The company was responsible for putting the first green cell site into commercial use in the Upper Midwest. It also recently forged partnerships with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to facilitate high-tech research for the forthcoming National Estruarine Research Reserve on Green Bay.

Michael Zorn, associate dean of UWGB’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology, says Cellcom reached out to the university after it installed LoRaWAN technology around Green Bay. The company wanted to know how the Internet of Things hardware might be useful in conservation research.

“There were several of us who saw definite potential,” Zorn says. “The technology is really perfect for the type of measurements we’re trying to take.”

Zorn says that, while this isn’t the first time a company has reached out with the idea to support research, Nsight’s foresight is uncommon. His chemical research team is now collaborating with Cellcom and UW-Milwaukee to study summer water quality in the bay. Thanks in part to a grant from the Great Lakes Observing System, researchers this spring installed two buoys with low-power environmental sensors that will track dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and harmful algal blooms in the water.

Meanwhile, a second UWGB project will leverage the LoRaWAN gateways to help track the migration of pelicans and cormorants. Jian Zhang’s senior design students are helping create and fit high-tech harnesses for the birds. Zhang, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering, says his students consider the opportunity to interact with the technology and partners at Cellcom invaluable. “This is really important to the students, and [Cellcom] helps us solve all our technical problems,” he says.

“As long as we’re here, we want to support [our region] being the best it can be,” Riordan says. “I think this research is going to be groundbreaking; it’s because of these partnerships we can create with people who are doing exciting research that we can be the best in the world. They have this world-class technology connectivity company they can trust right here.”

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