Field Trips

The natural attributes of Madison and the region offer numerous opportunities for exploration.  A variety of field trips have been arranged to meet various interests.  Some are in Madison, while others venture out to the countryside for a couple of hours.  All will provide great memories of time spent in Wisconsin.

Please note that trips may be cancelled if not sold out.

Sunday, 7 June

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences

08:30 to 17:00 (Approximate return time)
Cost: $68 per person

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) School of Freshwater Sciences is an “oceanographic” institution for the freshwater seas that are the Laurentian Great Lakes. From the shore of Lake Michigan, in the middle of urban Milwaukee, the School studies freshwater system and ecosystem dynamics, human and ecosystem health, water technology and water policy and economics.

This trip offers a guided tour of the School’s Great Lakes Research Facility on the Milwaukee harbor. Participants will meet with members of the School’s faculty and research team while visiting the Great Lakes Genomics Center, Fish and Aquaculture Labs, and other research labs. After lunch participants will travel by water aboard the Research Vessel Neeksay to spend the afternoon at Milwaukee’s Discovery World Museum.

A catered boxed lunch will be provided. This field trip is limited to 24 participants. Transportation, lunch, and admission fees are all included.

What to bring: Closed-toed shoes, drinking water, light jacket

For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizers, Liz Sutton, emsutton@uwm.edu

University of Wisconsin Arboretum

09:30 to noon (Approximate return time)
Cost: $47 per person

This field trip provides an opportunity for a 2-hr walking tour of the historic University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.  Arboretum staff members will take participants on a tour of Curtis Prairie, the oldest restored prairie in the world, as well as more resent restoration projects of oak savanna, wetlands, and riparian habitats. Tour leaders will incorporate discussion of watershed issues, including the stormwater runoff in Curtis Prairie and how that affects biodiversity and management strategies.

This tour is limited to 20 participants.

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes, sun protection (sun hat, glasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt and long pants), rain jacket, camera, water. Optional: binoculars

For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizer: Bobbi Peckarsky (peckarsky@wisc.edu) or Bradley Herrick (bradley.herrick@wisc.edu)

University of Wisconsin Campus Marsh Walking Trip

09:30 to 11:30 (Approximate return time)
Cost: $27

The Class of 1918 Marsh is the earliest piece of the 300-acre Lakeshore Nature Preserve on the UW Madison campus. It is 20-acre remnant of a larger wetland with a watershed now mostly occupied by playing fields, parking lots, and University buildings. Fifteen thousand years ago when the glaciers receded from southern Wisconsin, the marsh was connected to Lake Mendota. Professor Emeritus John Magnuson will lead the walk that will highlight the natural features and history of the marsh, past and present rehabilitation efforts, and the issues of invasive cattails and chloride contamination from deicers in shallow urban marshes.

This tour is limited to 20 participants.

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, rain jacket, camera, water.

For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizer: Bobbi Peckarsky (peckarsky@wisc.edu) or trip leader: John Magnuson (john.magnuson@wisc.edu)

Saturday, 13 June

Upper Mississippi River

07:30 to 17:30 (Approximate return time)
Cost: $95 per person

This trip gives conference attendees the opportunity to see the Upper Mississippi River up close and personal! The lunch cruise allows attendees to enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Mississippi River aboard The Mississippi Queen, a paddlewheel cruise ship docked in La Crosse, WI (https://lacrossequeen.com/). If river conditions permit, attendees will be able to experience a “lock through” of Lock and Dam No. 7. The cruise is 3 hours long, includes a buffet-style lunch, and is limited to 50 people. For the final hour of the cruise, we will be hosting a panel of local researchers and scientists to discuss the current research on the Upper Mississippi River.

After the cruise, we will visit the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge, including a stop at the visitor center and a guided tour around the grounds and trails through the sand prairie. (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Upper_Mississippi_River/LaCrosse_District.html)

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt and long pants, rain jacket, camera, water.

