Under the Surface: Politics and Limnology in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes of the United States contain a whopping 21% of the world’s surface freshwater. But whose responsibility is it to manage this abundant and hotly contested resource? Beyond just lakes, students dive into the use and misuse of water resources in rivers, creeks, aquifers, and ponds, meeting with experts and stakeholders from all walks of life.

Learning Objectives

Students chart and analyze the various stakeholders, issues, and dilemmas of public and private use of freshwater resources.
Students develop a greater understanding of and respect for the interconnectedness of watersheds, lakes and aquifers, including the flora and fauna of the Great Lakes region.
Students gain an empathic understanding of the natural world that results in a respect for nature as well as a vested interest to behave responsibly towards the environment.

Places and Activities

This program is flexible, and can be offered in 3, 5, or 7 day itineraries.

We arrive to Milwaukee and spend a few days understanding how the lake and the city have co-evolved, including a visit to the Urban Ecology Center and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee freshwater sciences department.

Students meet experts studying the promises and perils of freshwater use and misuse. We carry out several waterway clean-ups, understanding first
hand how our actions impact our freshwater.

We renew our capacity for appreciation and wonder by visiting the Mississippi River in La Crosse and kayaking in Spring Green. Our experience with
water begins to touch a deeper spiritual dimension.

The group works to create action plans for bringing their learning back to their school communities, working toward a more aware and responsible populous.

Let’s work together

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