Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

Current Projects


Lake Superior Research Institute

Current Projects

Ballast Water Treatment (2005 - present) Top of Page

A study examining the effects of ballast treatment technologies to minimize the potential introduction of exotic species such as zebra mussels, ruffe, and goby by commercial ships. LSRI has obtained a docking facility, an anchored barge, and is currently constructing a pumping facility for the ballast water treatment project. This will allow for the replication of ballast water intake, treatment, and release procedures as actually done in an industrial setting. The purpose is to determine what ballast water treatment techniques work best to eradicate exotic species, while providing a realistic economical, timely, and environmental solution.

BioFuels (2006 - present) Top of Page

UWS scientists are working together with other contractors seeking ways to turn plants from northern regions into an affordable, high-quality fuel for jets. For more information visit the following web site: BioFuels

Chemical monitoring of fish tissue, wild rice, and mussels (1990s - present) Top of Page

A systematic sampling of fish, wild rice, and mussels from the Upper Midwest lake and stream areas to determine metal concentrations in their tissues, and help establish safe consumption levels for humans. Samples are measured for mercury content and PCB levels.

Effects of pollutants on aquatic macroinvertebrates (1990s - present) Top of Page

This study has included leaching landfills in two different cities in Wisconsin, deicing compounds used at Milwaukee's airport, pollutants located at U.S. EPA Superfund sites, and numerous other sites contaminated with various pollutants.  An ongoing study involves the continual monitoring of the recovery of a stream in Superior and bay within Lake Superior that have been impacted by industrial pollutants for many years until each was recently reclamated by the State.

Environmental education and stewardship (1990s - present) Top of Page

Encompassed in this project are the Watershed Stewardship and the Northern Wisconsin Watershed Education Resource Center projects. These efforts are reaching in excess of 1400 primary and secondary grade students.  As part of the Stewardship project, the Kimmes-Tobin wetland area, which encompasses approximately 140 acres, has been set aside for wetland education activities.  Local students sample and identify aquatic insects, learn about aquatic plants, and measure water chemistry parameters.  Students are exposed to a variety of wildlife species.  A scope and sequence of wetland thematic units were developed for K-12 students.  A list of available wetland education resources, including internet sites, was compiled for local educators to use in the classrooms.

Envirovet (1990s-present) Top of Page

A collaborative effort with the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) where LSRI staff have served as program faculty to train veterinarians, veterinary students, and wildlife biologists in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem health.

Field surveys of rare and endangered aquatic macroinvertebrates (1990s - present) Top of Page

Surveys of rare and endangered aquatic macroinvertebrates on state-owned land in Wisconsin.  Tracts have included state forests such as the Northern Highland/American Legion, Brule River, Black River, Flambeau River, and Peshtigo River.  Other state areas included the Wolf River Watershed, Meadow Valley Central Lowlands, the Lake Superior Watershed, and the Door County Peninsula.

Survey of native and invasive plants of publicly-owned property (2005 - present) Top of Page

This project will document the status of rare native plants in the Apostle Islands, and potentially destructive invasive plants that occur in the Brule River and Governor Knowles forests.  Control measures will be implemented on the invasive plants as part of the completion of the project.

University of Wisconsin Elderhostel Program (1990s - present) Top of Page

Senior citizens from across the country learn about the Great Lakes region and the natural beauty, while studying environmental issues.


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