pontoon boat in Lake Mendota moored to pier

The North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (NTL-LTER) program conducts and facilitates long term ecological research on Wisconsin lakes. Housed on both the UW-Madison campus and at Trout Lake Station, NTL is part of the larger LTER network funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation since 1981. NTL is committed to promoting and valuing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all aspects of our research and activities. We invite you to explore our datasets and collaborate with us.

In the News

  • Hilary Dugan stands to the side of a huge mound of road salt with her arms outstretched to indicate how much salt is there.

    Salting the Seasons

    Dugan’s scientific journey began in the Arctic, where the rapid transition from winter to summer happens in June. “Nowhere is changing as fast as the Arctic when it comes to losing ice,” she says. In many places in this warming world, winter is the fastest warming season. Wisconsin has lost snowpack and almost a month of lake ice in the last century. Dugan wondered: what happens to ecosystems as they lose ice? “Maybe it’s not important, but we don’t actually know,” she says. “I’m generally fascinated by how humans are changing lakes,” says Dugan.

  • Walleye are struggling to adapt to rapid seasonal changes

    Walleye, a prized catch for freshwater sportfishing enthusiasts and a staple in Midwestern cuisine, also play a vital role in the cultural traditions of many Indigenous communities. However, according to a new study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, walleye populations are now facing challenges due to the increasing temperatures in the waters of the Midwest United States and Canada.

  • 50 years after the Clean Water Act, pollution persists in Madison lakes

    Lake Mendota and Lake Monona form a central part of Madison’s identity. They enhance the surrounding area’s appeal and draw people to the beauty, recreation and vibrancy they create, according to Between Two Lakes. But underneath their glistening surfaces, the lakes tell a murkier story.

  • Project shares knowledge of native rice with community

    Amid threats from humans, climate change, Manoomin Education and Outreach Project aims to educate on plant’s ecological, cultural significance

  • Mapping Methane Emissions From Rivers Around Globe Reveals Surprising Sources

    Freshwater ecosystems account for half of global emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Rivers and streams, especially, are thought to emit a substantial amount of that methane, but the rates and patterns of these emissions at global scales remain largely undocumented.

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