2022 fieldwork research experience
This summer, SEWISC helped to place twelve University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Geography students into fieldwork research experiences with five mentors throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.
Schlitz Audubon Land Manager, Drew Shuster mentored Richard John, Lucille Little, Jacob Loving and Hannah Ritger who mapped the location and size of invasive species clusters and worked as a team to hand-pull, bag and remove invasive plants. The students also mapped location and condition of prairie crayfish burrows, evaluating distribution of burrows and their proximity to wetlands, soil units, and management stands. The students used their geodatabase to guide and document volunteer stewardship control efforts.
Mequon Nature Preserve had the pleasure of hosting two students, Klaudia Rixman (pictured left) and Devin Conway. The students used a monitoring device known as a Robel Pole to measure vegetation of two different height classes. Measurements and photo documentation were collected at over 200 points across the Preserve and the data will help Ecological Restoration Manager, Nick Gall and his colleagues measure the success of returning agricultural fields back to mesic hardwood forests. The students also mapped new tree and shrub plantings, bluebird nest box locations, milkweed populations, and invasive species throughout the preserve.
Assisting Kate Nelson from the UW-Milwaukee Office of Sustainability, Lily Norvold completed a mapping survey of various invasive plant species on campus property, including garlic mustard.
Under the mentorship of Ann Wollner, student Aaron Denhartigh (pictured below right) surveyed visitors to Milwaukee County's Lake Park for the nonprofit Lake Park Friends. The goal was to learn more about how many park visitors knew about Lake Park Friends or participated in any of the organization’s activities. The survey also gathered information regarding how far someone traveled, how often they visit the park, and suggestions for park improvements.
Matt Smith, Land Manager at Riveredge Nature Center, is grateful to students Cheyenne Hughes, Livia Klechefski, Christian Luster and Ryan Polasky who surveyed 177 acres of upland forest, wet forest, and Milwaukee River habitat for herbaceous invasive species. The students captured specific information important to the long term control and management of those exotic species and each population was physically marked to facilitate follow-up treatments. The students also recorded data on Wisconsin State Threatened plant species.
We would like to thank Drew, Nick, Kate, Ann and Matt for volunteering to mentor these students and for offering educational opportunities during the summer through which the students mastered new skills while honing talents gained through their University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee coursework.