University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM welcomes the public to the School of Freshwater Sciences’ new home

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee celebrates the opening of the expanded home of its School of Freshwater Sciences.

By - Sep 10th, 2014 12:45 pm

MILWAUKEE – The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) celebrates the opening of the expanded home of its School of Freshwater Sciences (SFS) on Milwaukee’s inner harbor Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13.

The event, which is a fund-raiser on Friday and a free, community open house on Saturday, features aquatic science demonstrations, entertainment and tours of the $53-million expansion of the SFS, the only graduate-level school of its kind in the nation.

Saturday’s activities will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 600 E. Greenfield Ave.

The facilities offer students, faculty and scientists state-of-the-art teaching and research equipment and bring together a rare combination of capabilities, from microbiology and robotics, to aquaculture (fish farming) and toxicology.

The new building features bio-secure and quarantine facilities for studying aquatic species; a pathogen-testing facility; and the Great Lakes Genomics Center, which is the first DNA sequencing lab in the country dedicated to freshwater issues.

The school’s expertise has played an important role in Milwaukee’s growing reputation as a world water hub, says David Garman, SFS dean.

To advance science with commercial applications, UWM’s researchers team with industry partners at the Water Technology Accelerator at the nearby Global Water Center. The school also partners with large companies such as Badger Meter and A.O. Smith, as well as with many small businesses, startups and nonprofits such as Growing Power, that have turned to the school for assistance, Garman says.

“What we’re building is a pipeline of exceptional talent,” he says. “The one thing we hear from industry about our graduates is, ‘When can we get more?’”

The school has also had a practical impact on the community, inspiring revitalization of local beaches and rivers, turning aquaculture into a profitable enterprise for urban areas, and helping transform Wisconsin’s lake sturgeon population into the nation’s healthiest.

Recently the school’s Center for Water Policy led a summit to recommend improvements to the Environmental Protection Agency’s grant-making process on Great Lakes restoration projects.

In addition to the high-tech environment inside the new SFS facility, the building’s expansion is also spawning a facelift to the industrial neighborhood surrounding SFS.

The City of Milwaukee is improving the infrastructure along Greenfield Avenue, encouraging private investment and jobs creation, says Rocky Marcoux, Department of City Development commissioner.

“We are already seeing significant interest on the part of developers and retailers who are evaluating new possibilities both nearby and in a wider radius from the school,” says Marcoux.

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