Yahara Lakes 101


Yahara Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public. The series is a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. Enjoy a presentation and questions and answers over coffee and pastries with beautiful Lake Mendota as the backdrop.

Yahara Lakes 101 is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with hosting sponsor The Edgewater, presenting sponsor First Weber Group, and media sponsor The Isthmus.

Date: Second Thursdays each month, except December
Time: 8 – 9 a.m.
Location: The Statehouse at The Statehouse at The Edgewater **NEW LOCATION
Price: $10 at the door or free to Friends of Clean Lakes. Become a Friend today!

Yahara 101 is held both indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) in the The Statehouse at The Edgewater — our new location for the series. Come at 7:30 a.m. for a meet-and-greet and to enjoy your coffee, pastries, and fruit. The program begins at 8 a.m., and class is dismissed by 9 a.m.

If you already are a Friend of Clean Lakes (minimum $35 donation/year), then admission is free. If you are not a Friend yet, admission is $10 per event. Registration for each event is required for all attendees. Special event parking will be available at The Edgewater.



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Thurs., July 9 - Dr. Eric Booth

 “Climate, Cities, and Farms: Challenges for Improving Water Quality”

About the talk:

Reducing phosphorus from entering the Yahara lakes has been a primary goal for local watershed managers for many decades. But long-term monitoring starting in the 1970s has shown no significant reduction (or increase) in phosphorus loading to the lakes despite an enormous amount of effort and resources devoted to this goal. In the talk, Dr. Eric Booth will explore and untangle the potential reasons for this disconnection, which include increasing annual precipitation, more frequent heavy rainfall events, more row cropping, intensification of manure production, urbanization, and the soil phosphorus legacy. Along the way, Eric will discuss the “language” of phosphorus reduction (i.e., what is the difference between observed or monitored reductions AND modeled reductions), the importance of long-term monitoring, and how the Yahara fits into a developing national and global conversation on water quality management.

Read coverage of the study:

Changes in land use, climate and agriculture undermine efforts to clean up the Madison lakes (Water Sustainability and Climate, April 23, 2015)

Report: Farms, climate change hampering efforts to clean lakes (The Capital Times, April 27, 2015)

About our speaker:

Photos of Research Specialist Eric Booth at the UW Arboretum taken on September 5, 2013 in Overlook Prairie. Eric’s work involves sustaining freshwater resources for the future on a national basis. As a part of his project, sensors were installed in Overlook to collect data on soil moisture.

Dr. Eric Booth

Dr. Eric Booth is an Assistant Research Scientist at UW-Madison in the Departments of Agronomy and Civil & Environmental Engineering. He also collaborates with the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research site, Center for Limnology, UW Arboretum, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, and Wisconsin Energy Institute. Eric holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison (2004), MS in Hydrologic Science from UC-Davis (2006), and PhD in Limnology from UW-Madison (2011). He also worked as a student trainee in hydrology at the USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center in Middleton.

Eric’s research interests cut across many disciplines with water as a centerpiece; these include hydroecology, impacts of climate and land-use change, urban stormwater management, wetland/stream restoration, water quality, groundwater hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, environmental history, agroecology, remote sensing, and computer modeling. He currently works on a project funded by the National Science Foundation looking at the future of water resources sustainability in the Yahara River watershed as it undergoes potential changes in climate, land-use, urbanization, and agriculture. The goal of the project is to develop four contrasting scenarios of the future out to 2070 that ignite a community-wide conversation about long-term decision-making in the region. These scenarios start off as narrative storylines and then are enriched using computer models that provide quantitative estimates of measures related to human well-being such as water quality, water supply, flooding, and agricultural production. To learn more, visit the project website at yahara2070.org. Other previous research projects relevant to the Yahara include stormwater monitoring of low-impact development, assessing the effectiveness of street-sweeping practices, developing residential stormwater audits, and monitoring rain-garden performance

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Thurs., August 13 - Alison Mikulyuk

“Underwater Weeds: Weird Plants in Wisconsin Lakes”

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Thurs., September 10 - Todd Stuntebeck

“Carried Away: Stream Flow and Nutrient Transport to the Lakes”

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Thurs., October 8 - Roger Bannerman

“Saving Our Urban Stormwater: The Role of Stormwater Management”

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Thurs., November 12 - CLA staff

“LakeForecast.org: All Eyes on Lake Water Quality”

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Past Speakers: 

Read below for our past guest speakers, and follow the links to view bios, abstracts, and photos.

