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 the laboratory as well as in natural systems Emphasis is places on lakes, ponds, and streams, but wetlands (bogs, marshes, swamps) are also touched upon. The course assesses human impacts on aquatic species and ecosystems, presents procedures for the stewardship of aquatic habitats with an emphasis on stream quality assessment, 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 & Friday

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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
  • Au Sable or Manistee River (chemical and biological assessment)
  • Sunset Trail Swamp
  • Boardman River
  • Big Twin Lake
  • Manistee Lake
  • Bear Lake Bog
  • Jordan River fish hatchery



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