Award-winning Lower Fox River Water Monitoring Symposium is Wednesday, April 18th

The Lower Fox River Water Monitoring Program (LFRWMP) is an award winning program made up of area high school teachers and their students, and community citizen scientists that monitor seven environmentally impaired streams in the Fox River watershed for water quality and ecological health. Students take on the role of scientists and explore local streams and waterways, in partnership with UW-Green Bay and the scientific community.

The water monitoring data provides a measure of pollution that flows to the Fox River and Bay of Green Bay. This runoff pollution is the type of pollution that contributes to the much publicized “dead zone” in the Bay of Green Bay. So beyond the innovative educational benefits the program provides for local students, it also provides the community with crucial data about water quality that can be used to assess long-term trends and evaluate restoration efforts.

Each year, the monitoring season culminates in a one-day Watershed Symposium held at UW-Green Bay where student-teacher teams, program partners, agency representatives, and community members meet to exchange ideas and share research findings with panel discussions, posters and presentations. Student teams can compare data from their streams with that of the other stream teams, in order to assess and improve stream health. The symposium provides high school students with a rare opportunity to interact with researchers in water quality fields.

This year’s Keynote talk features several UWGB undergraduate and graduate students, including Colton Tanner, Vanessa Brotske, Maria Otto, Tara Hohman and Jonathan Schubbe who will talk about their experiences doing independent research in college and describe how it expanded their knowledge and helped them to develop important skills they are using at work.

Students from five high schools will present talks on their streams and how water quality has changed over 10+ years of monitoring. Schools presenting at the symposium are Green Bay Southwest led by Lynn Terrien, Oshkosh Lourdes led by Barb Reed, Appleton East and North led by Ryan Marx and Sheryl Stidham-Gebert, Weyauwega-Fremont led by Lynn Ponto, and Kaukauna led by Stefanie Stainton.

LFRWMP was awarded a Watershed Hero 2018 Impact Award by the Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance for 15 years of watershed monitoring and education accomplishments by the school teams, UWGB and partners. During the opening remarks participating schools will be presented with Watershed Hero award certificates.

The morning session (8:30 to 11a.m.) is open to the public.

Schedule:
8:30: Opening remarks and presentation of Watershed Hero 2018 Impact Award Certificates
8:45: Keynote Speakers
9:45: Break
10:00: High School Student Presentations
11:00: Morning Session ends

Accepting the 2018 Watershed Hero Impact award for UW-Green Bay was Kevin Fermanich, along with high school partners Lynn Terrien, Green Bay Southwest; Charlie Frisk, Luxemburg-Casco (retired) and Ryan Marx, Appleton East.

UW-Green Bay’s NAS progam and Center for Biodiversity receive Watershed Hero Award

The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance named the Lower Fox River Watershed Alliance program a 2018 Watershed Hero Impact Awardee. The school monitoring network is administered by UW-Green Bay’s Natural and Applied Sciences (NAS) program and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. The 2018 Watershed Celebration was at the Lambeau Field Atrium, Tuesday, March 6.

Accepting the award for UW-Green Bay was Kevin Fermanich, along with high school partners Lynn Terrien, Green Bay Southwest; Charlie Frisk, Luxemburg-Casco (retired) and Ryan Marx, Appleton East.

The Lower Fox River Monitoring Program is a network of teachers and students from 11 area high schools that monitor seven environmentally impaired streams in the Fox River watershed for water quality and ecological health. The students and teachers take on the role of scientists and explore local streams and waterways, in partnership with the scientific community. Standardized methods and annual teacher training sessions allow students to collect quality-assured data in their watersheds. The data provides a measurement of pollution that flows to the Fox River and Bay of Green Bay. This runoff pollution is the type of pollution that contributes to the much publicized “dead zone” in the bay of Green Bay.

Beyond the innovative educational benefits the program provides students, the community is provided with with crucial data about water quality that can be used to assess long-term trends and evaluate restoration efforts.

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The program, launched in 2003, is celebrating its 15 year. Currently, 11 high schools, including 17 teachers and more than 80 students participate in the program, with close to 1,000 students having participated in the program since its inception.

The Watershed Heroes Impact Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have lived or worked within the Fox-Wolf watershed communities and who have excelled in any one of the following areas:

  • Providing leadership in working towards sustainable development of our economies and resources.
  • Inspiring the work of others, including our youth, to foster the health of the Fox-Wolf watershed’s communities, economies, and cultures.
  • Extraordinary focus on improving agriculture land use decisions to restore and protect our watershed.
  • Utilizing innovative strategies or outstanding effort to achieve significant results in furthering sustainable development within the watershed.
  • Demonstrating a lasting commitment to the health and management of our watershed resources.

Kevin Fermanich with Watershed partners — Lynn Terrien, Charlie Frisk, and Ryan MarxPosing with Kevin Fermanich (from left to right) were Watershed partners — Lynn Terrien, Green Bay Southwest; Charlie Frisk, Luxemburg-Casco (retired) and Ryan Marx, Appleton East. Also receiving awards were New Horizons Dairy, John P. Moyles III and Pat Koehnke. See more.

