Our faculty are internationally known for their work in areas such as freshwater contaminants, biological pollutants, fisheries, invasive species, aquaculture, observation technology, climate variability, weather prediction, and water policy.

Our research teams include scientists, economists and legal experts who are advancing fundamental and strategic science and training the next generation of freshwater, climate, and weather professionals. Their work informs policy, improves management, and promotes the health and sustainability of the Earth and its ecosystems worldwide.

Investment in our research includes funding from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, state of Wisconsin and local government, as well as corporate partners, foundations and private donors.

Our researchers and students collaborate with on-site partners, and our building houses offices for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Sea Grant, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Southeast Wisconsin Watershed Trust, Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin and Milwaukee’s Harbor District.

9On-site governmental and nonprofit collaborators

Research Impact

  • UWM Students Examine the Possibility of a Net Zero Water Sector
    Is achieving net zero emissions in the water sector possible? That’s the question UW-Milwaukee students hoped to answer during the School of Freshwater Sciences spring “Freshwater Practicum” graduate-level course. The course simulates working in a water consulting firm and connects students to a public sector client to research real-world water challenges and offer recommendations. “Alongside …
  • Bootsma Featured in Fondriest Collection of Best Publications
    Dr. Harvey Bootsma, Professor at UWM's School of Freshwater Sciences, shares his thoughts on the environmental stressors affecting an African Great Lake and also describes some of his research in the article "Lake Malawi: A Treasure to Protect" written by Skylar Shannon for Fondriest's Environmental Monitor. The School of Freshwater Sciences received the Spring 2024 …
  • CIGLR’s Ripple Effect Article Highlights Bootsma Lab Research
    Professor Harvey Bootsma, PhD, doctoral student Karen Baumann, and collaborators are exploring mussel removal methods. Ripple Effect: 2023 CIGLR Annual Magazine dives into their research on invasive mussels, mussel removal projects, and a documentary showcase. Read Full Story

We’re committed to advancing key research priorities

Explore freshwater systems and develop methods for their preservation and management. Study the impacts of climate change, human activity, and invasive species on the Great Lakes and Earth’s ecosystems worldwide. Improve water safety through cutting-edge research. Track the presence and sources of pathogens and determine the impacts of contaminants on human and ecosystem health. Form collaborations among scientists, engineers, and industry.

Predict weather and climate and their impacts to society. Manage, replace and restore the Great Lakes’ commercial and recreational fisheries. Drive new technologies in water research and management and fisheries management and urban aquaculture. Advance understanding of atmospheric processes on local to global scales. Link science to action and generate transformational policies from great science.