Sue Swanson's profile photo.

Sue Swanson

State Geologist and Director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

Division of Extension, Natural Resources Institute | Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

Susan Swanson, Ph.D., is the Director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) and State Geologist. She leads the staff at the WGNHS and connects with communities and partners across the state to advance the understanding and use of geological information. Swanson holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in hydrogeology and a M.S. in water resources management, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before becoming the WGNHS Director, she was a professor of geology at Beloit College for over 20 years. Earlier in her career, Swanson worked as an environmental consultant and served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho. Swanson’s research and publications examine groundwater-surface water interactions, preferential groundwater flow through sedimentary bedrock aquifers, and the hydrogeology of springs.


Springs and flowing wells in Wisconsin

Springs are places where groundwater naturally emerges from underground. Understanding springs is important because they create habitat for wildlife and contribute water to streams, lakes, and wetlands. Flowing wells are also important because they provide water for homes and fish hatcheries. This talk will provide an overview of how springs and flowing wells form and where they are most likely to occur in Wisconsin.

An overview of the geology of Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s geological history includes volcanoes, oceans, and glaciers. This talk will explore Wisconsin’s geologic past, from billions of years ago to the Ice Age and beyond. It will explain Wisconsin’s modern landscapes and highlight the current work of WGNHS scientists.