Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some new books in the Water Library

Climate change : the science, impacts and solutions. London : Earthscan, 2009.
The author examines the latest analyses of climate change, such as new and alarming observations regarding Arctic sea ice, the recently published IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, and the policies of the new Australian Government and how they affect the implementation of climate change initiatives. 2nd ed.

Hormones and pharmaceuticals generated by concentrated animal feeding operations : transport in water and soil. New York : Springer Verlag, 2009
This book examines how hormones, antibiotics and pharmaceuticals generated from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) of cattle, poultry, swine and aquaculture are transported in water and soil. Edited by Laurence S. Shore and Amy Pruden.

Fractals and multifractals in ecology and aquatic science. Boca Raton : CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2010.
This book provides scientists with a basic understanding of fractals and multifractals and the techniques that utilize them in analyzing ecological phenomenon. These techniques are especially valuable for analyzing spatial data sets and physical-biological couplings at different spatial and/or temporal scales.

Sea soup : phytoplankton. Gardiner, Me. : Tilbury House, 1999.
Sea Soup introduces children to the world of phytoplankton, plants so tiny that a million can fit in a teaspoon of sea water and so numerous that they produce half the world's oxygen. Each section of the book answers a question, such as "Are they plants or are they animals?" "How did tiny phytoplankton help build the largest structures on earth?" and "How do we know so much about things most of us have never seen?" For grades 5-8.

Dane waters: a reflection of us all [videorecording]. Worthwhile Films, 2007.
A look at how storm water from urban areas negatively impacts lakes, rivers and streams in Wisconsin in the Madison area and provides information on what each of us can do to prevent pollution from reaching these water resources.From the Madison Area Municipal Storm Water Partnership. 26 minutes. DVD format.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Climate change Web site for kids

NASA has a gorgeous Web site for children that you and your kids shouldn't miss. It's called "Climate Kids" and at first glance you might be hooked. The child-friendly layout, the graphics, the answers to questions your child might be wondering about all make the site useful and engaging. The Water Library especially likes the section, "Earth Now" that highlights recent news about climate change.

Check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

See where yesterday's donated fish came from

Fred Binkowski, with Wisconsin Sea Grant and the UW Milwaukee WATER Institute, talks about his lab's donation of over 500 pounds of yellow perch to the Hunger Task Force. Binkowski is the aquaculture specialist at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, and his lab is at the Great Lakes WATER Institute in Milwaukee. This second annual donation is an opportunity to benefit a local shelter for the homeless with more than 200 fresh perch dinners:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sea Grant research donates Fat Tuesday perch to Hunger Task Force

Milwaukee (2/16/2010) -- In their yellow perch cultivation research, scientists at the Great Lakes WATER Institute have produced a sizeable number of surplus fish that have reached market size – enough to share. But there will be no leftovers when the Hunger Task Force begins to distribute the donation of 500 processed and frozen pounds of the tasty fish.

This is the second year that the WATER Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) and its funding partner, the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, have made the donation of yellow perch to the Milwaukee-based food pantry.

A short announcement event, followed by unloading of the freezers, will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the WATER Institute, 600 E. Greenfield Ave.

Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force, predicted the fish would be gone within hours. Her organization has seen a 23 percent monthly increase in clients using the food pantry during the past year.

Now, area families will have the opportunity to enjoy the kind of meal they otherwise may not be able to afford. Retail prices on yellow perch vary, but can range as high as $16 per pound. The total estimated value of the donation is $8,000. The fish will be distributed in two-pound packages.

“This week, Catholics in the Milwaukee area observe Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season,” says Fred Binkowski, an aquaculture specialist with the Sea Grant Program and a senior scientist at the WATER Institute. “It’s a time when a lot of fish is consumed, more so than even during the popular Friday night fish fry ritual in this state. But the formerly robust yellow perch stock in Lake Michigan has been depleted. With aquaculture, we can revive a source of delicious, locally produced yellow perch with few to no contaminants.”

WATER Institute scientists have developed a method to breed the fish year-round and have reduced the time it takes to raise yellow perch to market size (about 7.5 inches long).

All research results benefit Wisconsin and the Great Lakes aquaculture industry with an estimated annual production value of more than $50 million. Producers are in both rural areas and urban ones, such as Milwaukee’s Growing Power and Sweet Water Organics operations.

