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Nanomaterials, freshwater sciences and the Great Lakes  

Photo courtesy of Seth Amland
The good news is that many nanoparticles, particularly those derived from natural materials, appear to be harmless to living organisms. Klaper's ultimate goal is to help ensure that when any type of nanomaterial finds its way into lakes and the environment, it doesn't have an impact on the ecosystem.

Nanomaterials are miniscule particles made of various chemicals that are incorporated into products like cosmetics, medicine and food. They’re also constantly shed into our environment, including our rivers and lakes. How do these nanomaterials affect organisms that live in Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes ecosystem?

It’s one of the many topics under the microscope at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences, which is the only such school of its kind in the United States. Rebecca Klaper is vice dean and a professor. On this episode of Curious Campus, Klaper discusses her research into nanomaterials and building safer chemicals to help protect plants, fish, algae and other organisms that call the Great Lakes home.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee produces the UWM Chancellor’s Report and Curious Campus, a show about science, discovery and culture.