Burke Center in the News

Burke Center Associate Director—Inland Lakes Peter Levi steers a boat through a pristine, wilderness lake

Burke Center Welcomes Dr. Peter Levi as Associate Director

Levi to Lead Inland Lakes Research

The Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation is pleased to welcome Peter Levi, PhD, as its new associate director of inland lakes. Levi was an associate professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and brings nearly twenty years of research and teaching experience to the Burke Center. He started working remotely in March,…


Burke Center Report Proposes Steps to Protect Artesian Wells

A new report is recommending ways to protect an artesian aquifer in Bayfield County following a controversial proposal to bottle and sell water from an artesian well in a Lake Superior watershed that’s now being fought in court. Residents and tourists have long been drawn to the region’s artesian wells because they don’t require pumping.…

Sarah Johnson faculty Stockton

Sarah Johnson Pursues Plants on the Edge and Beyond

Burke Center Recognizes Key Collaborations

Dr. Sarah Johnson stood in Spur Lake with waders on, her hand searching below the surface as part of an effort to revive wild rice. She pulled up what looked like a long white monster the size of her arm. “It’s only a water lily rhizome,” she said, reassuring the shocked faces in front of…

Northland College Professor Alissa Hulstrand conducts genetic testing.

Hulstrand Collects Clues Through DNA Testing

Burke Center Research

On a sunny, summer Monday afternoon, Dr. Alissa Hulstrand, assistant professor of biology and affiliated faculty of the Burke Center, ate lunch at Maslowski Beach while keeping her eyes on the seagulls nearby. She was waiting for one of them to defecate so she could swoop in for the poop. One did but she realized…

Aerial photo of North Fish Creek in northern Wisconsin.

Burke Center Slows the Flow of Runoff

Fish Creek Project Aims To Keep Thousands Of Tons Of Sediment From Entering Chequamegon Bay

In 2018, flooding over Father’s Day weekend carved a hole through a major highway in far northwestern Wisconsin, disrupting travel for months and sending three times the amount of sediment that flows each year into one Lake Superior bay. Now, a project aims to slow the flow of runoff as the region faces more frequent, intense storms…

Aversion to Diversion

150 Attend Burke Center Groundwater Session

Aversion to Diversion: Groundwater, Bottled Water, and the Great Lakes Compact

More than one hundred and fifty people attended a groundwater-focused panel discussion, “Aversion to Diversion: Groundwater, Bottled Water, and the Great Lakes Compact,” at the Big Top Chautauqua on September 27, 2021. Organized by the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Director Peter Annin moderated a discussion with leading Wisconsin water experts Todd Ambs,…

Northland College student collects water sample.

Researchers Tracing Bacteria to Source

Burke Center and City of Ashland team up to solve the case.

Kreher Park Beach has been closed twice this year so far due to high E. coli levels, which leaves local residents and visitors wondering—are the Ashland beaches safe to swim in? What is causing this—seagulls, geese, aging sewer pipes?  Where is the bacteria coming from? The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) has awarded the Mary…

Northland student Andy Kasun takes a water sample.

Burke Researchers Assess 11 Inland Lakes

Penokee Lakes Project

In 2015, the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation initiated the Penokee Lakes project to provide an assessment of the quality of eleven inland lakes located in the Penokee Hills at the headwaters of the Bad River watershed. This largely undeveloped suite of lakes is located in and around a site that was proposed…

Northland College student Emma Holtan

The Chequamegon Bay Region Spoke and the IJC Listened

In September of 2019, the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation hosted a conference with the International Joint Commission (IJC). The purpose was to give local experts and the public an opportunity to share their water quality concerns for Lake Superior and the larger Great Lakes basin. The public hearing portion of the event…

Devil's Island Apostle Islands

IJC Releases Recommendations

Lake Superior Has Seen At Least 5 Blooms In The Last Decade

The United States and Canada should work together to eliminate blue-green algae blooms in Lake Superior, according to one of three recommendations outlined in a report released by the International Joint Commission (IJC) on Thursday. The commission is an independent bi-national organization that evaluates work by the U.S. and Canada to protect and restore the…