This is a field intensive Biological Sciences course at the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University with significant time spent on research vessels (R/V Agassiz or NOAA R/V 5501) where students learn the use of a variety of state-of-the-art techniques to characterize biological communities and measure important physical and biological processes.
Instructors: Nancy A. Auer, Amy Marcarelli, Gary Fahnenstiel, Casey Huckins, (all Biological Sciences.) and Marty Auer (CEE) and Guy Meadows, Director of GLRC.
Explorations take students to several Lake Superior environments, weather permitting, including the Ontonagon River, Huron and Keweenaw Bays and several sites along the western shoreline of the Keweenaw Peninsula. This voyage of discovery targets ecosystem processes, seeking signals of their presence along boundaries in time and space, including day/night sampling and over gradients found at the interface between tributaries and the open lake, along the major axis of embayments and across the coastal margin.
Areas of coverage include: Collection of standard light, temperature, DO profiles, use of drogues/drifters to track current, Autonomous vehicle application, Sonar profiles, Primary production by microbes and algae, day and night comparisons of zooplankton, benthos and fish, and ROVs to observe these organisms, and standard PONAR and sediment collection.