Our Blog

Climate Change Hits Wisconsin. How Will the State Respond?

An important and informative news story just hit social media feeds this morning. In it, Steve Elbow, a journalist with The Capital Times, lays out all of the many ways that Wisconsin is experiencing climate change. And he details the Read More …

 

Watch: Unbelievable Swarm of Spiny Water Fleas Invade Hasler Lab

Last Friday, my phone started “blowing up” with text messages about some sort of invasion at Hasler Lab and where, exactly, our new Go Pro camera could be found. Perhaps because I’ve recently binged-watched both seasons of Stranger Things, I Read More …

 

Calculators, Ditto Machines and a Ski Barge: Zoology in the Summer of ’71

Not so long ago (but long enough that we’re ashamed we haven’t gotten to this yet), former Center for Limnology grad student, Lorna Petty sent our director emeritus, John Magnuson a copy of the “Manual for the Laboratory for Limnology” Read More …

 

A Cocktail of Contaminants: Moving Away From Single Chemical Science

Efforts to relax environmental regulations and weaken wetland protections have been in the news a lot in Wisconsin recently, which made the post we just read from The Fisheries Blog even more relevant. What’s in our water? The answer is Read More …

 

Help Save Wildlife – Donate Zebra Mussels?

Do these cool fall temps have you thinking it’s time to pull in the pier? If so, be prepared to bring a whole lot of zebra mussels onto shore with it. But the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds Read More …

 

Stares on the Stairs: Hasler Lab’s Rotating Art Exhibits

If you’ve ever visited our comfy confines here on the Lakeshore Path, you know that the inside of Hasler Lab is, well, of the white cinder-block school of interior design. But, thanks to Hasler Lab Coordinator, Kelly O’Ferrell, and a Read More …

 

It’s a Jungle Down There: Zebra Mussels Transforming Depths of Lake Mendota

by Mike Spear  In September 2015, a single zebra mussel about the size of a fingernail sent alarm through the Center for Limnology. (CFL). It signaled the arrival of one of the world’s most notorious invasive species in our own Read More …

 

 

A Final Farewell to the Best Summer Job I’ve Ever HadGoodbyes are hard, especially when it comes to saying them to people you’ve lived with and developed friendships with over the past two-and-a-half months. (Seriously, where did the time go?!) And so, I’d like to start off Read More …

 

Despite Changes in Climate, Land Use and Management Practices, Lakes Stay Surprisingly Static

Over the last few decades, change has defined our environment in the United States. Agriculture intensified. Urban areas sprawled. The climate warmed. Intense rainstorms became more common. But, says a new study, while those kinds of changes usually result in Read More …

 

Madison in Bloom: Blue-Green Algae Hits Lake Mendota

The Bloom Begins It was a hot, sunny day and Steve Carpenter couldn’t believe the view from his second-floor office on the shoreline of Lake Mendota. As far out as he could see from his perch in the Hasler Laboratory Read More …

 

Stuck Between a Hand Drill and a Hard Place

by Riley Steinbrenner It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost two weeks since I arrived at Trout Lake Station! After battling the big waves of Johnson Lake with Susan and Adam, I realized I never formally introduced myself. So… Read More …

 

Zebra Mussel Invasion in Full Swing in Lake Mendota

Somewhere along the way, someone lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Maybe they were blown off on a full-throttle boat ride. Or slipped from a shirt pocket while wrestling a fish on board. Whatever the cause, the sleek, black glasses Read More …

 

Hasler Lab Open House – Friday, June 23rd!

Mayfly. Bladderwort. Freshwater Drum. No, these aren’t names of some obscure band headed to town, they’re the names of some of the many plants, animals and insects that call Madison’s lakes home. And, on Friday, June 23rd – from 2 to 6pm – visitors will get a chance to meet them!  Read More …

 

Thinking Big About Invasive Species: Q&A with Jake Vander Zanden

A recent study in the journal, Ecosystems, says that, when it comes to invasive species, it’s time to think bigger. While the movement of species from their native ranges to exotic lands is a major component of global ecosystem change, Read More …

 

Blog Redux: Secchi Disk Celebrates 150 Years of Clarity

Tomorrow will mark the one hundred and fifty-second birthday of the Secchi disk. We dusted off this post from two years ago to tell you all about our favorite scientific instrument. Enjoy! (Originally published April 20, 2015) – A time-honored Read More …

 

North America’s Freshwater Lakes are Getting Saltier

by Kelly Tyrrell, UW-Madison Communications  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MADISON, WI – Road salt is making North America’s freshwater lakes saltier, according to a new study published today [April 10, 2017] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read More …

 

When It Comes to Biological Extremes, Expect the Unexpected

MADISON – Human beings are familiar with the idea of extreme events. Meteorologists keep us up to date on hurricanes, floods and high temperatures. Economists watch the stock market for signs of crashes or rallies. We spend a lot of time trying to better predict these events, yet are often surprised when they occur.

