Concordia’s Aquaponics System - Meeting at Concordia
Feb 28, 2020
Mark Schmitz - Director CCES
Concordia’s Aquaponics System - Meeting at Concordia

As director of the CCES, Dr. Mark Schmitz plays an integral role in the programming of the center and will work closely with the new aquaponics system. In fact, it was Schmitz who advocated for the system’s installation.

Schmitz is well-equipped for the aquaponics addition. His master’s work focused on aquaculture, and his dissertation examined the ecology of walleye. Schmitz started experimenting with aquaponics in the late 1990s, when modern-day systems were still in the infancy stages of gaining popularity. Prior to his start at Concordia in 2017, Schmitz managed a private fish hatchery in Sheboygan County and then worked for seven years as an associate professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. During his time at UW-Sheboygan, Schmitz was instrumental in setting up a “green roof”—a vegetative system on the rooftop of one of the academic buildings—and he also started a now-defunct aquaponics system on the college campus there.

“We were doing various experiments with the aquaponics system in Sheboygan and were able to identify, for example, which varieties of basil perform better and under what conditions,” Schmitz says. “That’s what makes me excited about this aquaponics system we’ll have at Concordia. It offers the chance to do meaningful research that will help the industry and help growers.”