacelis, a UW-Green Bay alumna, who will be bringing students from the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay.”

Vicki Medland, the associate director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay, says the symposium is the culmination of the students’ research experience.

“It brings together students from the different schools involved in the project to share experiences and compare the scientific data they have collected,” Medland said. “Communication of scientific information to a larger audience is often difficult and is an important learning objective. The students are given the opportunity to teach others about the water quality in their own communities. Many of the speakers are graduate students or professionals working in water quality and they provide further inspiration for students to continue to pursue their interests in water-related science.”

The symposium and Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program are supported in part by a gift from Arjo Wiggins Appleton Ltd. The symposium is also sponsored by the UW-Green Bay program in Natural and Applied Sciences and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.

For more information about the symposium contact Annette Pelegrin at (920) 465-5031, or pelegria@uwgb.edu or visit www.uwgb.edu/watershed.