Natural Sciences Department

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Local UW-Superior students present biology research in Washington

Posted on Mar 29, 2011
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Don Lisdahl, standing, checks GPS coordinates while Matt Jahnke analyzes the area to be sampled for plants.

Don Lisdahl, standing, checks GPS coordinates while Matt Jahnke analyzes the area to be sampled for plants.

Matthew Jahnke of Neenah, Wis., and Donald Lisdahl of Superior, both biology majors at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, presented their botany research project March 27-29 at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement's Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session.

The students' presented a poster on their project titled "Research and Restoration on Wisconsin Point Dune Plant Communities by Undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Superior." 

Jahnke and Lisdahl last summer conducted the first plant survey in 50 years on Wisconsin Point, the long finger of beach, dunes and forest that separates Superior Bay from Lake Superior. Their work will guide other students in learning more about the point's dune environment, and possibly help future efforts to manage the area and rid it of invasive plant species.

The two students are working under the guidance of Dr. Nick Danz, assistant professor of biology at UW-Superior, as part of the university's Academic Service-Learning program. Their work is funded through the Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network - or GLISTEN - a program funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which supports students in service-learning projects throughout the country.

The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement of the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is sponsoring 10 GLISTEN projects around the Great Lakes. The Western Lake Superior GLISTEN project is led by the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute, and includes UW-Superior, Lake Superior College in Duluth, and Northland College in Ashland, Wis.

Academic and community environmental groups around the Great Lakes are receiving GLISTEN funds to train undergraduate students as stewardship liaisons, who will receive leadership, service-learning and community engagement training, as well as practical, on-the-job training from community organizations.

As part of the project, Jahnke and Lisdahl identified places on Wisconsin Point where invasive plants have taken root. Danz is developing lessons for his biology classes on habitat restoration and, with city approval, guided his students in beginning to remove the invaders.

News Contact: Steve Hagedorn | 715-394-8004 | shagedor{atuws}
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