Susan Knight

Commentator - Field Notes

Susan Knight works for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Limnology at Trout Lake Station and collaborates closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  She is involved in many aspects of aquatic plants, including aquatic plant identification workshops and research on aquatic invasive plants. She is especially fond of bladderworts.

Here is an old story and a new story.  Unfortunately, both involve the death of some of our favorite birds because of complications resulting from aquatic invasive species. 

Botanizing by Bike

Mar 16, 2021

As we move from winter toward spring, (a little sooner than I would have liked) I am getting excited to start biking around the Northwoods. I spend quite a bit of time road biking, which is not always compatible with one of my other favorite pastimes, looking for flowering plants. By early summer, my bike group and I will be logging 50 or more miles at a time, and there is plenty of Northwoods plant life to appreciate from a bike. We mostly ride on county and town roads out of town, so we aren’t likely to see the showy Forsythia, lilac or crab apples favored by homeowners.

Last summer, COVID-19 pushed more people outside and onto Northern Wisconsin’s lakes. For this month's Field Notes, Susan Knight tried to take the pulse of how residents felt about increased boat activity on our area lakes.

image by Arthur Meeks on

For this month's Field Notes, Susan Knight explores the ecology of Indian Pipe, spooky looking white plants that skip photosynthesis and steal sugar from their forest neighbors.

Image by Maxar Technologies on Google Maps

For this month’s Field Notes, Susan Knight of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station shares three stories about strange lakes from around the world.

Image by erik_karits on

For this month’s Field Notes, Susan Knight talks about the elegant , but short-lived mayflies common in our lakes and streams.

Image by carl bowser

In this month’s Field Notes, Susan Knight looks at the thin ice situation this year, and discusses why ice is so cool. MabelAmber

Botany of Thanksgiving Everyone has their own list of things to be grateful for at Thanksgiving. Along with your thoughts of turkey and football, take a minute to appreciate the plants, yes, the plants, that originated in the Americas, that add flavor, color and nutrition to your Thanksgiving table. T

Photo by Warren Lynn. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Susan Knight of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station is enjoying her summer by doing aquatic plant surveys, and she may be coming to your lake soon.

She tells us about it for this month's Field Notes.

LIFE Magazine

Years ago Dave Daniels from Rhinelander heard of a research project that really interested him, but he never heard what came out of the project so he sent a question to WXPR’s Curious North series asking us to look into it: What ever became of the Little Rock Lake Acid Rain research project conducted by water scientists at the Trout Lake research station near Boulder Junction?

Wisconsin DNR

For this month's Field Notes feature, Susan Knight discusses Wild Rice, and its amazing transformation from spring to fall.

Miksu / Wikimedia Commons

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Susan Knight discusses the importance of seedbanks - in the past and in the future - for the survival of our food crops in an uncertain future.

Sean Biehle

With Christmas on the horizon, many of us are thinking about gift giving.

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Susan Knight discusses the virtues of coal (just in case you get some in your stocking).

Susan Knight

In this month's episode of Field Notes, Susan Knight of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station describes an unusual growth pattern of an aquatic plant, reminiscent of mushroom fairy rings.

Lanyap / Flickr

In this month's episode of Field Notes, Susan Knight of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station talks about that annoying summer problem, “Swimmer’s Itch” and how we can avoid it.