09 Jul Change-up: Lakes and Invasive Species
So far, my favorite part of this internship has been the diversity of projects and people I’ve been able to work with. While I have my primary project on Lowney Creek, I also get to be involved with a variety of other park initiatives. Here are a few highlights:
Inland lake sampling
Every year, the Great lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network (GLKN) collects a variety of water-related samples at six of the parks of the Great Lakes Network: Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, Isle Royale, Pictured Rocks, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Voyageurs. Although the water quality of most inland lakes is relatively good at GLKN parks, conditions can change quickly and it is important to detect change as early as possible in order to take effective management actions. To assist in these efforts, I was able to spend a day out on Miners Lake here at Pictured Rocks collecting water samples and measuring important variables such as temperature, specific electrical conductivity, pH, and dissolved oxygen. I also learned how to portage a canoe!
Michigan Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz
For 8 years now, Michigan has had an Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in the summer. As part of this event, we put on a Landing Blitz here at our park. The Landing Blitz is a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species through recreational boating and related activities. Any organization in the state can apply to host one. I teamed up with an interpretation and education ranger to put ours on and it was a great success! We set up a table with lots of information, swag, and a sea lamprey model that got a lot of people’s attention. I really loved being able to interact more with park visitors through this event – we kept track of how many people we talked to and surpassed 400 in just 2 days!