Susan Bence

Environmental Reporter

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.

Susan is now WUWM's Environmental Reporter, the station's first. Her work has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Susan worked with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin for 20 years, studied foreign languages at UWM, and loves to travel.

» Twitter: @WUWMenviron

Twelve million private wells dot the U.S. landscape. Every year, about a million of them fail. The problems can catch owners by surprise and can be expensive.

Marian Singer and her partner, Nick Hayes, think their state-of-the-art sensor will prevent those pricey crises by alerting people when their well is at risk.

“Nick and I found out that unless you were drilling a well or repairing a well, no one knew what was happening with ground water,” Singer says.
 

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

The Legislature's joint finance committee voted in support of Gov. Walker's plan to eliminate 18.4 researchers within the Bureau of Science Services. The DNR says that amounts to 31.5 percent of the authorized positions within the team.

Todd Ambs is one of the people upset about the cuts.

He heads the Healing Our Waters -  Great Lakes Coalition and served as as Water Division Administrator at the Wisconsin DNR from 2003 to 2010,

City of Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability

Milwaukee wants to be known as a city that embraces sustainability.

For five years, as head of Milwaukee's Office of Environmental Sustainability, Matt Howard was the face of those efforts. 

D Schlabowske

Wisconsin was one of the first states in the country to adopt Complete Streets, a program that factors bicyclists and pedestrians into road projects. Under Gov. Walker’s budget, it would be eliminated.

 The Wisconsin Bike Fed, or WBF, says the move would take the state in the wrong direction.

Gene Cox

The idea to create a tiny house community for homeless people in Madison grew out of the “Occupy” movement.

Back in 2011 when people took to the streets of Madison to rally against economic inequality, Occupy Madison organizers protested, ate and camped together. And over its nearly 600 day odyssey, the makeshift tribe moved thirty times – from parking lot to slushy park.

In the end, people went home, except the homeless who had nowhere to go. A core group decided to attack the problem.

Like the rest of the globe, the Midwest is expected to warm, but thus far scientists cannot clearly predict if the region will become wetter or drier. Even more perplexing, is the fact that temperatures in the Midwest have not yet significantly increased.

The puzzle is the subject of a study led by Dartmouth College assistant professor of geography Jonathan Winter.

He started digging into the Midwest while working on his PhD.

S Bence

MeterHero rewards users for using less water and electricity. McGee Young came up with the idea with his students at Marquette University.

The story starts a few years ago, when McGee Young was teaching a course on innovation and sustainability. He and his students wanted to find a way to help people realize how much water they use.

S Bence

Friday marks day seven of the 15-day urban garden blitz in the Milwaukee area.

Several hundred volunteers are ferrying wooden planks and trucking mound upon mound of soil to build, and fill 4x8 raised garden beds. The effort is in its 7th season and is the brainchild of the Victory Garden Initiative, or VGI.

S Bence

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation awarded $350,000 to M-WERC, the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, to launch a 12-week, mentor-driven program.

WERCBench Labs is designed to support startups in the fields of energy, power and controls.

S Bence

For most of us, our knowledge of the philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau begins and ends with his meditation Walden. But that’s not true of local cardiologist Dr. James Mathew.

Growing up in India, Mathew remembers reading quotes in the local Sunday newspaper. “And I remember Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson being most often quoted American writers,” he says.

When Mathew moved to the United States, a friend lent him a copy of Walden. “I took advantage of that offer. That was 30 years ago, and I’m still reading Walden,” he says.

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