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UW-Green Bay develops water science major to combat laborer shortage

UW-Green Bay’s Water Science major will tackle ongoing worker shortage in the water sector starting next fall. 

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To confront the ongoing shortage of workers in the water sector, UW-Green Bay announced the first undergraduate degree in Water Science. 

The major focuses on water’s role on the natural processes of Earth’s systems. The program will provide students with insight on the chemistry, surface water hydrology, groundwater and biology of freshwater systems. 

“The world faces significant challenges regarding water quality, quantity and ecological functions that are expected to worsen,” said UW-Green Bay professor of geoscience John Luczaj. “The global need for water science professionals to solve critical water issues is accelerating and expected to continue indefinitely.”

Instruction will be primarily focused in class, however it will feature online and in-field immersive opportunities. There will also be a space for students to pursue research internships and work as assistants on faculty projects, as well as running their own independent projects. 

The faculty in the program are active researchers on runoff pollution, groundwater quality, limnology and aquatic ecology. Course requirements will create an interdisciplinary approach by drawing from geoscience, chemistry, environmental science, public and environmental affairs, biology, physics and math. 

“It complements a proposed freshwater initiative — the nation’s first integrated, higher education, multi-institutional program centered on serving the freshwater economy — being developed by UW-Milwaukee and other UW institutions,” Luczaj said. 

The program has garnered support from executives at Green Bay Water Utility, NEW Water and the Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. 

The university hopes to open student enrollment to the major in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology by next fall. 

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