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. 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 Foley & Lardner, LLP and presenting sponsor First Weber Group.

Date: Second Thursdays each month, except December
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Bluephies Café at Verex Plaza, Level B
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) on the lake patio of the Verex Plaza building, where the offices of the Clean Lakes Alliance are located. 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.


Parking available at these locations: Butler @ Mifflin Parking Ramp, Dayton @ Pinckney Parking Ramp, 214 N. Carroll St. Parking Ramp, James Madison Park Parking Lot, two-hour street parking on East Gorham and East Johnson Streets.

Parking prohibited at these locations: Verex Plaza surface lot (on East Gilman Street) or Verex Plaza underground parking (on Butler Street).  Also, there is no street parking on East Gilman Street on Thursdays between 8 a.m. and noon.

Upcoming Presentations


Thurs., March 12 – Dr. Ankur Desai, “Can lakes change the global climate?”

Thurs., April 9 – Dr. Dick Lathrop, “Restoring shallow lakes by reducing carp densities”

Thurs., May 14 - CLA staff, “What’s my neighbor doing? Yard care in the Yahara watershed”


Speaker Bios & Abstracts

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – Dr. Ankur Desai

“Can lakes change the global climate?”


Speaker Bio:

Ankur R Desai is Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Climatic Research, Nelson Institute and the UW Freshwater and Marine Sciences Program. Desai teaches and researchers on topics related to how climate variability and land use influences biological organisms and on the flip side, how terrestrial ecosystems and land surfaces modify weather and climate.


Inland waters cover only a small fraction of Earth’s surface. And though we are all aware of how lakes can modify local weather, it seems preposterous to claim they have any significant influence on the global climate system. Rather, we focus more on how climate change is changing lake ecosystems. However, a number of recent studies have suggested that indeed lakes and streams around the world have a greater influence on weather and climate than we think. I will discuss a couple of these studies and the work my lab and collaborators at the University of Wisconsin North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research site have done to test these hypotheses.

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Past Speakers: 

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

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 Group

Yahara Lakes 101 presenting sponsor


Foley and Lardner LLP logo

Yahara Lakes 101 hosting sponsor


Yahara Lakes 101 Production Partner

Yahara Lakes 101 Production Partner