Wed, Aug 8 at 8am

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Learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes!

About the talk:

Since making his home in the Waubesa Wetlands in 1972, environmental scientist Dr. Cal DeWitt has worked with his UW research students to know and understand this grand wetland ecosystem for more than four decades. Along with his wetland neighbor and Aldo Leopold Professor Emerita of Restoration Ecology, Joy Zedler, Cal has recently brought these decades of study together to produce Joy’s book on Waubesa Wetlands, whose title is also that of Cal’s illustrated lecture for Clean Lakes Alliance.

Dr. DeWitt selected the Waubesa Wetlands as his family’s habitat, much as the Paleo-Indians did ten thousand years ago, because of its ecological richness that supports not only the immense variety of plants and animals and its vital ecosystem services, but also human cultures right through to the present.

By delving into the historical records readable from Waubesa’s great peat deposits, discovering its developmental history and sustaining services to the lakes and their life, and describing its vibrant life, Cal will open us to a new look at an old gem. Dr. DeWitt will then apply this knowledge to understanding and caring for our place in the string of lakes and wetlands we call the Yahara chain of lakes.

About our speaker

Calvin B. “Cal” DeWitt is professor emeritus in the Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has served on the graduate faculties of Environment and Resources, Water Resources Management, Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, and Limnology and Marine Science. His university assignment since 1972 has been “to address the fragmentation of the disciplines” through development of an integrative program of teaching, research, and public service directed toward ecological integrity and sustainability. His service at UW includes four decades of teaching the undergraduate course in Environmental Science and three decades of teaching the Institute’s graduate course in interdisciplinary wetlands research, Field Investigations in Wetland Ecology, taught each fall semester at his home in the Waubesa Wetlands.

In 2005, Cal received the National Wildlife Federation’s “Connie” as “a world-class conservationist.” He also was awarded the FUNEP 500 Environmental Achiever Award, Friends of the United Nations Environmental Programme; the Capitol Community Citizens Award for Land Use Planning in the Town of Dunn, the Town of Dunn Stewardship Award; Environmentalist of the Year Award, Madison Audubon Society; and the Distinguished Alumni Award, Calvin College. Googling “Earth Stewardship and Laudato Si” accesses a free copy of one of his most recent publications, in The Quarterly Review of Biology. He and his wife Ruth have lived on Waubesa Wetlands since 1972, where they have raised their three children.

Cal has taught and inspired hundreds of students at the University of Wisconsin and has led and contributed actively to conservation and environmental stewardship at the local, state, national and international levels. His conservation leadership includes protection of 300 acres of forest in metropolitan Detroit, the 1,000-acre Waubesa Wetlands Reserve in Wisconsin, and a nationally recognized land stewardship initiative in the Town of Dunn, Wisconsin.

About the series

Yahara Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences.

Yahara Lakes 101 is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with hosting sponsor The Edgewater, presenting sponsor First Weber Group, supporting sponsor The Evjue Foundation, and media sponsor The Isthmus.

Yahara 101 is held indoors at The Edgewater. Come at 7:30 a.m. for a meet-and-greet and to enjoy your coffee, pastries, and fruit, with time to eat and chat on the lakeview patio, weather-permitting. 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. Become a Friend today. If you are not a Friend yet, admission is $10 per event. Registration for each event is requested for all attendees. Special event parking will be available at The Edgewater.

The Edgewater

1001 Wisconsin Pl
Madison, WI 53703