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Investigating Lake Ecology

Sponsoring Organization: MSU Extension

Date: July 23, 2016

Start Time: 9 a.m.

End Time: 1 p.m.

Location : Independence Oaks County Park, Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston, MI 48304

Description of the Event: With more than 1,400, Oakland County has more inland lakes than any other county in Michigan. Each lake has unique ecological properties which people influence by their activities on the land and in the water. In this hands-on workshop, participants will investigate lakes, common aquatic vegetation and their role in keeping lakes healthy, aquatic invasive species that threaten lakes, the effects of seasonal changes on lakes, as well as the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water. The workshop will be led by experts from a variety of organizations:

Michigan State University - Dr. Lois Wolfson
Oakland County Parks - Tyler Mitchell and Kathleen Dougherty
MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program- Angela De Palma-Dow and Erick Elgin
Michigan State University Extension - Bindu Bhakta and Matt Mulford
Participants will have the opportunity to explore Independence Oaks County Park's Crooked Lake via pontoon boat. Activities will also take place inside the Wint Nature Center inside the Park.

Workshop Objectives:

Investigate components of ecology and seasonal changes that can impact a lake ecosystem
Explore water chemistry and other physical/biological tests to gauge lake health
Explore aquatic life in the lake's transition zone (area between land and water) that helps promote a healthy ecosystem
Collect and identify native aquatic plant species
Collect and identify aquatic invasive species, and how to prevent their spread
Pre-registration is required. Registration cost is $35/person on or before July 15, 2016. The cost is $45/person on or after July 16, 2016. Workshop registration fee includes park entry, light morning drinks and snacks, and educational resources.

Deadline to register is July 21, 2016. After this date, please call 248-858-1639 to see if space is still available. No walk-in registrations will be taken on the day of the program.

A $25/person cancellation fee will be assessed for those requesting a refund by July 21, 2016. No refunds will be given after July 21, 2016.

About the Instructors:

This workshop is sponsored by MSU Extension and Oakland County Parks. 

Dr. Lois Wolfson is a senior specialist with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University. She also represents MSU Extension for the North Central Region Water Network. Her work focuses on educational and outreach programming in aquatic ecology, invasive species, and watershed management and in utilizing computerized information systems as tools for understanding water related issues. Dr. Wolfson teaches an upper level undergraduate field and laboratory course which offers experiential learning for students interested in lake and stream processes and biotic interactions, and is also an instructor for MSU Extension's online Introduction to Lakes course. She received her masters of sciences degree in botany and doctoral degree in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University.

Angela De Palma-Dow, a California native, received her maters of sciences from Michigan State University in fisheries and wildlife. Angela has six years of experience working with aquatic plants in the Great Lakes region including three years in Isle Royale National Park. She currently serves as an Aquatic Plant Technician and Outreach Coordinator for the MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program's citizen's Aquatic Plant Watch as well as working for the MDNR Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detection and Rapid Response team. When she isn't out on a lake working, Angela teaches Zumba and hangs out with her two cats.

Erick Elgin is a new technician with the MiCorps Cooperative Lake Management Program's citizen's monitoring Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch. Erick is native to Minnesota where he studied natural resource management and worked with multiple habitat restoration companies and organizations. He recently received his masters of sciences degree in aquatic ecology at the University of Calgary where he researched prairie pothole lakes in Alberta, Canada. He has extensive experience working with aquatic invasive species and lake ecosystems and is excited to be sharing his passion for lakes here in Michigan. 

Kathleen Dougherty is an education resources specialist at Oakland County Parks. Working with partners on educational endeavors, Kathleen supports conservation education in the communities of Oakland County. At parks, Kathleen trains and supports citizen science volunteers and teaches natural resources programs for the public. 

Tyler Mitchell is a natural resources technician at Oakland County Parks. He also serves as the coordinator of the Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Monitoring Area.

Matt Mulford is a senior undergraduate student at Michigan State University in Environmental Studies and Sustainability with an emphasis in GIS. Matt's interests include water quality, lake ecology, wetland delineation, stream morphology and how the use of GIS can aide in the interpretation of how these environments can be managed in sustainable ways.

Bindu Bhakta is a natural resources educator for Michigan State University Extension. She develops/delivers natural resources programs such as inland lake management, landscaping for water quality, and septic system education. She also helps coordinate the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program which gives individuals the tools they need to conduct conservation-oriented volunteer service in Southeast Michigan and across the state.


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