Teaching Program

The Freshwater Lab is a multi-campus research and educational initiative that emphasizes humanities and social science approaches to addressing natural resource issues in the Great Lakes region.

The UIC Freshwater Lab Program

The Fresh Water Lab class as well as the Fresh Water Lab Summit were both amazing experiences.

–Sam Brandstrader, former FWL student

The UIC Freshwater Lab is a unique program among the various programs of Great Lakes universities.  Although many institutions of higher learning sponsor cutting-edge research on science and engineering, they do not address the social context of Great Lakes issues or train students to translate and implement solid science as innovative policy. The Freshwater Lab understands that communication, community partnerships, and political processes are vital to maintaining the long-term health, use, and conservation of invaluable fresh water resources.

The UIC Freshwater Lab is committed to a humanistic, social approach to water management and conservation.  It explores social and human issues related to water, energy, and natural resources in the Great Lakes region.  It is the first such research initiative rooted in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The interrelated goals of the UIC Freshwater Lab are:

  1. Connecting communities through shared water;
  2. Educating students to be leaders in the emerging “blue economy”; and
  3. Serving as a bridge to connect researchers, non-profit organizations, and the private and public sectors in the mutual interest of innovative water policy.  




(312) 996-6352


The Freshwater Lab

UIC Institute for the Humanities

701 S Morgan St

Chicago, IL 60607