Every summer, staff from Public Health Madison & Dane County take on the task of monitoring area beaches. Samples are collected and brought back to the lab for testing. Staff test for bacteria and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). It’s these test results that decide if a beach is open or closed for swimming. Closures are updated online and signs posted at the beach to warn people to stay out of the water when bacteria or cyanobacteria levels are high. This presentation will highlight the importance of recreational water quality monitoring and take you through a day at the beach from sample collection to sample results.
Jennifer Lavender Braun serves at the lead microbiologist for Public Health Madison & Dane County. In this role, Jennifer oversees microbiology testing for drinking water, swim and whirl pools, and Dane County beaches. Prior to her current position, Jennifer worked at the US EPA National Exposure Research Lab in Cincinnati, OH and the City of Racine Health Department Lab. At the US EPA, Jennifer worked on the National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational Water. This study helped inform the 2012 updated recreational water quality standards that factored in the use of newer rapid methods. During her time in Racine, Jennifer worked on method development for one of these rapid method, qPCR, which is now the standard test method for beaches in that area. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics, and a Master of Science in Applied Molecular Biology, both from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
This event will be held at The Edgewater – grand ballroom level 5 (1001 Wisconsin Pl, Madison, WI 53703). Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The program runs from 8 – 9 a.m. A Q/A session will follow the presentation as time allows. Complimentary event parking will be available at The Edgewater parking ramp. Parking spots fill up quickly and may be limited depending on hotel capacity.
A Zoom link will be sent to all registrants via the Eventbrite confirmation email.
Clean Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and UW-Extension Lakes, with presenting sponsor First Weber Foundation, hosting sponsor The Edgewater, supporting sponsors National Guardian Life Insurance Company and Alliant Energy, and media sponsor WKOW.