Summer Workshops



Field Herpetology: Identification of Wisconsin Amphibians and Reptiles

June 1 & 2 (Friday & Saturday). June 3 (Sunday) is optional

Instructor:  Dr. Josh Kapfer is a Certified Wildlife Biologist ® with The Wildlife Society and an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UW-Whitewater.  He received his Master’s degree from UW-La Crosse in 2002 and his Ph.D. from UW-Milwaukee in 2007, where he studied the ecology of Bullsnakes in upper midwestern prairies.  Josh has nearly two decades of professional experience working with wildlife. Josh’s current research projects range from radio telemetry investigations of Blanding’s turtles to the behavioral ecology of wolves.

The Course:  This course will give students a sound background in identifying Wisconsin’s amphibians and reptiles in both field and laboratory settings.  Students will also receive information on the habitat, ecology, conservation, and status of these species within the state.  Common techniques for field research in herpetology will be demonstrated, including handling, capturing and surveying techniques.  The course can be completed Friday-Saturday, but students will have the option of returning on Sunday for further field surveys.

Workshop fee: $110.00. Available for 1 college credit or 1.4 CEU. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit. Meals are optional and are extra. Sign up for meals when you register.

Sedges: Identification and Ecology

June 15 & 16 (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: $120.00. Not offered for college credit. Available for 1.4 CEU. Meals are optional and are extra. Sign up for meals when you register.

Vegetation of Wisconsin

June 18 – 23 (Monday – Saturday)

InstructorDr. James Reinartz, Director, UWM Field Station is a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist.

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.

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.

Workshop fee: $425.00, includes all transportation and lodging. Available for 2 college credits or 5.5 CEU. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit.

Ecological Geology

July 16 – 20 (Monday – Friday)

Instructor:  Dr. Roger Kuhns is a geologist, environmental scientist and sustainable practices expert managing his own firm SustainAudit, LLC.  He has worked globally on geology, the environment, sustainable practices, water and mineral resource assessment, and natural resource management.  He currently is focused on sustainable practices for businesses and governments, water and ecology in the Great Lakes region, Niagara Escarpment and coastal water issues, the use of ecological geology in land and water use planning, renewable energy, and ecosystem restoration from mining projects.

Schedule: Monday – Friday (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

The Course:  The Cedarburg Bog is a marvelous natural laboratory in which we can study the interactions between geology, ecology, hydrology and sustainability.  The Bog is thousands of years old and represents an ecosystem that came about due to climate change, and it is experiencing pressures from changing climate processes today.  We will take field trips to the Bog and surrounding environments, and will examine the composition and structure of bedrock, glacial till, outwash deposits, and soils to reconstruct the geological and ecological history of the area.  We will also collect sediment cores from the Bog and study them in the laboratory.  Sections of the cores will be carefully evaluated for their plant and animal signatures (micro and macro flora and fauna, insects, and pollen), sedimentary variations, carbon content, and other attributes. We will use these data to explore how geological, ecological, and hydrological processes, time, and anthropogenic influences have shaped the Bog. Course participants will work in teams, and present their findings at the end of the week.  Participants in this course will learn field methods and assessment techniques useful in a wide range of field investigations and environmental studies.

Workshop fee: $210.00. Available for 1 college credit or 3.5 CEU.

Introduction to Lichens

July 27 & 28 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructor: Dr. Suzanne Joneson is an Associate Professor of Biology at UW – Waukesha, where she teaches Botany and Microbiology. She earned her M.S. in Botany from the University of Washington where she worked on the floristics of Ramalina in the Russian Far East. She earned  her Ph.D. at Duke University, where she studied the molecular biology of lichen symbiosis. Suzanne finds lichens fascinating at every level.

The Course: This weekend workshop will introduce you to the symbiotic union of fungi and algae known as lichens. The course is designed for both beginners and those who are already familiar with lichens. Over the course of this workshop you will learn basic lichen identification, collection and curation, and natural history. We will use a combination of lectures, field-work, and in-laboratory identification in order to learn about the basic lichen biology of the area.

Workshop fee: $110.00. Available for 1 college credit or 1.4 CEU. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit. Meals are optional and are extra. Sign up for meals when you register.

Plant-Insect Interactions: Ecology and Evolution

August 3 & 4 (Friday & Saturday)

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

The Course: Plants have both beneficial and antagonistic relationships with insects: they rely on insects for pollination but also must contend with the numerous insects trying to eat them.  This course will examine the interactions between plants and their insect herbivores and pollinators.  We will survey the major groups of herbivores and pollinators, and discuss  plant strategies for coping with herbivory and attracting pollinators.  We will also cover carnivorous plants – a case where the tables are turned on herbivorous insects!  The course will include time in the field observing plants and insects and a class project.

Workshop fee: $110.00. Available for 1 college credit or 1.4 CEU. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit. Meals are optional and are extra. Sign up for meals when you register.