Analyzing an ‘Erie’ algae similarity with Kenya’s Kisumu Bay

When spring comes around, freeing Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, from its annual deep freeze, environmental engineer Paul Block and his students study the season’s climate conditions to predict what summer has in store for the lake.

Max Beal, a civil and environmental engineering PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is part of that group—and he’s taken lessons learned in his hometown of Madison to a similar lake more than 7,800 miles away. Beal went to Kisumu Bay, on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria in Africa, under a National Science Foundation-funded advanced studies program. Beal was one of 11 students from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom participating in the program; they traveled to Kenya for three weeks in June 2022 and, along with 11 Kenyan students, developed research projects to study harmful algal blooms in U.S. Lake Erie and Kenya’s Lake Victoria.

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