New scholarship honors legacy of Jerry Kaster, recently retired professor

In recognition of a remarkable career, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences has established and endowed the Jerry L. Kaster Scholarship Fund.

The fund will support both graduate and undergraduate student presentations at professional conferences.

Jerry Kaster

For more than 40 years, Kaster shared his encyclopedic knowledge of the animal kingdom as a professor of invertebrate biology and ecology at UWM. His research took him around the world, from Siberia’s Lake Baikal to Mexico’s Laguna Bacalar, as well as many lesser-known field sites. No matter how small the stream or lake, he found something interesting. Thanks to his contagious curiosity and appreciation for all manner of organisms, Kaster fostered a sense of wonder and scientific inquiry in his students and colleagues.

Kaster is the founder and former chief editor of the Journal of Freshwater Invertebrate Biology, now known as the Journal of Freshwater Science and published by the Society for Freshwater Science. He was an active member and interim director of the Center for Great Lakes Studies, and was instrumental in the formation of the Great Lakes WATER Institute (GLWI). GLWI was the predecessor to the School of Freshwater Sciences, where, in 2009, Kaster was a founding faculty member. He retired in 2020.

To give to the Jerry L. Kaster Scholarship Fund (70080), please use one of the following methods:

  • Checks should be made out to “UWM Foundation, Inc.” with a note in the memo or on an accompanying letter or email indicating it is for the “Jerry L. Kaster Scholarship – Fund 70080.” To drop checks off in person, contact Eric Leaf,, to make arrangements. Alternatively they can be mailed to UWM Foundation, 1440 E North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204.
  • Give via credit card through the online giving portal. You can give as a one-time gift, with multiple scheduled payments, or through an ongoing pledge. Use this link to access a secure page with the form prepopulated with the Kaster Scholarship.
  • Pledge with multiple payments or via payroll deduction. Please contact Eric Leaf to get more information and to work out the details of your pledge.