This week (August 22) our speakers Sue Swanson from Beloit College and Grace Graham from the Wisconsin Geological Survey will chart out for us their project in mapping all the springs of Wisconsin.
Here’s how they describe their talk:
How many springs are there in Wisconsin? Where is the largest spring in the state? And what conditions control their formation?
A spring is a natural point of flowing groundwater at the Earth’s surface. Wisconsin is home to over 400 springs that discharge over 100,000 gallons of water per day. While they do not produce enough water for public drinking water supplies, they supply fish hatcheries and supplement agricultural activities. Springs are also ecologically important, creating small specialized habitats with nearly stable temperatures and year-round vegetation. They are vital to our state’s trout streams.
Springs can be vulnerable to human activities that cause groundwater pollution or depletion. In this talk, Sue Swanson and Grace Graham will describe the efforts of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and Beloit College to locate, describe, and monitor these special water resources. A recently completed inventory documents the state’s largest springs in a publicly-available database and improves our understanding of springs hydrology. We will discuss the range of environments in which springs are found, why they exist in some regions of the state but not in others, and which springs are most vulnerable to changes in climate, land-use, or groundwater pumping.
For more information, visit the WGNHS website:
About the Speakers
Dr. Sue Swanson is a Professor of Geology and the Weeks Chair in Physical and Human Geography at Beloit College, where she teaches courses in environmental geology, hydrogeology, geomorphology, and geographic information systems. Her research focuses on groundwater and surface water interactions and the hydrogeology of spring systems, including the investigation of landscape and aquifer conditions that promote spring formation and affect the quality of spring water.
Grace Graham is a geologist at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, UW-Extension. She has been at the Survey since 2014, primarily working on inventorying and monitoring springs in Wisconsin, and has visited hundreds of springs around the state. Her work has focused on describing the physical and hydrological conditions of springs, but she has a growing interest in studying their ecological functions. Graham received a Bachelor’s in environmental geology from Beloit College.
But a spring is never a bore.
Biotechnology Center & Cooperative Extension