The UWM School of Freshwater Sciences’ Great Lakes Research Facility is located in Milwaukee’s Harbor District right on the water. That’s part of what makes our School unique. The School of Freshwater Sciences offers the ideal location and resources to study water in all its complexities. Our faculty, scientists and students not only have direct access to the water but also to one of the best water-focused research facilities in the world. The original building was a ceramic tile factory, formerly operated by Allen Bradley. We relocated our Center for Great Lakes Studies from the UWM campus to this Milwaukee harbor location in 1973, and it now makes up 120,000 square feet of our current Great Lakes Research Facility. This includes our fish and aquaculture labs, marine operations, instrument shop, and docking space for the Research Vessel Neeksay. In 2014 , the State of Wisconsin funded a $53 million, 92,000 square foot research and teaching addition. This new, state-of-the-art facility features biosecure and quarantine labs for studying aquatic species; flexible learning commons where students can study or where the School can host external groups ; a pathogen testing facility; analytical chemistry labs exploring nutrients, inorganics, organics, radiology, and microbiology; and the Great Lakes Genomics Center—the first DNA sequencing lab in the United States dedicated to water and ecological issues. The Great Lakes Research Facility also houses several on-site collaborators including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Southern Lake Michigan Fisheries Group; Harbor District, Inc.; the Southeast Wisconsin Watershed Trust (SWWT Water); a research team from the United States Department of Agriculture; and staff from Wisconsin SeaGrant and the United States Geological Survey. In addition, we are the home port of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Research Vessel Lake Guardian.
When you visit the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences for Doors Open, you don’t just get a tour. We open up our labs and put our science on display. You get to interact with some of the top freshwater researchers and scientists in the country. Have a pressing water question? Our scientists and students will be more than happy to talk to you. Want to learn about how water science contributes to the health, wealth, and quality of life of our society? Give us a few minutes to bend your ear. And of course you’ll get to see some of the cool stuff we do, from our fish labs to our DNA sequencers to the Research Vessel Neeskay. At the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences, we like to say we’re “Zero feet to Lake Michigan.” Make sure you don’t fall in.