June 11, 2015 – Dr. Vander Zanden and Jake Walsh, “Lake invaders: How invasive spiny water flea have degraded water quality in our lakes”

May 14, 2015 – Dr. Cory McDonald, “Where and When: Seasonality in Sources of Phosphorus in the Yahara River Watershed”

April 9, 2015 – Dr. Dick Lathrop, “Restoring Shallow Lakes by Reducing Carp Densities”

Mar. 12, 2015 – Dr. Ankur Desai, “Can Lakes Change the Global Climate?”

Feb. 12, 2015 – Beth Wentzel, “Stream Restoration as a Tool for Restoring Watersheds”

Jan. 8, 2015 – Bob Uphoff, “The Yahara Pride Farms farmer-led conservation model”

Nov. 13, 2014 – Katie Van Gheem and Paul Dearlove (CLA Staff), “Citizen Monitoring and Crowdsourcing to Track and Forecast Near-Shore Lake Conditions”

Oct. 9, 2014 – Ken Bradbury, “Lakes, Streams, and Groundwater: A Single Resource”

Sept. 11, 2014 – Dr. Chin Wu, “Floating Bog Interceptors in Cherokee Marsh”

Aug. 14, 2014 – Dr. Trina McMahon, “Blue-green algal toxins in Lake Mendota: the Mystery of the Missing Nitrogen”

July 10, 2014 – Dr. Eric Booth, “Development of the Yahara 2070 scenarios”

June 12, 2014 – Dr. Calvin DeWitt, “Sustaining Yahara Lakes and Waterscapes”

May 8, 2014 – Dr. Emily Stanley, “Yahara Long Term Ecological Research: Trends & Patterns”

April 10, 2014 – Dr. Doug Soldat, “Lawn Care, Soils and Water Quality”
Monthly Sponsor – Weed Man Lawn Care

March 13, 2014 – Greg Fries, “Urban Stormwater Runoff”

Feb. 13, 2014 – Dennis Frame, “Manure Management and Ag Innovation”

Jan. 9, 2014 - John Magnuson, “Climate Change and the Yahara Lakes” – also see press release

Nov. 14, 2013 – William Selbig, “Leaves and Lakes: Urban Phosphorous Runoff”

Oct. 10, 2013 – Clean Lakes Alliance staff, “Work in the Watershed”

Sept. 12, 2013 – Jon Standridge, “Testing the Waters: Citizen Water Quality Monitoring”

Aug. 8, 2013 – Alison Mikulyuk, “They’re Not Weeds! Discovering Aquatic Plant Communities”
Monthly Sponsor- Spectrum Brands

July 11, 2013 – Ted Bier, “More than Hook’n’Line: Fish of the Yahara Lakes” 
Monthly Sponsor- CUNA Mutual Foundation

June 13, 2013 – Jake Vander Zanden, “Mussels and Spines: Invasive Species and the Yahara Lakes Food Web”
Monthly Sponsor – Beyler Chiropractic

May 9, 2013 – Doug Soldat, “Green Lawns, Green Lakes? Lawn Care and Water Quality”
Monthly Sponsor - Weed Man Lawn Care


First Weber Foundation The human side of real estate

Yahara Lakes 101 presenting sponsor


The Edgewater Logo - Yahara Lakes 101 hosting sponsor

Yahara Lakes 101 Hosting Sponsor


Yahara Lakes 101 Production Partner

Yahara Lakes 101 Production Partner


Yahara Lakes 101 Media Partner

Yahara Lakes 101 Media Partner