Citizen Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP+): Sunfish Lake

Beginning in 2012, ARCC is partnered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in their Advanced Citizen Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP+).  At Sunfish Lake (also known as Grass Lake) in Ramsey, MN, students weekly record water transparency using a Secchi disc, take temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO) profiles, appearance, and recreational suitability.  They also collect water samples for chemical analysis monthly from May-September.  This data is submitted to MPCA.  In addition, we will also be collecting aquatic macroinvertebrates as part of our biomonitoring efforts to assess water quality and anthopogenic influences.  Students in several classes (including Principles of Biology II and General Ecology) participate in this long-term water quality monitoring project, and opportunities for independent research are also available during the summer.

Citizen Stream Monitoring Program (CSMP): Coon Creek

Beginning in 2012, ARCC is partnered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in their Citizen Stream Monitoring Program (CSMP).  At two sites along Coon Creek in Coon Rapids, MN, students record water transparency using a Secchi tube, appearance, recreational suitability, and stream stage.  This data is submitted to MPCA.  In addition, we are also collecting additonal data on water chemistry and aquatic macroinvertebrates to gain a better understanding of the health and anthropogenic stressors affecting the stream.  Students in several classes (including Principles of Biology II and General Ecology) participate in this long-term water quality monitoring project, and opportunities for independent research are also available during the summer.

Population Ecology of Turtles

In Principles of Biology II (BIOL 1107), students learned about population ecology and estimating population sizes by collecting data for the TurtlePop Project.  This is a nationwide project of the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), and ARCC is one of approximately 30 colleges and universities nationwide studying turtle populations and submitting data for compilation and analysis.  In order to evaluate whether urbanization affects the secondary sex ratio or population age distribution of turtles, students set traps to capture, measure, and mark turtles, and then reset the traps to repeat the sampling on a second (subsequent) day.  They use the mark-recapture method to estimate population size of turtles, and gain valuable field sampling experience with equipment, data collection, handling turtles, and estimating population size.  Turtles are sampled annually  by students in Principles of Biology II (BIOL 1107) and General Ecology (BIOL 2209) at different locations. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses of land use patterns surrounding the lakes will help answer questions about the effect of urbanization on sex ratio and population age structure.

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CCURI is supported through NSF #1524353 

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