Summer Workshops


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Introduction to the Algae

June 2 & 3 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Pillsbury, Professor of Biology at UW-Oshkosh, is an expert in algal taxonomy and ecology. He teaches courses in Freshwater Phycology (the study of algae), Limnology, Rivers Lakes and Wetlands, and Biostatistics.

The Course:  Algae are the base of most aquatic food webs.  They are responsible for most of the oxygen in our atmosphere, and can serve as an important indicator of the health of the environment.  They are a wildly diverse (and often beautiful) array of organisms that most people know very little about.  Come explore this amazing (but seldom seen) microscopic world with us!  This course will look at the taxonomy and ecology of mid-west algae with an emphasis on some important nuisance taxa.  The lecture component of the class will cover the distinctions of the major algal groups and their role in the ecosystems.  In the field component of the class, we will visit a variety of local aquatic habitats to learn collections techniques.  And back in the lab we will examine our sample using proper microscope techniques and identify our collected specimens with the use of taxonomic keys.  Microscopes, collecting equipment, reference books and taxonomic keys will be provided to the students.

Workshop fee: $105. Available for 1.4 CEU or 1 college credit. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit.

Vegetation of Wisconsin

June 12 – 17 (Monday – Saturday)

Instructor: Dr. James Reinartz, Director, UWM Field Station is a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist.

The Course:  Following “The Vegetation of Wisconsin” by John Curtis (1959), we will visit and study all of the major plant communities in the state.  In addition to study of the ecology, development, and dynamics of the original vegetation types of Wisconsin, we will explore plant communities which have developed as the result of disturbance, and the challenges associated with management of natural areas representing pre-settlement vegetation types.  This will be a week of good old-fashioned ecology and botany with a group of others very interested in the topic.  The course fee covers all transportation costs and lodging.

Schedule:  This course will be a week-long field trip throughout Wisconsin.  We will meet at 8:30 am Monday, return to the Field Station Friday evening, and finish by mid-afternoon Saturday.

Workshop fee: $420 (includes all transportation and lodging). Available for 5.5 CEU or 2 college credits. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit.

Sedges: Identification and Ecology

June 16 & 17 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructor: Dr. Anton Reznicek, Curator of Vascular Plants, University of Michigan Herbarium, has studied Cyperaceae, especially Carex throughout North America and in the tropics, and has a special interest in the Great Lakes region.

The Course:  Identification of sedges, especially Carex, will stress not only keying skills, but using ecological and vegetative characters to identify species and species groups.  In addition to identification we will explore the importance of sedges in a variety of different communities, and gain an appreciation of the dynamics of some of the communities and the role of sedges in these dynamics.

Workshop fee: $115. Available for 1.4 CEU. Not offered for college credit.

Wildlife Inventory and Monitoring

July 14 & 15 (Friday & Saturday).

Instructor: Dr. Gary Casper is a regional ecologist and past collections manager at the Milwaukee Public Museum.  He serves as a science adviser to the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust and is an Associate Scientist with the UWM Field Station.  He manages the Wisconsin Herp Atlas and conducts wildlife research throughout the western Great Lakes, mainly on amphibians and reptiles.

The Course:  This course will give students a sound background in the theory and practice of wildlife inventory and monitoring (I&M), with an emphasis on (but not limited to) Wisconsin amphibians and reptiles, and regional programs. The course will review the essentials of sampling design, study planning and data collection, standard techniques for I&M, analysis of data, and the importance and value of I&M. Students will learn how to design I&M programs specific to various objectives, and understand the differences between inventory and monitoring. Common techniques for I&M will be demonstrated in the field. The course is appropriate for researchers involved in wildlife sampling, persons performing inventories (such as for agencies, environmental consulting, or preserve management), and persons involved in adaptive management for ecological restoration projects.  Come prepared to get wet and/or muddy for a field sampling component, and plan to stay Friday night for a bat survey.

Workshop fee: $105. Available for 1.4 CEU or 1 college credit. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit.

Aquatic Invertebrates

July 28 & 29 (Friday & Saturday).

Instructors: Dr. Gretchen Meyer, Senior Scientist and Manager of the UWM Field Station, is an ecologist and entomologist who studies the interactions between plants and insects. She has long been interested in aquatic invertebrates. Robert Clare holds a Master’s degree in ecology from UWM, and teaches ecology, botany and biology classes at UWM and MATC.

The Course: This course will introduce participants to the diversity of aquatic invertebrates inhabiting Wisconsin’s waters. After an introduction to the ecology and taxonomy of major groups of aquatic invertebrates, we will visit a variety of field sites to collect and identify invertebrates. Topics to be covered in the workshop include the challenges of living in water, sampling methods for aquatic invertebrates, use of keys and other resources for identification, and aquatic invertebrates as bioindicators. This course is appropriate for anyone who would like to learn more about aquatic invertebrates and their role in freshwater systems.

Workshop fee: $105. Available for 1.4 CEU or 1 college credit. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit.

Grasses: Identification and Ecology

August 4 & 5 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Freckmann, Professor Emeritus of Biology at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, has primary interests in the grass flora of Wisconsin and in the evolution of the genera Panicum and Dichanthelium.

The Course: We will survey the evolution and diversity of the grass family, emphasizing grasses of the local area and reviewing grass structures, terminology, and differences between grasses, sedges, and rushes. Field and microscopic identification, use of keys, characteristics of tribes, and ecology of grasses will be covered.

Workshop fee: $105. Available for 1.4 CEU. Not offered for college credit.

Aquatic Vascular Plants: Identification and Ecology

August 18 & 19 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructor: Dr. Tim Gerber, Professor, Biology Department and River Studies Center at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, is an aquatic plant biologist.  He also works extensively with K-12 pre-service and in-service teachers.

The Course:  We will emphasize the identification of common submerged and floating-leaved vascular plants of Wisconsin.  On Friday, Dr. Gerber will present an introduction to the evolutionary relationships of the major aquatic plant families and genera, and discuss their characteristics.  He will also discuss hard-to-distinguish taxa, invasive aquatics, and problematic species complexes.  Friday afternoon and Saturday we will visit a variety of local aquatic habitats where we will emphasize the use of plant keys for aquatics, discuss the ecology of aquatic plant communities, aquatic plant evolution, phytogeography and taxonomic problems in important genera such as Potamogeton, Ranunculus, Elodea, Nymphaea, Nuphar, and Myriophyllum.

Workshop fee: $105.  Available for 1.4 CEU. Not offered for college credit.