For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizer  Rob Mooney rjmooney@wisc.edu

Restoration of Streams in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin

08:00 to 18:00 (Approximate return time)
Cost: $ 47 per person

Participants will have an opportunity to join a team of researchers, historians, landowners and project coordinators for tours of several streams in the beautiful Driftless Area of Wisconsin highlighting historical and ongoing conservation/restoration efforts, tribal co-management, recent flooding and climate change effects. Included in the tour will be: 1) Coon Valley: a historically significant conservation project; 2) Weister Creek: a large active conservation project on the Kickapoo Valley Reserve; and 3) Billings Creek: a small, recently-completed restoration project at Wildcat Mountain State Park. On the way back to Madison we will stop at the Crossroads Coffee Shop for Happy Hour and a walk along Black Earth Creek to observe restoration efforts, effects of the 2018 floods and invasion by the New Zealand Mud Snail.

A catered boxed lunch will be provided. This field trip is limited to 30 participants. Transportation and lunch are included.

What to bring: Closed-toed shoes suitable for walking/hiking, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, rain jacket, camera, water, $$ for happy hour.

For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizers Bobbi Peckarsky, peckarsky@wisc.edu or Emily Stanley, ehstanley@wisc.edu

Exploring the Legacy of Leopold in the Baraboo Hills

08:30 to 17:00 (Approximate return time)
Cost: $62 per person

Join us for this unique opportunity to experience the outsized conservation legacy of the Baraboo Hills. Our trip will include a guided tour of the International Crane Foundation, the only place on Earth where visitors can see all 15 species of the world’s cranes. After learning about the Center’s role in global crane research and conservation, our group will head toward the banks of the Wisconsin River to see the landscape that inspired much of Aldo Leopold’s work and legacy. We will get a guided tour of Leopold’s old farm, including a visit to “The Shack,” as we hear about the Aldo Leopold Center, which was created by his family to conserve the legacy of the “land ethic” and inspire connections between people and nature.

A catered boxed lunch will be provided. This field trip is limited to 40 participants. Transportation, lunch, and admission fees are all included.

What to bring: Closed-toed shoes suitable for walking/hiking; water, sun protection (hat, glasses, sunscreen), rain jacket, camera.

For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizers, Adam Hinterthuer, hinterthuer@wisc.edu or Jake Vander Zanden, mjvanderzand@wisc.edu

Wisconsin Central Sands – “Taters, Lakes, Streams and Trout”

08:30 to 17:00 (Approximate return time)
Cost: $40 per person

This field trip to the Wisconsin Central Sands examines how expanding and unmanaged groundwater irrigation in the Northern Great Lake States (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) is affecting streamflows and lake and wetland levels, often with negative consequence for aquatic ecosystems and the economies they support.

The Wisconsin Central Sands is the earliest among intensive groundwater irrigated areas in the Northern Lake States.  Ever-increasing numbers of high capacity wells (presently 2500+) irrigate crops of field corn, potato, snap bean, and sweet corn.  Already in the 1950s and 1960s agencies and scientific studies warned surface water impacts should the groundwater resource remain infinitely accessible.  Reduced flows and levels went unnoticed until catastrophic dryups occurred in the mid-2000s.  Today, the resource remains unmanaged, largely due to the influence of powerful lobbies and science denial.

The Central Sands is also home to an extensive drainage network that supports coldwater streams.  We will visit farmer, author, and conservationist Justin Isherwood who will expound on his vision for a world-class brook trout fishery, land dry enough to farm, and a healthy farming economy in what is one of the few potential win-wins for agriculture and the environment.

A catered boxed lunch will be provided. This field trip is limited to 40 participants. Transportation, lunch, and admission fees are all included.

What to bring: Closed-toed shoes suitable for walking/hiking; water, sun protection (hat, glasses, sunscreen), rain jacket, camera. For further questions about this field trip, please contact the field trip organizer, George Kraft, gkraft@uwsp.edu

 

Scroll to Top