Yahara Lakes 101


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 as part of our Lake Science Cafe. 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, supporting sponsor The Evjue Foundation, 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
Price: $10 at the door or free to Friends of Clean Lakes. Become a Friend today!

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. for meet-and-greet; enjoy your coffee, pastries, and fruit on the lakeview patio, weather permitting. The program begins at 8 a.m. and class is dismissed by 9 a.m.

Complimentary event parking will be available at The Edgewater underground parking ramp. Request a voucher when you check in.

Please register ahead


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Thurs., September 10 - Todd Stuntebeck

Todd Stuntebeck

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

About our speaker:

Todd is a Physical Scientist with the US Geological Survey at the Water Science Center in Middleton, WI, where he is a co-leader of the Water Quality Monitoring Team. After starting as a student in 1991, much of the first half of his career was spent on rural stream monitoring projects for the DNR Nonpoint Source Program and on hydrologic and riverine hydraulic analyses for FEMA Flood Insurance Studies.

Todd has continued stream monitoring efforts in the second half of his career with a variety of partners, and has also been engaged in “edge-of-field” monitoring projects designed to better understand overland and subsurface tile runoff at edges of agricultural fields. He is currently the USGS project chief for the Dane County, Discovery Farms, West Branch Milwaukee River, and Adaptive Management Projects. Todd holds a BS in Biology from UW-Whitewater (1990) and a MS in Water Resources Management from UW-Madison (1992).

About the talk:

What do local streams and urban stormwater tell us about threats to our lakes? Join us to explore what years of water quality monitoring are showing about the source of pollution and what can be done about it.

Good monitoring data are the backbone of good decision making when it comes to managing water resources. In Dane County – the Yahara lakes watershed in particular – we’re fortunate that there is a wealth of data that has been collected in the past and will continue to be collected in the future.

And yet, despite all of the monitoring data that are available, it can be difficult to interpret what the data tell us and what changes could/should be made to improve water quality. Todd’s talk will explore data from the streams and urban outfalls that contribute to the water quality of the Yahara Lakes, including edge-of-field monitoring data that help understand the most likely sources of undesirable sediment and nutrients, and finally describe some of the trends in water quality that we’ve observed at some of our long-term monitoring stations.

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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.

August 13, 2015 – Alison Mikulyuk, “Weird Wisconsin Weeds: Getting to Know the World of Underwater Plants”

July 9, 2015 – Dr. Eric Booth, “Climate, Cities, and Farms: Challenges for Improving Water Quality”

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