A group of student researchers from colleges and universities across the United States are working this summer near Menomonie, Wisc. as part of a lake science program looking at algal blooms in the area’s waters, according to The Chippewa Herald.
Led by the University of Wisconsin – Stout and supported by the National Science Foundation, the LAKES REU program (Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability Research Experience for Undergraduates) is fostering several different investigations.
Much of the work involves sampling Lake Menomin and analyzing its sediment, groundwater and hydrological dynamics to determine what roles they play in encouraging algal blooms. Student researchers are also interviewing farmers and learning about their fertilizer application practices to see if they are interested in adopting less phosphorus-intensive farming measures.
In addition, surveys of local citizens are underway to see what kind of fees they would be willing to pay to fix the problem of algal blooms. A total of 10 research projects are running simultaneously.
With the teaching and research responsibilities they have, professors at UW-Stout who are overseeing the project say the student researchers are accomplishing in two months what might take them years to get done. Results of the work will be released at a public forum, set for Aug. 6 at The Raw Deal eatery in Menomonie.