News & Media

Director Melissa Scanlan Talks to WUWM About Supreme Court Decision’s Impact on Wisconsin Wetlands May 2023

A U.S. Supreme Court decision that narrows the scope of federally protected wetlands has water quality and wetland advocates around the country concerned.

In an interview with WUWM, Melissa Scanlan, UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences professor and director of the Center for Water Policy, shed light on the ruling and what it could mean for Wisconsin.

Listen to UWM water policy director considers Supreme Court decision impact on Wisconsin wetlands



Center for Water Policy Journalist in Residence Dan Egan Featured in Major Media, April 17, 2023 April 2023

Center for Water Policy and Brico Fund Journalist in Residence, Dan Egan, has been featured in multiple major media outlets to discuss society’s delicate relationship with phosphorus, which is the focus of his newest book, “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance”.


Dan Egan’s ‘The Devil’s Element’ details phosphorus crisis – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Phosphorus Saved Our Way of Life—and Now Threatens to End It – The New Yorker

Florida’s Love-Hate Relationship with Phosphorus – The Smithsonian Magazine

Scientists warn of ‘phosphogeddon’ as critical fertiliser shortages loom – The Guardian

Life-Giving but Lethal: The Culprit Behind Dead Zones and the Threat to Our Water Supply – ProPublica

Director Melissa Scanlan to Speak at Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Convention, April 19, 2023 April 2023

Center for Water Policy director Melissa Scanlan will lead a workshop at the 2023 Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Convention that will explore the status of the Public Trust Doctrine today by drawing on recent changes in statutes, rules, and case law, and how this impacts Wisconsin DNR water management. Participants will hear her latest research, which began over 20 years ago analyzing the front-line dilemmas of WDNR to implement the laws that give life to the Public Trust. Her latest research findings are set to be published this spring, highlighting how political and economic forces have steadily eroded the state’s capacity to manage the numerous threats to lakes and rivers. The panel will discuss Director Scanlan’s presentation and reflect on the changes to Wisconsin’s legal and political landscape affecting water in the past several decades.


You can register for the virtual and in-person event here.

Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin Highlights Partnership with Center for Water Policy, March 28, 2023 March 2023

The Center for Water Policy recently partnered with Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin for two events to engage partners in discussions around phosphorus and to help set a phosphorus research and policy agenda for the next decade.

On Feb. 7, 2023, the UW-Milwaukee Center for Water Policy, with support from the Freshwater Collaborative, the Palmer Foundation and the UW System Water Policy Network, co-hosted a statewide conference on Wisconsin’s phosphorus standards. The conference brought together more than 200 academic researchers, agricultural/conservation professionals/agencies, farmers/producers, policymakers and the public to discuss this important issue in our state.

On Feb. 28, 2023, Anya Janssen, Water Policy Specialist at the Center for Water Policy and Sea Grant University of Wisconsin water science-policy fellow, presented key takeaways from the statewide conference during the online Great Lakes Freshwater Symposium: The Impact of Phosphorus Rules on Local Water. This event was sponsored by the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium, which is powered by the Council of the Great Lakes Region. More than 125 water researchers and students from Canadian and American universities, government agencies, nonprofits and concerned citizens registered for the symposium.

Follow this link to read more.

Water Policy Specialist, Anya Janssen, To Speak to UW-Milwaukee Institute for Supply Management, March 14, 2023 March 2023

UW-Milwaukee Supply Chain Management Institute hosted UW-Milwaukee Center for Water Policy to discuss the dual discipline review of how water affects supply chain.

Please follow this link for more information.

Director Melissa Scanlan Featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 9th, 2023 March 2023

Center director, Melissa Scanlan, highlights need for transformative change that works for farmers to reduce phosphorus fouling lakes and streams in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article “It’s been more than a decade since Wisconsin cracked down on phosphorus. Has it helped protect our lakes and rivers?” by Caitlin Looby, Madeline Heim, and Laura Schulte.

You can follow this link to view the full article.

Director of the Center for Water Policy, Melissa Scanlan, recognized at the 2023 UWM Authors Recognition Ceremony, March 9, 2023 March 2023

Director of the Center for Water Policy, Melissa Scanlan, was recognized at the 2023 UWM Authors Recognition Ceremony on March 9, 2023, for her contribution to the UWM Authors Collection. Her book Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy: Cooperatives and the Design of Sustainable Businesses (Yale University Press 2021) will be included in the UWM Authors Collection.  These works are an important part of the Libraries’ holdings, documenting the intellectual heritage of the university and the impressive contributions of UWM faculty and staff to contemporary scholarship.

Now Accepting Applications for Water Policy Specialist, February 23, 2023 February 2023

The Center for Water Policy has launched a national search for a Water Policy Specialist. This position is designed to immerse emerging lawyers in the dynamic world of applied research for multidisciplinary water policy solutions.

Established in 2011 through a $2.6 million Endowment from Lynde B. Uihlein, the Center builds on the research of the School of Freshwater Sciences, the UW System, and networks and partnerships with top scholars, scientists, and policy institutions across the country and around the world.

The Water Policy Specialist will work with research teams and interact with the public and private sector to inform policy making. “We’re excited to build our research capacity with this hire and mentor a new water professional to make an impact on water policy,” said Melissa Scanlan, Center for Water Policy Director and Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair and Professor in Water Policy.

A range of possible projects includes water justice and equity; water infrastructure and climate resiliency; public access to coastal resources; sustainable freshwater management practices; innovation in the water sector; and integrating water data into decision-making.

This position is strengthened by a collaboration with Sea Grant. The Water Policy Specialist within the Center for Water Policy will be a UW Water Science-Policy Fellow, part of a cohort of Fellows from the UW-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center, home to the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program and the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

The full position description can be found at: Water Policy Specialist 2023-2024

Apply by April 7, 2023

For more information visit the Center for Water Policy and the School of Freshwater Sciences.

Water Policy Specialist Anya Janssen to speak at Great Lakes Freshwater Symposium, February 28, 2023 February 2023

Anya Janssen, Water Policy Specialist at the Center for Water Policy and Sea Grant University of Wisconsin water science-policy fellow, will present key takeaways from the recent statewide conference Phosphorus: Lessons from 10+ Years of Numeric Standards for Wisconsin’s Waters.

This free, virtual Great Lakes Freshwater Symposium: The Impact of Phosphorus Rules on Local Water will bring together water researchers and students from Canadian and American universities.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss how lessons learned in Wisconsin can be applied to other states/provinces on the Great Lakes. They will participate in breakout rooms to talk about how they can get involved in setting a phosphorus research and policy agenda for the next decade.

This is the first event in a series of quarterly water symposiums sponsored by the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium and Council of the Great Lakes Region.

Register Now!

SFS Researcher and Professor Dr. Harvey Bootsma featured on WUWM’s lake Effect to Discuss Phosphorus Conference, February 6, 2023 February 2023

UWM School of Freshwater Sciences researcher and professor Dr. Harvey Bootsma was featured in WUWM’s Lake effect to discus the impact of phosphorus on Wisconsin’s freshwater systems. Professor Bootsma discussed the need for efficient agricultural practices and better water management strategies to prevent the entry of excess phosphorus into the freshwater systems with WUWM’s Susan Bence. This research was also featured during the 2023 Phosphorus Conference.

You can listen to the full interview below.

“Lake Michigan researcher part of discussion about phosphorus impacts on Wisconsin’s freshwater systems”WUWM’s Lake Effect