Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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SEWISC Internship Program:

2012 Field Experiences

For the past three years, SEWISC has coordinated field-based internships for area youth.  This summer, four students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Geography Department took advantage of our program; experiencing an array of tasks focused on native restoration and non-native invasive species mapping, prevention and control.

Kris Kolan Heather Lueck with Tom Weedman at the Eagle Trail prairie restorationHeather Lueck and Kris Kolan worked with SEWISC Board member and Nature Conservancy Land Steward, Jerry Ziegler, on a wide range of activities throughout seven of the Conservancy’s preserves in Southeast Wisconsin.  Heather and Kris pulled enormous amounts of sweet clover and garlic mustard and also had the opportunity to work with Dr. Tim Gerber, UW-La Crosse, to remove Eurasian water-milfoil at Lulu Lake Preserve in Walworth County.  The students also mowed a steep erosion control slope to stimulate the growth of native plants, and aided with a community trail project linking Eagle Elementary School with the public library in the Town of Eagle in Waukesha County.  Perhaps the dirtiest job assigned to the interns was the removal of a beaver dam from a road culvert to restore the flow of the Mukwonago River.  Heather and Kris also surveyed the roadways of Sugar Creek for wild parsnip.

Working with Kristin Gies, Director of the Mequon Nature Preserve, Amy Rohan and Michael Averill learned to operate hand-held GPS units, collecting geographic coordinate boundaries of sweet clover and thistle populations.  The students delivered the coordinates to the City of Mequon GIS Coordinator who added the information to the City’s database and created a map which was used to manage the populations.  Amy and Michael also planted vegetation in new biofiltration islands in the Preserve’s parking lot and assisted Kristin with several field trips offered by the Preserve with topics such as plant identification and owl pellet dissection.

I recommend that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee continue to send students for field work in the future.  The experience that the students receive will not only benefit themselves, but others as well.”

Michael Averill

Amy Rohan and Michael Averill at the Mequon Nature Preserve

Amy Rohan and Michael Averill at the Mequon Nature Preserve