News Story

Summer Field Courses in Iowa

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06 April, 2017

Sylvia Lee

Four courses related to algae are being offered at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Classes are directed at advanced undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and professionals. A course for high school students offers the opportunity to earn college credit.

ECOLOGY AND SYSTEMATICS OF DIATOMS

15 May – 09 June 2017
Instructors: Mark Edlund, Sylvia Lee

This course, now in its 55th year, will introduce students to field and laboratory study of freshwater diatoms. We will visit diverse aquatic habitats of the Upper Midwest to collect live and fossil diatoms, representing most freshwater diatom genera. Students will learn techniques in collection, preparation, and identification of diatoms. Lectures will cover diatom taxonomy, systematics, stream, lake and wetland ecology, applied sciences and biogeography. Students will assemble individual voucher collections as a means for practicing diatom research and species verification. As a final project, students will complete a taxonomic treatment of a species that will be ready to submit for peer-review to the Diatoms of the United States web project. This is an intensive, field-oriented class appropriate for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-graduate workers in ecology and diatom taxonomy. Students are encouraged to bring individual research materials, and there will be opportunities to discuss research approaches and practical problems of using diatoms in ecological and paleoecological applications.

Class size is limited to 10. Two scholarships, the CW Reimer Scholarship and the EF Stoermer Scholarship, will be awarded based on scholastic merit. The JC Kingston Fellowship supports a teaching assistant for the class.

ECOLOGY AND SYSTEMATICS OF ALGAE

12 June - 07 July 2017
Instructor: Kalina Manoylov

An ecological perspective is used to explore the diversity of photosynthetic microbes that form the energy base of freshwater ecosystems, including cyanobacteria, green algae, and diatoms. Students will learn techniques in collection, preparation, and identification of algae. Lectures will cover all algal groups’ taxonomy, systematics, and ecology. Environmental and economic concerns caused by algal growth will be examined. Field collections will be used to identify common genera of algae, study life histories, and examine environmental factors that affect growth and distribution. This is an intensive, field-oriented class appropriate for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-graduate workers in bioassessment, algal ecology, and taxonomy. Students are encouraged to bring individual research materials, and there will be opportunities to discuss research approaches using algae. Students should have a working knowledge of basic biology. Class size is limited to 10.

ECOLOGY OF ALGAL BLOOMS

10 July - 21 July 2017
Instructor: Mindy Morales

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing in frequency and intensity worldwide. Despite the ubiquity of blooms, only a handful of algal and Cyanobacteria species are considered “bloom-forming”. This course will investigate ecological mechanisms that trigger and maintain blooms in aquatic ecosystems, as well as the physiological advantages that allow some species to bloom while others do not, with emphasis on Cyanobacteria. This intensive course will combine discussion of primary literature, applied field sampling techniques, species level taxonomic identification and physiological characterization (stable isotope or toxin analyses) of local bloom-forming taxa.

COLLEGE PREP DIATOMS

24 July - 04 August 2017
Instructors: Sylvia Lee, Kerry Howard, Shelly Wu

This is a field-based, hands-on, introductory-level course on freshwater diatoms for advanced placement high school students. Course topics include: microscopy of live and prepared specimens, methods of diatom specimen collection & preparation, diatom morphology, ecology, and life cycles, diatoms & water quality, diatoms in forensics, introduction to peer-reviewed scientific literature, and introduction to multivariate statistics (ordination) using the R statistical program. Students will also conduct a group research project during the course and prepare personal collections of approximately 20 diatom genera. One-week and two-week options will be offered.

High school biology (AP Biology preferred) is a prerequisite for this course. Students must apply by submitting a transcript, a 1-2 page essay on their interests in the course, and a letter of recommendation from a science teacher. Class size is limited to 10. Accepted students will receive room and board and a tuition waiver. Registration will be $50. Applications will be accepted until May 19.

CONTACT INSTRUCTORS FOR MORE INFORMATION

Dr. Sylvia Lee
National Center for Environmental Assessment, U.S. EPA
sylvlee39@gmail.com

Dr. Mark Edlund
Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Croix Watershed Research Station
mbedlund@smm.org

Dr. Kalina Manoylov
Georgia College and State University
kalina.manoylov@gcsu.edu

Dr. Mindy Morales
University of Vermont
ana.morales@uvm.edu