14th annual Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program Symposium, Wednesday

The 14th annual Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program Symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2017 in the Phoenix Rooms in the University Union. UW-Green Bay Prof. Kevin Fermanich will give the keynote address. Students from four Northeast Wisconsin High Schools who are taking part in an ongoing study of the health of the Fox River, will share their watershed monitoring results with faculty researchers, beginning about 9:55. The program is a collaboration between UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin high schools, with a goal of increasing the amount and quality of long-term watershed data to guide resource management decisions and help predict impacts on the ecosystem. The public is invited. Schools and their presentations:

  • “Using ArcGIS to Investigate Potential Contributions of Phosphorous to Duck Creek,” Green Bay Southwest High School
  • “Possible Source of Runoff at Spring Brook,” Oshkosh Lourdes High School
  • “Effects of Land Use Over Time on Contaminant Levels of the Apple Creek Watershed (nitrates, ammonia, phosphates, pH, and dissolved oxygen levels),” Appleton North High School
  • “Topics of Concern in the Lower Fox River Watershed (videos),” Pulaski High School

Northeast Wisconsin High School Students to Share Insights on Health of the Fox River with UW-Green Bay Researchers

GREEN BAY – Students from four Northeast Wisconsin High Schools who are taking part in an ongoing study of the health of the Fox River will share their watershed monitoring results this week with faculty researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay during the University’s 13th Watershed Symposium.

The symposium, taking place on Wednesday, April 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room in the University Union, brings together the high school students and UW-Green Bay faculty researchers who partner on monitoring the health of the Fox River basin through the initiative known as the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program.

The program is a collaboration between UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin high schools, with a goal of increasing the amount and quality of long-term watershed data to guide resource management decisions and help predict impacts on the ecosystem. It also is designed to enhance student, teacher and community understanding and stewardship of the watershed.

Among the highlights of the annual event is the opportunity for high schools to share reports on the monitoring project in their local community. Student reports include:

  • “Duck Creek Data Goes International”—Duck Creek Team, Green Bay Southwest High School
  • “Spring Brook Habitat Effects on Animal Life”—Spring Brook Team, Oshkosh North High School
  • “The Effects of Nitrates and Phosphates on Dissolved Oxygen and Biodiversity in a Flowing System”—Apple Creek Team, Appleton North High School
  • “Public Awareness” (video)—Trout Creek Team, Pulaski High School

Additionally, participating schools will display research posters related to their monitoring work. The Symposium opens with a keynote presentation by Erin Wilcox, Water Resource Specialist at NEW Water (Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District). Wilcox worked as a research specialist for six years at the Great Lakes Water Institute and is familiar with the issues facing the Fox River and the Great Lakes.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Whitney Passint at UW-Green Bay, (920) 465-5031.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration (outside Phoenix Room B)
  • 8:45 a.m. Special guest speaker, Erin Wilcox
  • 9:45 a.m. Break
  • 9:55 a.m. Student presentations
  • 10:25 a.m. Bobbie Webster on “Wequiock Creek”
  • 10:30 a.m. Student poster session and UWGB student organizations
  • 11:00 a.m. Lunch (Phoenix Room B & C)
  • 11:30 a.m. Rotating sessions: Point of Au Sable tour, Birding with Bob and Quiz Bowl

About the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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Meyer Theatre concert a fundraiser for UWGB watershed monitoring


On Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m., the Meyer Theatre will host Rock Our Water, a first-ever concert fundraiser featuring fun, music and proceeds benefitting the UW-Green Bay watershed monitoring partnership with local high schools as well as other water-resources work in the Green Bay area. The Rock Our Water event will feature music by Bill Staines, Dead Horses, and special guest and host Cory Chisel. Organizers invite you to spread the word with all your family, friends, and peers that support the goals of healthy community and clean water. Feel free to contact Whitney Passint, the outreach coordinator for the UWGB watershed partnership, for more information or questions about tickets to the Rock Our Water Event. To purchase tickets. Visit the Facebook page.

High schools to share research at Tuesday’s watershed symposium

Nearly 100 students and teachers from participating Northeastern Wisconsin high schools will spend the day on the UW-Green Bay campus Tuesday (April 14) for the 12th annual Student Watershed Symposium. The symposium brings together the high schoolers and UW-Green Bay faculty researchers who partner on monitoring the health of the Fox River basin through the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program. The day’s activities run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the morning presentations in the Phoenix Rooms of the University Union free and open to the public. In the afternoon, participating students will have the opportunity to tour the Richter Museum and Fewless Herbarium, take part in a frog-monitoring workshop, and compete in a quiz bowl.

