PRICE COUNTY - Students from the University of Wisconsin Madison are spending the summer using the Northwoods to work on a study and become better scientists.
"This is a great place to study because we have a lot of great research partners up her," Associate Professor of Atmosphere and Oceanic Sciences Ankur Desai said. "The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has always been very supportive of research."
Desai brought his class to Price County earlier this week. The class uses towers to measure greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane. It's a part of 20 year study on how the forest productivity changes. Productivity is the ability for the forest to absorb carbon dioxide.
"Atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing year after year with fossil fuel emissions and the question we ask is, well what percentage of that is staying in the atmosphere and what percentage is going into the landscape, because every year if you add more CO2 to the atmosphere the plants are going to take some of that up," said Desai.
In partnership with the US Forest Service, the class is also studying the effect of harvesting on the forest productivity.
"We're really interested to see how the forests have changed over the years," Desai said. "Surprisingly, in the last year of data that we just collected and we monitor this data 24/7, we are actually seeing a surprising change of productivity rate of this forest."
But just one year of data isn't enough to say what drove the drop in productivity. Factors like cold winters can also cause a drop. Regardless, information from the nearly 20 year study continues to be shared around the world.
"With colleagues around the University of Wisconsin system and internationally with universities and research centers, we combine our research with similar research centers around the world," said Desai.
If you would like to see the data from the study click on the link below.
THREE LAKES - One teenager decided to spend a day giving back to the Three Lakes community 18-year-old Maxwell Blanchard lives in L.A but always makes it back to Three Lakes during the summer.
Blanchard learned how to water ski and wakeboard in Three Lakes at five years old.
On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.
"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard.
Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."
Kylee Swendson decided to help Blanchard this year with the lessons.
"It's great for everybody to get a chance to learn especially people who don't get the opportunity every day," said Swendson.
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