UW Research Station Has Helped Pioneer Limnology Data-Sharing Network

Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network Includes 400 Scientists Worldwide

Trout Lake Station director Tim Kratz helped form the new global network of limnologists. Photo: Glen Moberg/WPR News.

Researchers at northern Wisconsin’s Trout Lake Station have taken the lead in forming a global network of 400 scientists who share data collected from lakes in 40 different countries.

In 2004, the station’s director Tim Kratz flew to Taiwan to meet two researchers interested in the work at Trout Lake. That initial meeting led to the creation of the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON).

The network’s goal is to help better understand and protecting the world’s fresh water resources. Its scientists work across cultures, sharing data on water temperature, dissolved oxygen, algae pigments, and weather.

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“Scientists, no matter the culture, are very interested in collaborating with their colleagues. We’re very interested in how climate change is affecting lakes all over the world,” Kratz said.

Tim Kratz says the new global network could help protect the world’s increasingly threatened fresh water resources.

“That’s the goal, to try to keep the lakes healthy, to try to understand what makes lakes tick,” he said.

GLEON continues a long history of pioneering work for the Trout Lake Station. Ninety years ago, researchers there pioneered the scientific study of lake ecology. Kratz said the studies continue, albeit with sophisticated new equipment.