Lake Ecology and Management (Biol 302)

Great Lakes Campus - Summer Session II

Course Description

Field study of lakes and other freshwater systems with applications to planning and management. Includes an introduction to limnology and investigation of representative lakes, streams, and wetlands of the region and compares the North American Great Lakes with the other great lakes of the world and their stewardship. Prerequisite: one year of general biology and one year of general chemistry. Field, Applied.

Professor: Dr. John Korstad

Meets: Tuesday & Thursday

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Knowledge Gained

Students gain knowledge of lake ecosystems by piecing together the physical, chemical, and biological data they collect to understand how complex lake ecosystems work. They learn how to assess the data in interdisciplinary ways and then apply it in practical ways as student teams by taking the information collected about each lake and putting together an informative report for the local Lake Associations to help them serve, protect, and restore their lake.

Skills Developed

  • Field and lab methodology for identification and quantitative analysis of physical (temperature, light, currents, etc.), chemical (pH, alkalinity, hardness, conductivity, total dissolved solids, carbon dioxide, nitrate, phosphate, chloride, and other chemicals), and biological (plankton, fecal coliform bacteria, benthos, and fish) properties of water samples.
  • How to scientifically graph water sample data.
  • How to appropriately meet, interview, work with, and help lake homeowners understand and implement best practices for lake management.
  • Learn how to work as a class-team as well as a smaller team of 2-4 students in more detailed sampling of one lake and then writing a report on that lake that includes a thorough description (including graphs), analysis, and recommendations to the lake homeowners on how they can best manage their common ecosystem.

Field Experiences

  • Little Twin Lake
  • Pickerel Lake
  • Starvation Lake
  • Big Blue Lake
  • Papoose Lake
  • Squaw Lake
  • Rainbow Lake
  • Bear Lake
  • Manistee Lake
  • Bear Lake Bog
  • Boardman River


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