Among the featured high school presentations:
Duck Creek Team: Website — Students from Green Bay Southwest H.S. have created a website for their science club that showcases their involvement with LFRWMP.
Trout Creek Team: Public Awareness — Students from Pulaski H.S. have created videos promoting public awareness on issues such as nutrient pollution, dead zones, PCB cleanup and northern pike restoration.
Spring Brook Team: Nitrates by the Stream — Students from Oshkosh North H.S. have investigated the cause of high nitrate levels in “their” stream, and contacted landowners near the brook to identify potential sources.
Ashwaubenon Creek: Frogs, Their Importance and Why We Monitor — An introduction to frogs and their importance to watershed ecosystems by Green Bay East H.S. student Jermaine Toliver-Marx.

For more, see the full news release.

Students to share research April 14 at annual Fox River Watershed symposium

Nearly one hundred students and teachers from participating Northeastern Wisconsin high schools will spend the day on the UW-Green Bay campus Tuesday, April 14, for the 12th annual Student Watershed Symposium.

The symposium brings together the high schoolers and UW-Green Bay faculty researchers who partner on monitoring the health of the Fox River basin through the initiative known as the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program. The day’s activities run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the morning presentations in the Phoenix Rooms of the University Union free and open to the public. In the afternoon, participating students will have the opportunity to tour UW-Green Bay’s Richter Museum of Natural History and Fewless Herbarium, take part in a frog-monitoring workshop, and compete in a quiz bowl.

Among the highlights of the annual event is the opportunity for the high schools to share reports on their respective monitoring projects. The list of student presentations for Tuesday:

Duck Creek Team: Website — Students from Green Bay Southwest H.S. have created a website for their science club that showcases their involvement with LFRWMP.
Trout Creek Team: Public Awareness — Students from Pulaski H.S. have created videos promoting public awareness on issues such as nutrient pollution, dead zones, PCB cleanup and northern pike restoration.
Spring Brook Team: Nitrates by the Stream — Students from Oshkosh North H.S. have investigated the cause of high nitrate levels in “their” stream, and contacted landowners near the brook to identify potential sources.
Ashwaubenon Creek: Frogs, Their Importance and Why We Monitor — An introduction to frogs and their importance to watershed ecosystems by Green Bay East H.S. student Jermaine Toliver-Marx.

Additionally, participating schools will also display research posters related to their monitoring work. Topics include testing that shows Ashwaubenon Creek’s clay bottom, among other factors, limits its suitability for crustaceans and other beneficial species; research indicating Dutchman’s Creek has water quality and habitat deficiencies that keep fish from thriving; and an analysis of upstream watershed improvement projects affecting Trout Creek.

The symposium opens with a keynote presentation by Chelsea Gunther, Jesse Weinzinger and Tom Prestby — graduate students in UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Science and Policy master’s degree program — in which they’ll describe their research work involving the restoration of the Cat Island Chain in the lower bay just off the mouth of the Fox River. Following completion of protective islands and dikes intended to support better wetland and shallow-water habitat, Gunther and Weinzinger are finding evidence of increased aquatic plant diversity, and Prestby is documenting the return of migratory shorebird populations.

The main goal of the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program is to increase the amount and quality of long-term watershed data to guide resource management decisions and help predict impacts on the ecosystem. It also is designed to enhance student, teacher and community understanding and stewardship of the watershed. Partner high schools are Appleton East, Appleton North, Ashwaubenon, Green Bay East, Green Bay Preble, Green Bay Southwest, Luxemburg-Casco, Oneida Nation, Oshkosh North, Pulaski and West De Pere.

Both the symposium and Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program are partially supported by donations from Windward Prospects Ltd. (formerly Arjo Wiggins Appleton Ltd.) and Nicolet National Bank, and the sponsorship of the UW-Green Bay Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.

For more information, contact Whitney Passint at UW-Green Bay by phone at (920) 465-5031. A complete schedule for the day and additional detail on the projects is available.

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Annual Student Watershed Symposium is April 14

The UW-Green Bay campus will host the 12th annual Student Watershed Symposium on Tuesday, April 14, as part of the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program. The Symposium brings together the teachers, students and faculty at UW-Green Bay who monitor the health of watersheds in the Lower Fox River Basin. This year more than 90 teachers and students from area high schools will participate in the daylong event. We’ll have more details and a link to the full news release in our next issue.

Watershed program receives “Green Gift” boost for monitoring, education

UW-Green Bay’s Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program (LFRWMP) has received a $2,600-plus gift from Cellcom, thanks to the company’s cellphone recycling “Green Gift” program. LFRWMP Outreach and Education Coordinator Annette Pelegrin was on hand Tuesday (Nov. 4) morning for the check presentation during a West De Pere High School Biology class. The Cellcom gift will support the efforts of the LFRWMP to collaborate with area high schools to couple watershed education with the long-term collection of high-quality scientific data. “Our program strengthens citizen knowledge of issues impairing the health of our fresh water resources and inspires community stewardship of the Fox-Wolf River Basin and Green Bay,” Pelegrin said. “Additionally, we provide innovative hands-on environmental science opportunities for students and add to a body of scientific data about our watersheds.” Click here for a photo and additional information.