But, says a new study in the journal Limnology & Oceanography Letters, when it comes to biology’s extremes, it’s not enough to just expect the unexpected. We need to be ready for the unprecedented as well Read More …

 

What Lies Beneath: Sudden Invasion of a Wisconsin Lake Wasn’t So Sudden After All

In the fall of 2009, a tiny aquatic creature known as the spiny water flea showed up in a lake where it had never before been seen. At first, students in the UW-Madison undergraduate limnology class didn’t know what they had found. But professor Jake Vander Zanden did. Read More …

 

Lake Mendota’s Spring Thaw Ties for 2nd Earliest on Record

Yesterday morning I brought breakfast to my daughters at our dining room table, glanced out the window and did a double take. The waters of Lake Monona were a churning mass of brownish bluish green. Read more –>
 
 

Steve Carpenter On “Fake Facts,” Trust in Science and Hope For the Future

The following “Know Your Madisonian” profile ran in today in the Wisconsin State Journal

by Karen Rivedal, Wisconsin State Journal

As an antidote to a proliferation of “fake facts,” Stephen Carpenter offers repeatable, observable, measurable science that is provably fact-filled. Continue reading –>

 

Blog Redux: What Less Lake Ice Means for Ecology, Economy and Ourselves

NOTE: This post originally ran on January 17, 2012. In the four of the five years since this post, Lake Mendota has frozen over well after its “median” freeze date, and in three of the five years it has thawed Read More …

 

Fish Fry Day: Western Mosquitofish and the Danger of Good Intentions

It’s Fish Fry Day and fish is on the menu! We’re working our way across the “Fishes of Wisconsin” poster finding morsels of info for every species of fishes found in Wisconsin. Today’s special: the Western Mosquitofish. Take a moment Read More …

 

What Two Frozen Lakes Taught Me About Perception Versus Data

Today, I woke up at my favorite place on earth – Ten Mile Lake, in Hackensack, Minnesota. On the coldest day of the winter thus far, the frozen lake is so bright, so sparkly, it is almost hard to look at. And when you are from a place where 30 below is often the actual temperature (NOT the wind chill), you rely less on the calendar to define the seasons and more on observations of specific events that are tied to the climate. Read More …

 

Bass Set to Win, Walleye Lose Under Warming Projections

Following up on our call for political officials in Wisconsin to start taking climate change seriously, here is a post originally published in September of 2016 about one of the potential impacts global warming will have on Wisconsin and Midwest lakes. Read More …

 

Purging DNR’s Website Doesn’t Change Climate Facts

Last week, we shared our resolution to stand up for science in 2017, after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources changed their website to reflect an incorrect and politically motivated stance on climate change. Yesterday CFL director, Steve Carpenter, and Read More …

 

Rare “Double Mirage” on Lake Mendota Explained

Back in December, some unique circumstances caused an odd stratification of temperatures above the still-open waters on Lake Mendota. With the water keeping air near its surface right around 32 Fahrenheit, but an Arctic blast bringing quite cold temperatures into Read More …

 

Fish Fry Day: Biology and Neutrons Collide to Unlock Secrets of Fish Ear Bones

Brenda Pracheil and Bryan Chakoumakos examine the structure of an otolith under a microscope. Courtesy: ORNL

by Sean Simoneau, Oak Ridge National Laboratory simoneausm@ornl.gov December 20, 2016—Scientific discovery can come from anywhere, but few researchers can say the answers to their questions would come from the pea-sized bones in the head of a six-foot-long, 200-pound prehistoric Read More

 

A Resolution for 2017: Speak Out for Science

Happy New Year! We here at the CFL hope you had a fantastic holiday season and are rested and recharged for 2017. We’re excited to see what the year will bring but, before we start posting awesome articles about amazing Read More …