Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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SEWISC Internship Program

2017 field experiences

This summer, SEWISC helped to place nine University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Geography students into fieldwork internships with six mentors throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

intership program 1aLaura Sufferling and Marc Morgan worked with Jerry Ziegler, who manages six nature preserves for The Nature Conservancy in Waukesha and Walworth counties. Laura and Marc completed high priority tasks including inventory and mapping of invasive plant populations, planting various native species, mapping restoration efforts for long term monitoring and mapping hiking trail routes.

Schlitz Audubon Land Manager, Marc White mentored interns Michael DuBois and Jacob Holter who used GPS to record the location and size of invasive species populations and worked as a team to hand-pull, bag and remove the invasive plants. The students produced a map by entering their data into a GIS database which was used to assist volunteer groups in relocating and controlling larger clusters.

Tom Kroeger and Melissa Cook of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources received the help of Danielle Krou, Stephen Burany at Lakeshore State Park and Dave Adams at Hank Aaron State Trail. Intern tasks were numerous and included counting visitors entering entrances over a two week period and interpolating visitor estimates for time periods not covered to estimate daily visitor counts. The students prepared pie charts to show gender and activities of visitors to continue long-term analysis of visitor use of the park.intership program 2b

Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Stewardship Director, Ryan Wallin, mentored Matt Slawson who conducted coarse invasive species inventories on many OWLT preserves using Trimble and Arc Collector technology. Matt also collected and distributed Cella beetles onto purple loosestrife plants to grow populations for dispersal into the wild. The fun really started for Matt when he helped to develop a research plot using backpack torches to kill garlic mustard.

Matt Smith, Land Manager at Riveredge Nature Center, received the assistance of Jennifer Howski who worked with Center staff mapping and removing all garlic mustard and dame's rocket populations across 177 acres of mesic forest.  Because of Jennifer’s additional help, Center staff was also able to survey 3 miles of Milwaukee River shoreline for yellow flag iris.  Eight new populations were map and removed. For all invasive species being managed, data was captured to better understand the effectiveness of control tactics and invasive species population response over time.

We would like to thank Jerry, Marc, Tom, Melissa, Ryan and Matt for volunteering to mentor these students and for offering educational opportunities during the summer through which the interns mastered new skills while honing talents gained through their University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee coursework.