Land of Lakes-Ecology of the Northern Highlands Lakes

Course #211

As of 8/29/2016, we have reached capacity and are no longer taking registrations for this course. For more information, call 715-476-2881.

Dates:  Sep 1,6,8,13,15,20

Time:  9:00 am – Noon

Location:  Mercer Public Library Conference Room, (and various field sites to be announced), Margaret St. Mercer, WI

Cost: $60, you may deduct a $10 discount if you send your reservations by August 18.

Objectives:  Students will gain an understanding of the unique relationship between geology, ecology and human settlement in the Northern Highlands region of northern Wisconsin.

Course structure:  The course will be given in six sessions, each 3 hours long, The course will be facilitated and taught by naturalist/biologists, John Bates and Terry Daulton, with guest speakers for many sessions covering the following topics:

  • Geologic history of Iron County and its watersheds (Dr. Tom Fitz, John Bates, Terry Daulton)
  • Human settlement of the Northwoods (John Bates)
  • Upland Plants of the Northern Highland, (Marquita Sheehan, John Bates)
  • Inland lakes and bogs, limnology and natural history (Susan Knight, Terry Daulton, John Bates)
  • Loons, Osprey, Eagles and Fish, a Panel Discussion (Terry Daulton, Zach Lawson, Jeff Wilson, John Bates)
  • American Marten, Grey Wolves and White tailed Deer, a Panel Discussion (Zach Wilson, Keith McCaffery, Adrian Wydeven, John Bates, Terry Daulton)

Requirements: Students should be able to walk through variety of terrain and may experience a variety of weather conditions.  Some readings may be provided by instructors but no purchase of texts will be required.   


 John Bates – Northwoods naturalist and author of seven books on various natural history topics.

Terry Daulton – Terry works as a consultant biologist and. Her specialties are research on common loons other wildlife, and interpretive trail and program design.

 Tom Fitz – Professor of Geoscience at Northland College specializing in geology of the Lake Superior region.

Susan Knight – UW Trout Lake Limnology Field Station Interim Director and PhD aquatic plant biologist.

Zach Lawson – Zach graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with degrees in zoology, conservation biology, and geography.  Zach spent eight years working at the Trout Lake Station. Zach is currently the WDNR Fisheries Biologist for Iron and Ashland counties.


 Marquita Sheehan – Conservation Specialist for the Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department in Eagle River; formerly worked as a botanist for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Keith McCaffery attended St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota majoring in forest and wildlife resources management.  He joined the Wisconsin Conservation Department in 1963 and became the Forest Wildlife Research Group leader and State Deer Biologist prior to retiring in 2000.  

Jeff Wilson – Jeff worked for the WDNR as a wildlife technician for 30 years.  He specialized in work on black bear, osprey, eagle, common loon, as well as conducting many wildlife and game animal surveys.  

Zach Wilson – Zach has a B.S. from Northland College and has spent his career doing interpretive programs and wildlife research.  He currently is employed by the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department.  

Adrian Wydeven –  Adrain is currently working as a wolf biologist for the Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Wydeven retired from the Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife biologist after over thirty-two years working for the agency.