Day of the Badger: 3 Reasons to Support the Center for Limnology

Tomorrow, as you may have heard, is the first ever “Day of the Badger” a one-day UW-Madison fundraising spree and our little center is one of the participants. We’re raising money to increase our outreach efforts and our ability to give undergraduate students world-class, hands-on research experience on Wisconsin waters. Here are three reasons you should consider supporting us:

1. Undergraduate Training: “The best summer job I’ve ever had.”
Summer 2016 undergrads enjoy sunset on Trout Lake Station’s pier. Photo: Anna Krieg

Each summer, the Center for Limnology hires college undergraduates (most of them from UW-Madison or other UW system schools) to work with our graduate students on their field research across the state. These are invaluable opportunities to get hands-on experience in the field and in the lab and, at the end of the summer, we hear the same refrain over and over again, “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but now I know that my future involves working in the freshwater sciences.” Many students claim it’s the best summer job they’ve ever had – in fact, one of our summer science communication interns wrote exactly that and ended by telling all of the researchers she’d met “remember that there will always a young, future scientist out there who will be inspired by your story.”

2. Public Outreach: “Standing room only – for science.”
Author Dan Egan talks to the Science on Tap – Madison crowd.

At the CFL, we’re committed to The Wisconsin Idea and are constantly sharing what we learn about Wisconsin waters with people across the state. We do this via all sorts of outreach and science communication activities. We helped launch a science cafe series called “Science on Tap – Minocqua” in Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods in 2013 and were blown away by the interest in the event. After 5 years we still average nearly 100 monthly attendees – in a town of 4,000 people! That success led to “Science on Tap – Madison,” which just saw it’s largest crowd (200+) to hear author, Dan Egan, talk about his book “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.” We also host annual open houses at Hasler Lab in Madison and Trout Lake Station north of Minocqua. We welcome school groups and lake associations and news media and all sorts of other folks every year. We don’t just teach our students that sharing their research to the public that supports it is important – we help them do it. Donations to the CFL help us continue to engage and inspire members of the public of all ages, building their connections to Wisconsin’s beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands.

3. Faculty Support: “Double (or triple) your money!”
CFL faculty leading a “research cruise” on Lake Mendota.

At the CFL, we pride ourselves on being the “little center that could.” In other words, our small center has an out-sized impact on freshwater sciences and fisheries management and water quality research and more. But our faculty aren’t just world-class researchers. They’re also big believers in our broader mission. Which is why they’ve committed to matching any Day of the Badger gifts we receive up to $3,000! What’s more, if you give between noon and 1pm, the UW-Madison College of Letters & Science will also match those funds!

So please, if you’re a fan of water in Wisconsin, consider supporting the Center for Limnology as we strive to produce the best available science about those waters, inform the public and policymakers about what we’ve learned and train the next generation of freshwater scientists!

Go here to give!