Nutrient monitoring on Wisconsin’s waters: What does it all mean?

In addition to baseline monitoring, did you know some WAV volunteers also participate in monitoring nutrients on their streams? Depending on project needs in the area, some WAV volunteers assist Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff and local WAV coordinators in collecting nutrient data on their streams. We recently met with DNR Streams Biologist, Camille Bruhn, to dig a little deeper into the importance of nutrient monitoring: why we do it, why we monitor for it, and finally – what does it all mean?

Looking on over the water, with a marsh, docks and forest along the lake.

Sean’s blog: Why are streams important?

The transition into fall encompasses many shifts across Wisconsin. Summer break is swapped for school, shorts for pants, football kicks off, and jackets are brought out of storage. For me, I have to adjust from my research position with the Center for Limnology here at UW-Madison into a regular class schedule, all the while struggling to understand how senior year snuck up this fast. At WAV, this time marks the end of another monitoring season. The hard work of all our volunteers will be accumulated and analyzed, and we will begin preparing for the upcoming season. But as the leaves turn colors and we brace for colder weather, the streams we monitor will continue to flow (well, most of them).

Hayley and Colton measure stream flow in a stream.

In the field with Polk County LWRD

It’s a calm sunny morning on what promises to be a beautiful day to be collecting stream data in Polk County, Wisconsin.  Although a truck full of equipment is necessary to complete the work, having four extra hands makes the trek from the truck to the sample sites manageable. Polk County Land and Water staff Katelin Anderson and Colton Sorensen are fortunate to be accompanied by summer interns Trent Kuechenmeister and Hayley Heller who are active participants in data collection.

Sean standing in a stream

Peace on the Waterways

When I was asked to write this month’s blog, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go with it. As I was wracking my brain, I kept coming back to a saying from my childhood summer camp, one I returned to as a counselor this past summer. “Peace on the waterways.”