Free, online symposium on hot water topics: PFAS, climate change and COVID/water

In its fifth year, the Water @ UW-Madison Spring Symposium continues to highlight the most immediate and relevant water-related topics and opportunities for Wisconsin. This year’s free, online symposium is 9 a.m. – noon (CST) Friday, May 7 and is open to all.

“In the true spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, this annual event is about making connections both within the UW-Madison water community and beyond to tackle some of the state’s most difficult water-related challenges,” said Jennifer Hauxwell, associate director of the Aquatic Sciences Center, home of both the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute and the Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program and chair of the Water @ UW-Madison executive committee.

This year the agenda includes Gov. Tony Evers (offering pre-recorded remarks), Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Secretary Preston Cole of the Department of Natural Resources Preston to discuss state level water-related issues.

There will be another 23 speakers on four panels: Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts Working Groups Update, Spotlight on Arts and Culture, Statewide Coordination on PFAS and Exploring the Intersection Between COVID and Water.  

There are a complex and wide array of chemicals in the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl group, each requiring study of their fate, transport and effects. Image: Agency for Substance and Disease Registry, Division of Community Health Investigations, Department of Health and Human Services.

“Offering this event virtually has the benefit of sharing this informative line-up of science-based and timely water conversations to a much wider audience, and all are welcome to attend,” Hauxwell said. “State-level action plans on climate change and PFAS, as well as how state agencies and university researchers are tackling questions at the intersections of water and COVID-19 will be on the agenda. As we confront the major water issues of our time, the symposium shares findings and areas for future investigation and builds connections between the UW water community and those across the state addressing water-related challenges and opportunities.”

Live captioning will be provided for this event. If other accommodations are needed, contact Water@UW-Madison.

Water @ UW-Madison is an umbrella organizing amplifying the water expertise of 130 faculty and staff across more than 40 departments and programs. Its scholarship represents topics such as water quality, invasive species and water policy.

Freshwater research has a long and storied tradition at the UW-Madison. Since the late 1800s, Wisconsin researchers have been pioneers in disciplines like groundwater hydrology, water chemistry and limnology (the study of inland waters) on the shores of Madison’s lakes. More than a 100 years later, the campus continues to boast world-renowned freshwater scientists and serves as a hotbed for new ideas and innovative research in the physical and social sciences. Water @ UW-Madison keeps this tradition alive though the spring symposium, and other activities throughout the year.