The R/V Neeksay is the only year-round research vessel on the Great Lakes, and it’s been a busy season far with 60 expeditions so far.
The first expedition took place January 18, with the Cuhel/Aguilar labs collecting samples for their ongoing project that monitors the rivers, harbor and near Milwaukee offshore. They also led a new hands-on summer course, in collaboration with UW-River Falls, that got undergraduate students from multiple campuses conducting research on Lake Michigan.
Additional expeditions included launching research buoys in Racine, Green Bay and Milwaukee (Atwater and Bradford Beaches). The Bootsma lab provided the opportunity to launch never-before tested equipment dubbed the mussel masher because it weighs in at about 1,500 pounds.
Jim Waples and two students made multiple trips to gather samples of radioactive atoms for their research on tracking particle transport in water. Clark Evans and the Atmospheric Science crew launched what may be the first-ever weather balloons from the Neeskay.
The Neeskay crew also welcomed middle and high school students for UWM’s College for Teens summer camp and began working with the WDNR to surveys the nearshore from Kenosha to the tip of the Door County Peninsula and Green Bay.
This fall, the crew and faculty will be taking graduate students on multiple expeditions. It’s shaping up to be one of the busiest years yet for the Neeksay. Soon it will be time to bring in the buoys and slow things down.