Student scientists converge in Dells at Upham for EPA water study

A recent, sunny and temperate summer day in Wisconsin Dells drew the usual contingent of young people to the outdoor campus of Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center and nearby Blackhawk Island.

Some of them could be found paddling together across one of the channels of the Wisconsin River next to Upham Woods’ primary campus to Blackhawk Island, where they hiked across the various well-worn trails and took in the natural surroundings the way most visitors to the unspoiled area north of downtown Wisconsin Dells tend to do.

They quietly and carefully trod the designated paths and walkways of the island, stopping to hear explanations of the surrounding ecosystems or to receive instructions about what to look for or what they should pay most attention to.

But as typical as they were for the average summertime visitor to Upham Woods, this particular group — all teenagers from across Wisconsin — happened to be on a mission.