Wisconsin’s Karst Aquifers

For February 19, 2020 
               Please share this invitation with your friends & neighbors. 
Hi WN@TL Fans,
This week we end the 14th year of Wednesday Nite @ The Lab and we start on our 15th.  WN@TL launched on February 22, 2006 with a talk by Veit Bergendahl of the Thomson Lab on human embryonic stem cells.  This week we have a talk by Maureen Muldoon of the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey on groundwater. 
I didn’t plan it this way, but it worked out anyway: our first talk & our latest talk are on two of the most emblematic and consequential lines of research flowing forth from Wisconsin.  Both are charged with politics, both are infused with ethics, both remind us that the really key phrase of the Sifting & Winnowing plaque is that part about “Continual and Fearless.”
While human embryonic stem cells date only from 1998, water has been at the heart of this place that has come to be called Wisconsin at least since the last glaciers bulldozed from the north, ground to a stop, and melted away, leaving eskers and isthmuses and drumlins and kettle moraines and sand counties and dells and springs and marshes and flowages and rivers and estuaries and green bays and Great Lakes.  
And beneath it all, deep underground but also shallow near the surface, are the aquifers, the Bearers of Water.  Not all aquifers are created equal, for not all are equally protected by filtering layers and percolating strata that help keep the water in a recharging aquifer clean, if not pristine.  Of all our aquifers, those beneath the karst landscape are among our most vulnerable; of all our aquifers, none pose a greater challenge to our ideas of a Land Ethic and to our ideals for environmental stewardship.
This week (February 19) we welcome Dr. Maureen Muldoon of the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey for her talk entitled, “Why Are Wisconsin’s Karst Aquifers So Susceptible to Groundwater Contamination?
Here’s how she describes her presentation:
“My talk will focus on the hydrogeology of Wisconsin’s karst aquifers. I’ll go over what karst is, how it forms, and where in Wisconsin we have karst aquifers. Then we’ll look at how groundwater moves in those aquifers, existing water-quality data, and the characteristics that make those aquifers so vulnerable to contamination.”
More to Explore:

Southwest Wisconsin Geology & Groundwater Project (SWIGG): 

Final Report Kewaunee County Groundwater Study: https://wgnhs.wisc.edu/pubs/wofr201905/

Final Report on Recharge in Northeast Wisconsin: 

WI DNR Groundwater Page: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Groundwater/

UW Steven’s Point Well Water Data Viewer: 

About the Speaker:
Dr. Maureen Muldoon received both her Ph.D. (Hydrogeology, 1999) and M.S. (Pleistocene Geology & Hydrogeology, 1987) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her bachelor’s degree (A.B. Earth & Planetary Sciences, 1983) from Washington University in St. Louis. She started her career with the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey in 1987, then moved to UW-Oshkosh for 21 years where she was a professor of Geology and taught the hydrogeology courses (Physical, Chemical and Field Methods), Environmental Geology for non-majors, and occasional field trips to the Colorado Plateau and Belize. 
Dr. Muldoon has recently returned to the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey where she conducts groundwater research. Her research focuses on applied groundwater questions throughout Wisconsin and her interests include investigation of groundwater quality and flow in carbonate rocks, the relationship between carbonate stratigraphy and hydraulic properties, land-use impacts on groundwater quality, and delineation of wellhead protection zones in fractured rock. 
Her professional memberships include American Geophysical Union (AGU), Association of Ground Water Scientists and Engineers (AGWSE), WI section of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) and Geological Society of America (GSA). Dr. Muldoon is a licensed professional geologist and hydrologist in Wisconsin. 

Next week (February 26) we welcome Dr. Carol Van Hulle for her talk entitled, “What Do We Know & How Early Can We Know It? Exploring Biomarkers Related to Alzheimer’s Disease.”
A Special Request: Please mark your calendars for the 18th Annual UW-Madison Science Expeditions campus open house April 3-5.  Three days, 30 venues, and more than 300 scientists  welcome you to come explore science at the U.
Hope to see you this week at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H


UW-Madison:  5.8 million owners, one pretty good public land-grant teaching, research and extension university. 

Visit UW-Madison’s science outreach portal at science.wisc.edu for information on the people, places & programs on campus that welcome you to come experience science as exploring the unknown, all year round. 
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