Erik Olson


Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies

Environment & Resources

Office: 312 Birge Hall

Phone: (608) 265-6208



430 Lincoln Drive

University of Wisconsin

Madison, WI 53706 - 1381






  Educational Background:  




BS Biology, UW-Stevens Point, 2003

    Current Projects:  

Erik is currently working on determining the environmental attributes that influence the distribution and abundance of Eurasian watermilfoil, Myriophyllum spicatum, in Wisconsinís third largest lake, the Chippewa Flowage.  Eurasian watermilfoil is an aquatic invasive species that grows quickly in spring creating dense mats at the waters surface that negatively impact: navigation, recreation, native macrophytes, and fish and wildlife.  Utilizing a large dataset collected during the summers of 2004-2007 while working for the Lac Courte Orielles Ojibwe Community College, Erik is correlating both Eurasian watermilfoil abundance and distribution to different environmental factors such as: species richness, water depth, water clarity, native macrophyte abundance, trophic status index, and proximity to; developed shoreline, high-use areas, campgrounds, resorts, boat landings, and large Eurasian watermilfoil infestations.  This research will provide further information to support aquatic plant management within the Chippewa Flowage and add to the existing knowledge base of Eurasian watermilfoil ecology.  Erik is also interested in utilizing the data to analyze different macrophyte survey techniques.


A native to northern Wisconsin, Erik graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a major in biology.  While at UWSP he focused on the study of ecology; spending time abroad to study the ecology of Greenland, Costa Rica, and the desert southwest.  After graduating he worked for the Prairie Ecosystem Research Group on the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado doing plague-related black-tailed prairie dog research.  Later he worked for the USDA APHIS National Wildlife Research Center based out of Fort Collins, Colorado.  This work brought him to Oregon to study the effects of the drug Nicarbazine on Canada goose egg viability in order to determine its potential use in Canada goose population control.  Following a stint as a dockhand in the Alaskan panhandle Erik took a Natural Resource Specialist position with the Lac Coutre Oreilles Ojibwe Community College doing research, education, and outreach.  The research involved determining the distributions of aquatic plants within local lakes and streams, and investigating small mammal distributions and coarse woody debris in different forest stand types within the Chequamegon National Forest for correlation with the frequency of American marten occurrence.



Last updated: January 27, 2010

Feedback, questions or accessibility issues:

Botany Home


UW Home