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Get experience in the critical skills of aquatic ecology using professional water testing equipment, conducting stream discharge measurements, and discussing ecological climate change adaptations and watershed restoration. You will wade inland waters to investigate lake ecology and identify macro invertebrates. And develop leadership and teamwork while learning boat safety skills and laboratory safety procedures.

Get a taste of what it’s like to be an aquatic ecology field technician and learn water-resource management through Northland’s Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation.

Students’ field time can range from six to ten hours and could include lengthy exposure to sunlight, insects, and weather elements. Students can expect to walk up to two miles on uneven terrain and learn in a variety of environments. They will spend their evenings on campus in Northland’s residential dorms, with outings to local beaches and to the Forest Lodge Educational Campus in Cable, Wisconsin. Housing is dorm style with two students per room. Students may request a roommate if known at registration. We will try our best to accommodate your request. All students will help cook and clean throughout their stay.

Scholarships are available for this program, and are based on need and merit. Please contact Valerie Damstra, Burke Center Operations Manager, to inquire about scholarships at vdamstra@northland.edu or 715-682-1261.Applicants must complete a short scholarship form to be eligible.


The Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation focuses on scientific research, communication, and thought leadership on water issues in the Great Lakes region and beyond. The Burke Center specializes in translating science to the general public, government agencies, NGOs, agriculture, and the private sector, helping to edify water policy in a wide variety of geographies and subject areas. With facilities located in both the Great Lakes watershed (on campus), and the Mississippi River watershed (at Forest Lodge), the Burke Center is uniquely positioned to conduct science and outreach in two of the largest watersheds in North America.

  • Dates: July 20-24, 2020
  • Grades: Incoming 10 – 12 (incoming 9 grader? Contact us at 715-682-1261 or vdamstra@northland.edu.)
  • Location: Northland College campus and Forest Lodge in Cable, WI
  • Program: Water chemistry, stream measurement, ecology, technician skill training, campfires, boating
  • Meals: All food included. Please specify dietary needs at registration.
  • Drop off/Pick up: Monday at 12 pm/Friday at 12 pm at Northland College
  • Cost: $575 without credit // $850 1-credit (NRS 106)

Find everything you need to prepare in our summer handbook!

Register Today!

Scholarships are available for this program. Scholarship eligibility is based on need and merit. Please call 715-682-1261 or email vdamstra@northland.edu for more information and to receive the scholarship form.

Due to COVID-19 we have canceled this program.


Northland College
1411 Ellis Avenue
Ashland, WI


Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation

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