Freshwater Camp


Monday, June 13–Friday, June 17   |  FREE

Join us for a water-focused summer camp in collaboration with UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater. Experience important freshwater habitats by swimming in Lake Michigan, canoeing local rivers, and hiking in extraordinary bogs. Learn how to build skills by analyzing water chemistry, conducting a toxicity test, collecting aquatic invertebrate samples, and using microscopes. You will also have the opportunity to learn about a variety of careers and opportunities in the freshwater field from expert instructors.

The Freshwater Camp is at capacity; although, we encourage you to sign up on our waiting list in case current registrants have unexpected scheduling conflicts.





  • Arrivals at UW-Parkside Housing and Residence Life (8:30-9 AM)
  • Visit the Root River Environmental Education Center (REC)
  • Kayak and canoe paddle
  • Lunch
  • Learn the basics of water quality monitoring and water testing
  • Campus tour
  • Dinner
  • Bonfire and movie night


  • Breakfast (8-9 AM)
  • Pike river exploration
  • Electro fish sampling  |  Mike Pauers
  • Citizen biomonitoring index  |  Elizabeth Harrahy
  • Macroinvertebrate identification
  • Water chemistry  |  Lori Allen
  • Dinner
  • Bonfire and movie night


  • Breakfast (8-9 AM)
  • Sam Myers Park visit
  • North Beach Park to discuss the City of Racine's efforts to protect Lake Michigan and remediate these areas  |  Julie Kinzelman
  • Swimming at North Beach!
  • Lunch then return to UW-Parkisde to shower and pack
  • Arrival at UW-Whitewater, check into dorms and take a campus tour
  • Dinner




  • Breakfast
  • Visit lab, learn about aquatic toxicology and set up water flea text

  • Visit Whitewater Lake and study limnology and shoreland restoration

  • Lunch

  • Learn about stream ecology at Bluff Creek State natural area

  • Dinner


  • Breakfast (8-9 AM)
  • Visit Beulah Bog State natural area and learn about wetland ecology

  • Lunch

  • Finish up lab studies with a break down of aquatic toxicology test

  • Examine planton and invertebrates under microscopes

  • Return to UW-Parkside 
  • Dismissed between 5-6 PM

This free camp is sponsored by a grant from the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin.


Will housing be provided?
Yes, students will stay in dorms at UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater. There are two students per room.

Will food be provided?
Yes, meals and snacks will be provided for the duration of the camp.

Where is pick up and drop off?
Pick up and drop off will take place at the UW-Parkside campus.


Elisabeth Harrahy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she teaches courses in ecology, aquatic ecology, and environmental toxicology. She received her degrees from the University of Massachusetts, West Virginia University, and Colorado State University. She has worked in consulting, academics, and for state government, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Her research interests include the occurrence and effects of pesticides, blue-green algal toxins, and pharmaceuticals in aquatic ecosystems. She loves to participate in outreach to K-12 schools and taught the aquatic biology “major” for Grandchildren’s University at Whitewater for six years.  

My childhood experiences exploring the natural environments of southeastern Wisconsin inspired me to study biology. I spent the summers of my undergraduate years studying dragonflies in local wetlands before graduating with my B.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point with a double major in Biology and Wildlife Ecology and Management in 2005. My interest in insects motivated me to continue my education at Iowa State University. Insect and spider communities of remnant and restored tallgrass prairies were the focus of my M.Sc. research, which I completed in 2008. An opportunity to study internationally compelled me to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick in New Brunswick, Canada. In New Brunswick, I was able to investigate the aquatic insect communities of a pristine, unregulated river system, the Miramichi River. I completed my Ph.D. in 2014 and spent a short time as a post doctoral fellow with the Canadian Rivers Institute examining the insect communities of the other major river system in New Brunswick, the St. John River, before joining the faculty at UW-Parkside. I plan to continue my work on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates both at home in Wisconsin and abroad.

Laura Schulz earned her BS in Geosciences from UW-Parkside and her Masters in Soil Science from UW-Madison. She is the director of the Root River Environmental Education Community Center (REC) in Racine and a Lecturer in the Environmental Studies program at UW-Parkside. She is a member of the Root River Council and serves on the board for the Southeast Gateway Sierra Club. In her free time, Laura likes to swim, hike, kayak, read, and hang out with her pet rabbit, Lumpy.


Dr. Julie Kinzelman joined the UW-Parkside faculty in 2007. She has a B.S. in Medical Technology from UW-Parkside (minor: Biological Sciences), a Supervisory Management certificate and M.S. in Health Sciences (Clinical Laboratory Sciences) from UW-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Public Health/Environmental Microbiology from the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom. She is a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Surrey (Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences) and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (College of Health Sciences). She also currently holds positions on the editorial boards of the journals "MDPI Water" and "Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management" and the advisory boards of the UW-Parkside College of Natural & Health Sciences and UW-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences.

I am a vertebrate evolutionary and functional morphologist. I received my PhD in Organismal and Evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009. I conducted my postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago with Dr. Neil Shubin from 2009-2011. After one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at DePaul University in Chicago, I moved to my current tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences here at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

General Policies, Protocols, and Safety Guidelines

The safety of our students, participants, and guests is our top priority at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Our experienced staff has created strict guidelines to help protect both the staff and students that participate in each camp.

Scroll to top