the lower fox river watershed monitoring program    
University of Wisconsin Green Bay
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

2007 Student Symposium

The fourth annual Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program Student Symposium was held March 14, 2007 at UW-Green Bay. The symposium was held in conjunction with the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (FWWA) Stormwater Conference 2007. This provided students with a chance to interact with water resources professionals and gave the professionals an opportunity to see and hear about the research projects that the watershed teams were conducting.

The symposium began with an opening session held jointly with the FWWA. Vicky Harris (WI Sea Grant) gave an overview of the state of the bay, looking particularly at phosphorus and suspended solids. Kevin Fermanich (UW-Green Bay) and Tim Ehlinger (UW-Milwaukee) then presented monitoring results on nonpoint source loads and biotic monitoring in tributaries to the Lower Fox River. Nicole Richmond (WDNR) gave an overview of the TMDL process and Bob Newport (USEPA) spoke about regulating stormwater discharges.

The opening session was followed by student and professional presentations. High school students gave PowerPoint presentations on their research topics and Jeff Mazanec (SEH, Inc) and Tracy Valenta (GBMSD) gave informal presentations on their careers. In addition, Nick Reckinger (UW-Green Bay) and Angie Ortenblad (UW-Milwaukee) gave presentations on their graduate research. This was followed by a session in which each watershed group presented a short summary of three years of phosphorus, nitrate and ammonia data for their watershed. A group discussion to compare and contrast these results between the different watersheds was facilitated by Kevin Fermanich and Tim Ehlinger. In the poster session, which was also held jointly with FWWA, students explained their research to those viewing the posters and circulated to see the posters of the other schools and agencies. The final session consisted of break-out sessions for the students. These sessions consisted of a land use role-play activity facilitated by Peter Schleinz (Brown County Planning Commission) and Kendra Axness (UW Extension Lower Fox Basin Educator) and a quiz bowl session facilitaed by Kara Pezzi (Appleton East teacher) and Dave Burbach (Markesan teacher).

In the quiz bowl session, teams composed of students from multiple schools competed in panel question and answer sessions. The main idea of the land use role play was for students to compare two different subdivision design plans for the same tract of land along Baird Creek. Students were divided into various interest groups, such as property owner, developer, environmental interest group, or home buyer. They were then asked to decide which design best suited the interests for their group and defend their position.