Courses

Aquatic Biology (Biol 322)

Great Lakes Campus - Summer Session I

Course Description

Ecology, identification, systematics, culture, and care of aquatic plants and animals, and adaptations to freshwater environments. Aquatic life is studied in lakes, ponds, bogs, marshes, streams, and in the laboratory. The course assesses human impacts on aquatic species and ecosystems, presents procedures for the stewardship of aquatic habitats, and introduces aquatic restoration ecology. Prerequisite: one year of general biology or one semester each of general zoology and general botany. (4-credits) Field.

Professor: Dr. Dan Ippolito
Meets: Wednesday & Saturday

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Knowledge Gained

  • Community structure, lake stratification and the River Continuum Concept
  • Systematics and adaptations of aquatic organisms
  • Energy flow and nutrient cycling in aquatic systems
  • Human impact on aquatic systems with special emphasis on pollution and on the impact of invasive species
  • Aquatic restoration:
    • Erosion control
    • Dam removal
    • Stocking
    • Control of invasive species

Skills Developed

  • Caring for freshwater tank displays
  • Chemical, physical and biological stream assessment with emphasis on macroinvertebrate collection and identification
    • Computation of Water Quality Index Rating
    • Computation of Pollution Tolerance Index Rating
  • Fish identification using field keys
  • How to use a DO meter, Secchi disk, turbidity tube, Van Dorn sampler, Eckmann dredge and plankton nets
  • How to assess E. coli levels in aquatic systems

Field Experiences

  • Beaver Pond
    • Introduction to aquatic macrophytes
    • Introduce hydrarch succession
    • Specimen collection (invertebrates and aquatic herps)
  • Au Sable or Manistee River (chemical and biological assessment)
    • Macroinvertebrate sampling
    • Measurement of physical and chemical parameters (DO, E. coli, pH, B.O.D.5, inorganic phosphate, nitrate, turbidity and hardness)
  • Sunset Trail Swamp
    • Measurement of physical and chemical parameters
    • Specimen collection
  • Boardman River
    • Observe stream order and River Continuum from headwaters to Grand Traverse Bay
    • Observe dam and lamprey trap in Traverse City
    • Macroinvertebrate sampling
    • Measurement of physical and chemical parameters (DO, E. coli, pH, B.O.D.5, inorganic phosphate, nitrate, turbidity and hardness)
  • Big Twin Lake
    • Dissolved Oxygen/Temperature profile
    • Plankton sampling
    • Eckmann dredge sampling
    • Measurement of physical and chemical parameters, including use of Van Dorn sampler
  • Manistee Lake
    • Dissolved Oxygen/Temperature profile
    • Observe macrophyte beds, including invasive Eurasian Milfoil
  • Bear Lake Bog
    • pH measurements in open water and on bog mat
    • Observe unique plant life (orchids, carnivorous plants)
  • Jordan River fish hatchery
    • Tour of hatchery
    • Observe water treatment facility
    • Discuss stocking strategies
    • Discuss lamprey control