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UW-Stevens Point Appoints 6 Aquaculture Internships for the Summer of 2018

Due to a grant funded project and support from facility partners, UWSP accepted six interns stationed various aquaculture hatcheries and facilities.

UW-Stevens Point has collaborated with Ohio State University, Wisconsin Aquaculture Association, and Nelson and Pade, Inc. to offer Wisconsin’s first Aquaculture Boot Camp. This project is funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for training new and beginning aquaculture farmers in production and business in Wisconsin. The goal of this project is to outreach information and training using both a classroom and hands on training approach along with industry mentoring to improve the success of new and beginning aquaculture farmers. Part of this grant assists in funding six internships to promote workforce education which involves apprentice-type training opportunities for new farmers by pairing them with established farmers. This grant supports funding for half of each internship, the other half is supported by facilities, UWSP Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, UWSP Aquaponics Innovation Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service Iron River National Fish Hatchery, and Private Industry Partner, Superior Fresh, LLC.


Mike Engel holds up walleye.jpg


"I am currently a senior enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point pursuing a degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. I have already taken most of my courses towards my fisheries degree. I was also volunteering every week at the Wild Rose Fish Hatchery in Wild Rose, WI. Despite all the knowledge I have gained from these experiences, I would love to learn even more about fish culture, and also conduct applied research. It is my hope to become a Fish Biologist and be involved with helping fish populations and angler satisfaction. I have researched the facility and found that this type of experience is very intriguing and will be very useful for my future career.

This position interested me because I love working and being outdoors, and I have always had a passion for learning about nature. I have always shown a strong interest in fishes, especially with walleyes, and have a very strong interest in collecting fisheries data and analyzing it to get useful formation to make assessments on the health of a population. I've always been torn between working at a fish hatchery and working doing applied research on fisheries. This internship includes both of these aspects and will help me tie my education to real life practical experiences."



Logan samples walleyes.jpg

"I am currently a junior at UWSP, majoring in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. I have been if the UWSP American Fisheries Society for the last 2 years, and have done many projects with them in the past. My future career goals are in the field of aquaculture, and the opportunity to participate in this internship would be a fantastic stepping stone towards that goal.

In the past, I have held the positions of WATR 380 Teaching Assistant at Treehaven and an Aquatic Invasive Species technician with the Iowa DNR in Bellevue, Iowa. Through both of those positions, I gained experience relevant to aquaculture. As a teaching assistant, I developed my skills in verbal communication, fish, aquatic plant, and aquatic insect identification, and working as a team. While I worked as an Aquatic Invasive Species technician, I gained more than the ability to tell people to clean their boats, as I was given the opportunity to work several days at the Iowa DNR hatchery in Manchester, Iowa. Through that, I learned many of the day-to-day processes of the operation of a hatchery and many tips that can be used to keep fish healthy in a hatchery or aquaculture setting.

Through this internship, I am hoping to learn all sorts of valuable experiences in aquaculture with the hopes of getting a full time job when I graduate next year!"

-Logan Mueller, UWSP NADF Intern



Brianna Dunbar.jpgI'm currently a senior at UW-Stevens Point pursuing a major in Biology and minor in Water Resources.  I've always had a passion for aquatic biology, especially ichthyology, and this past summer I had the opportunity to gain experience in this field as an intern at Superior Fresh, the largest aquaponics facility in the world.  Superior Fresh is a zero-discharge facility and biosecure to the point that no antibiotics or vaccines are ever used, making it a leader in natural and sustainable food production. This facility is on the cutting edge of recirculating aquaculture and aquaponics technology, so I was able to assist with practices unique to Superior Fresh and participate in the first ever harvest of land-based Atlantic Salmon in the U.S. I worked in the fish house at Superior Fresh, where Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead are raised.  My task varied day to day, ranging from water chemistry and data analysis to assessing fish health by performing necropsies.  I also gained hands-on experience with mass balancing, monitoring important water quality factors, disease prevention, harvesting fish humanely, and many other aspects critical to maintaining an aquaponics facility.Through this internship, I've learned the importance of biosecurity, salmonid anatomy/life history, bioplanning, and the overall engineering complexity of this aquaponic system.  This was an amazing experience for me, and through this internship I discovered what I want to do for a career.  During this school year, I even have the opportunity to work and learn at Superior Fresh on the weekends until I graduate, at which time I hope continue to grow with the company and follow this new path in life.

-Brianna Dunbar, Superior Fresh, LLC. Intern  


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"In the upcoming fall, I will be entering my sophomore year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I am pursuing a degree in Biology and Fisheries and I plan to continue my education by attending graduate school once I've finished my schooling at UWSP. I've had the wonderful opportunity to work at the Iron River National Fish Hatchery in Iron River, WI for this summer. So far, I have been able to assist with vaccinating Brook Trout, analyzing the growth of both Lake Trout and Brook Trout, as well as helping with cleaning, feeding, and other everyday tasks throughout the hatchery to insure the health of the fish. Prior to this opportunity, I was able to work at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery for two summers. Both of these experiences have allowed me to gain hands on experience, as well as assist in my decisions towards my future goals and aspirations.

-Brynn Cade, USFWS Intern




UWSP AIC Intern 2018 Colton Branville.jpg


"My name is Colton Branville I am from Luck, WI. I grew up on a hobby farm with livestock and a large garden. Being raised this way gave me a background on animal care and basic horticulture. I grew up fishing and developed a great interest in raising fish. I had multiple aquariums set up and learned the basics of caring for fish. Following my interest of farming and raising fish led me here to the AIC. I am a Senior at UWSP with a major in Biology and certificate in Aquaponics. After graduation, I hope to find a job in aquaculture or aquaponics or continue to grad school. The Aquaponics Innovation Center has given me a great foundation in managing aquaponics systems and is sure to come in handy down the road."

-Colton Branville, UWSP AIC Intern





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"My name is Lauren Soergel and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where I am studying Biology with a minor in Conservation Biology. This summer, I got the unique opportunity to work as an intern in the Aquaponic Innovation Center. This position entails taking care of the fish and plants, but also collecting data on water chemistry, plant growth, fish growth, water use, and much more. My favorite part has been looking at aquatic invertebrates found in our system under the microscope and identifying them. We have found an invertebrate that is a biodiversity indicator, meaning our system runs like a healthy ecosystem. In this picture you can see me holding the four types of lettuce we grow in the AIC: Pac Choi, Romaine, Butterhead, and Kale. I have a passion for sustainable food production and aquaponics has opened my eyes to an entirely new perspective on producing fresh, organic vegetables and protein."

-Lauren Soergel, UWSP AIC Intern










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