Spring 2007

The Water Science and Engineering Laboratory sits tucked behind Helen C. White Hall, across from the Memorial Union Terrace, with a picturesque view of Lake Mendota. Photo: John Karl.

Know Your Water Lab

Water Science and Engineering Laboratory

University of Wisconsin–Madison


The Water Science and Engineering Laboratory (WSEL) is home to a host of staff and students with diverse affiliations. The largest research group is environmental chemistry, which examines water chemistry, water pollution, air pollution chemistry and environmental technology.

Despite the laboratory’s waterfront location on Lake Mendota, Director David Armstrong says that most work gets done at other field locations, some even outside the United States. WSEL scientists research the production of methylmercury in lakes and wetlands, sources of atmospheric particulate matter, and the use of photocatalysts in removing chemical contaminants from water and air. In fact, the research is so diverse that Armstrong thinks that “Environmental Research Laboratory“ would be a better descriptor.

WSEL also provides teaching and research home bases for Sea Grant Director Anders Andren and Assistant Director for Research and Outreach James Hurley, as well as facilities for maintaining Sea Grant’s research vessels. For more information, please visit www.engr.wisc.edu/centers/wse or contact Director David Armstrong at armstrong@engr.wisc.edu or (608) 262-0768.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents