Water Research

Nature of water-related research at UW-Madison

UW-Madison is the birthplace of the field of limnology (historically the study of lakes, and more recently, the study of inland waters) in North America. 130 years later, UW-Madison hosts an active and diverse community of researchers in fields that include limnology, hydrology, water policy, law,and economics.

There is recognition that many of our greatest societal challenges cannot be tackled by working within the confines of a single discipline. The fact that faculty interested in water resources are scattered across campus can make it more difficult to connect. Fortunately, the academic culture at UW-Madison is highly collaborative, which has led to a diversity of interdisciplinary collaborations. For example, the North-Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (NTL-LTER) project brings together researchers from across the UW-Madison campus to deepen our understanding of lake ecosystems in a changing world. NTL-LTER is just one of many projects based at The Center for Limnology’s Trout Lake Station, located near Minocqua, Wisconsin. This year-round research facility provides research access to thousands of lakes, rivers, and wetlands in northern Wisconsin. UW-Madison is also home of the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) – a grassroots network of limnologists, ecologists, information technology experts, and engineers interested in building a network of lake ecological observatories.

Through its Aquatic Sciences Center, UW-Madison is home to two federally-funded programs devoted to research, outreach and education in water-related issues in Wisconsin and the region.  The NOAA-supported UW Sea Grant Institute is dedicated to the stewardship and sustainable use of the Great Lakes resources, while the UW Water Resources Institute coordinates research which is applicable to the solution of present and emerging water resource problems.  Both programs support faculty and graduate research at Wisconsin colleges and universities and are linked to many opportunities for graduate fellowships in water-related opportunities outside of the state.

Links to UW-Madison organizations involved in water-related research

A number of other organizations and Centers are involved in water-related research, teaching, and outreach on the UW-Madison campus. Below we provide links to key resources: