Lake Ecology

Course Title: Lake Ecology

Course # 18S03

Dates and time: Tuesday and Thursday, July 10 & 12, 10:00 AM to 3:00PM,   

Location: Oma Town Hall – 4514 W Town Hall Rd. Oma, WI (16 miles north of Mercer on the corner of Hwy 51 and Town Hall Rd.)

Fee: $35 with $5 discount for early bird registration before June 26th (includes 2 lunches)

This course consists of 4 segments, each 2 hours and lead by a lakes expert. A catered lunch, included in the fee, will be served between morning and afternoon sessions both days.


Session I, Waters of Wisconsin, Tuesday July 10, 10AM to 12PM. Instructor Susan Knight  – Associate Scientist and Interim Director – UW Madison, Center for Limnology – Trout Lake Station –

Course description:   Waters of Wisconsin – Lakes, streams, wetlands, and ground water are dynamic features of Wisconsin’s landscapes. These waters are vital to our health, livelihoods and enjoyment. In this session, we will discuss the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of these water resources and how they interact.  We will consider how lakes differ as well as the importance of lake issues including food webs, eutrophication, invasive species, and damage to shorelands. We will address problems unique to streams as well as local groundwater issues. Finally, we will examine the importance and vulnerabilities of wetlands. We will discuss how these different types of waters interact and contribute to the aquatic landscape in Wisconsin.


Instructor: Susan Knight was born in Massachusetts, and was an undergraduate at Dartmouth College. She received her Ph.D. from UW-Madison Botany Department.  She is the interim director of Trout Lake Station, a field station for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology in Boulder Junction.  Her work involves research on aquatic invasive plants, aquatic plant identification, plant surveys, and technical review of state-wide lake management plans.  She is fascinated by bogs and is especially fond of bladderworts and other carnivorous plants. She spends her spare time bicycling and cross-country skiing.


Session II, Aquatic Plants, Tuesday, July 10: 1:00-3:00 PM. Instructor Carol Warden – Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist – UW Madison, Center for Limnology – Trout Lake Station

Course description:   Imagine a forest without any trees or animals. Just as trees and wildlife make up the forest, aquatic plants and critters make up our lakes. Aquatic plants are essential to a healthy lake. They provide oxygen to animals living in the lake, habitat for fish and other critters, food for some, and erosion control for our shorelines. Learn what plants and animals are living in our lakes and how to identify them.


Instructor: Carol Warden grew up near water and spent most of her summers doing her best to become a fish.  From there, Carol spent five years in saltwater sailing the seas with the US Navy.  After that time, she started her degree in Geography and her heart longed for more freshwater.  Carol was employed by UW Center for Limnology as a student while finishing her undergraduate degree then moved right into acquiring her Master’s degree in Water Resources Management through the Nelson Institute on the UW Madison campus.  Upon graduation in 2010, Carol took her current position with UW Trout Lake Station as an Invasive Species Outreach Specialist and have since expanded her expertise to include native aquatic plants as well as more comprehensive lake surveys including shoreline health.


Session III: Change on Wisconsin Lakeshores; Thursday, July 12, 10:00AM – 12:00PM. Instructor Patrick Goggin – Lake Specialist – UW-Extension Lakes

Course description:  Patrick will share the story of change on Wisconsin lakeshores and what those changes have meant for lake health and clean water.  He will describe the diversity of life found along lakeshores and what some of the ecosystem services lakeshores provide to the lake system.  He will also give examples of what lakeshore property owners and other lake lovers within the watershed can do to help make lake water cleaner and ideas on how to restore habitat.


Instructor: Patrick works closely with the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership team, collaborating on the development of educational programming and materials for people of the lakes.  Areas of interest for him include helping lake organizations with their community goals, sharing lake management tools and resources for aquatic ecosystems, and aiding people in gaining a better understanding and appreciation for the native flora of Wisconsin lakeshores.  He works for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lakes out of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Service Center in Rhinelander.


Session IV: Where do we go from here? Thursday, July 12, 1:00-3:00 PM.

Instructor Heather Palmquist – County Conservationist/Dept Head – Iron County Land & Water Conservation Dept. (LWCD)

Course description:  After hearing from all the experts on what creates a healthy aquatic ecosystem, where do we go from here?  What can I do as a landowner to do my part and contribute to a healthy lake or stream?  There’s a lot you can do, and the Land & Water Conservation Department is here to help you, from technical design, to permitting, to funding conservation projects, to maintaining them.  Learn about the many practices that you can do on your property to be a good steward and protect your investment.

Instructor: Heather was born and raised in Iron County, a Mercer native she grew up on Pike Lake instilling her love for water at an early age.  Heather received her B.A. in Geography with an Applied Environmental Concentration from UW-Parkside in December of 2005.  She has been working for Iron County LWCD since 2008, when she developed the Aquatic Invasive Species and Citizen Monitoring Programs in Iron County.  In 2013, Heather became the department head, managing the department, assisting landowners with conservation practices, coordinating the native plant sale, just to name a few of her duties.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, camping, fly fishing, kayaking, dog sledding and hanging out with her three dogs.