The WATER Institute’s aquaculture projects are funded by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, private industry, the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture that supports the USDA/ARS Aquaculture Cooperative housed at the WATER Institute.
The Great Lakes WATER Institute, part of UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences, is the largest academic freshwater research center on the Great Lakes. Working in partnership with public and private agencies, it engages in interdisciplinary research, education and outreach to protect the world’s freshwater resources and the health of the human and natural populations dependent upon them.

Sea Grant is a national network of 32 university-based programs of research, outreach and education for enhancing the practical use and conservation of coastal, ocean and Great Lakes resources to create a sustainable economy and environment.

Hunger Task Force is an anti-hunger organization which believes that every person has a right to adequate food obtained with dignity. Hunger Task Force works to prevent hunger and malnutrition by providing food to people in need today and by promoting social policies to achieve food security tomorrow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New USGS research on drinking water

From the U.S. Geological Survey
Released: 2/11/2010

New USGS groundwater studies explain what, when, and how contaminants may reach public-supply wells.

All wells are not equally vulnerable to contamination because of differences in three factors: the general chemistry of the aquifer, groundwater age, and direct paths within aquifer systems that allow water and contaminants to reach a well.

More than 100 million people in the United States receive their drinking water from public groundwater systems, which can be vulnerable to naturally occurring contaminants such as radon, uranium, arsenic, and man-made compounds, including fertilizers, septic-tank leachate, solvents and gasoline hydrocarbons.
Related Podcasts

Read full press release.

Complete findings, videos, etc found here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For Winnebago Sturgeon Enthusiasts...

This weekend is the launch of Sturgeon spearing season. Ron Bruch, sturgeon specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources sends this update:

Lake Conditions: Many spearers are out on the lakes scouting and reports are coming in that the cloudy water is spreading further south along the west shore of Lake Winnebago. The rest of Lake Winnebago appears to be clear yet. No new information on water clarity in the Upriver Lakes other than the report last week that said Poygan was starting to cloud up in some areas (patchy) south and west of the mouth of the Wolf River. Ice conditions are generally good, but the recent snow and wind have caused some drifting which may have covered up cracks and other dangerous spots. As always, be careful and check the ice where you are traveling, especially if you are traveling off the marked roads.

Sturgeon on the Move: A spearer scouting on Lake Winnebago caught some fantastic footage on his camera. Check out the following piece: YouTube - sturgeon on the move

Sturgeon Registration: We're pretty well done setting up all of our registration stations and are ready to go. Remember when you get your fish, you need to have it in to a station no later than 1:30 PM. Spearing hours are 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Bring your fish in right away if you can after you get it to avoid getting stuck in a long line, especially on opening day. At the station we'll be collecting our standard data on the fish and the spearer, although we may ask some spearers if we can dress their fish so we can take stomach and/or tissue samples for other various studies we are involved in. We appreciate your cooperation.

Daily Reports: This will be my last pre-season report. Stay tuned on opening day and every day of the season for my daily reports which I should be e-mailing out each day between 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM (time dependent on whether we get a run of fish at then end of the day or not). If you have any fellow spearers that would like to get on my e-mail list to receive the reports, have them e-mail me and ask to get on the list.
Good luck to you all.

See you around the lakes or at a registration station.


Ronald M. Bruch, PhD
Upper Fox-Wolf Fisheries Work Unit Supervisor
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
625 E County Rd Y, Suite 700
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kohl Announces $2 Million to Research Critical Great Lakes Issues, Including Threat From Asian Carp

Federal Funding for Education and Outreach on Invasive Species and More.

U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl today announced the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute has received nearly $2 million to support research, education and outreach activities related to Lakes Michigan and Superior, including work to try and prevent the spread of Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species.

Read full text of press release.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The Water Library invites you to read this interesting piece about a self-described "book pirate." The gentleman has some creative points on why he doesn't think of what he does as "stealing."

Wonder what Steve Jobs would say?

Read the full text here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Can Asian carp invasion be averted?

Kathleen Schmitt Kline, science writer with the Aquatic Sciences Center at UW, discusses the science behind the news of an Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes. This article recently appeared in the Bayview Compass, a monthly newspaper for Milwaukee’s northern neighborhoods and suburbs. The article begins:

In December 2009, an environmental emergency brigade of 450 Americans and Canadians descended on Romeoville, Ill., armed with nets, boats, and thousands of gallons of poison. The urgent, 20-agency response was brought on by recent environmental DNA (eDNA) tests indicating that Asian carp were closer to invading Lake Michigan than previously thought. The tests detect traces of Asian carp DNA in water samples within a 48-hour period.

Read the entire article here.