To take ‘pulse’ of bay’s nutrient loading, Zorn wins $222K Sea Grant award

Prof. Michael Zorn of UW-Green Bay’s Natural and Applied Sciences program is the recipient of a two-year, $221,961 grant from the Wisconsin Sea Grant program. His project is titled “Extreme Events, Watershed Loadings and Climate Change: Implications for the Management and Long Term Health of the Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Ecosystem.” With co-investigators Kevin Fermanich of UW-Green Bay and J. Val Klump of UW-Milwaukee, Zorn’s team will seek to understand the dynamics of the pulse delivery of nutrients (particularly phosphorus) to Green Bay. The researchers will deploy sensors at strategic locations in Lake Winnebago, the Lower Fox River and Green Bay to more precisely measure dissolved nutrients and monitor algae growth, particularly harmful algae, in light of climate models that indicate more frequent and more severe rainfall events. Zorn’s project seeks data to better inform land management within the watershed by documenting the severity and frequency of major runoff “pulses” and their impact on algae populations, and perhaps suggest paths to attenuate those impacts.