Lake Superior Research Institute

Applied Research, Student Experience and Community Outreach

The Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) was created in 1967 and formally recognized by the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents in 1969. LSRI’s mission is to conduct environmental research and provide services that directly benefit the people, industries and natural resources of the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes Region and beyond; provide non-traditional learning and applied research opportunities for undergraduate students; and foster environmental education and outreach in the Twin Ports and surrounding communities.

Student Involvement

LSRI has employed nearly 600 undergraduate students and provided research experience for countless other students at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Many of the students who have participated in research projects have gone on to pursue post-graduate education and/or careers in the sciences.

Current and prospective students of UW-Superior who would love to gain valuable experience in a scientific research setting should seek out opportunities and positions that may exist as a student research assistant, work-study student, internship, or limited-term employee (available to recent graduates only).

Our Expertise

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Aquatic invasive species monitoring and outreach
  • Benthic and zooplankton taxonomy
  • Habitat restoration
  • Microbiology
  • Sediment and aquatic toxicology
  • Quality assurance and data management
  • Watershed management and planning
  • Wetland assessment and monitoring

Our Resources and Facilities

  • Aquatic toxicity testing laboratory
  • Aquatic culturing facility
  • Chronic Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing (Wisconsin state certified)
  • Organic and inorganic chemical analysis laboratories
  • Microbiology laboratory (Wisconsin state certified microbial analysis)
  • Field Study design and implementation:
    • Physical, chemical, and biological monitoring of aquatic and terrestrial communities  
    • Aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial plant surveys and taxonomy 
    • Stream habitat surveys 
    • Water quality and temperature monitoring 
    • Benthic and zooplankton collection and analysis 

Our Recent Research

  • Aquatic and sediment toxicity testing
  • Aquatic invasive species ecology
  • Ballast water management system testing
  • Beach monitoring and microbial source testing
  • Habitat restoration
  • Lake Superior coastal wetland invasive species surveys 
  • Bois Brule River temperature and sediment monitoring 
  • Fish passage assessments at culvert crossing 
  • Mercury analysis in biota
LSRI lab

LSRI Services

Examples of the various sampling, analytical and technically oriented services that the Lake Superior Research Institute can provide.

Superior Floating Classroom

The Lake Superior Research Institute Superior Floating Classroom operating in spring 2024. 

Boat classroom
A ship leaving from Wisconsin Point

Great Waters Research Collaborative

GWRC’s main focus is on preventing new ballast water introductions of invasive species in the Great Lakes and other Great Waters.

Contact Us

Please contact LSRI for more information about LSRI or to reach out about potential projects, research or other services.

Kurt Schmude
Scientist III
Sarah Fanning
Researcher I – Field Biologist
Nathan Schwartz
Researcher I – Field Biologist
Christine Polkinghorne
Research Program Manager
Payton Kittaka
Researcher I – Chemist
Matthew TenEyck
Research Center Director
Roberta Grube
Financial Specialist II
Sharon Fegley Moen
Food-Fish Outreach Coordinator; Wisconsin Sea Gran
Ardeen Stoll
Financial Manager
Ryan Curtice
Researcher I – Field Biologist
Gwendolyn Ough
Researcher I – Field Biologist
Sophie Levi
Researcher I – Field Biologist
Reed Schwarting
Researcher I
Gabrielle Lien
Researcher I – Chemist
Daniel Brumm
Researcher I – Field Biologist
Margaret Brown
Researcher I – Chemist
Amy Eliot
Center Associate Director
Lana Fanberg
Researcher II
Michael Nagel
Researcher II
Gerald Shepard
Researcher I