Galla Professor Jennifer Tank is the principle investigator for the land use and water quality program. The ND-ECI researchers on this project are investigating the "two-stage ditch" method for managing nutrient run-off, which will create a win-win situation for both farmers and fish. Assistant Professor Jason McLachlan is part of the Paleoecological Observatory Network (PALEON), an international collaboration developed by ND-ECI. PALEON research hopes to answer important questions, such as "How will forests across the country respond to coming changes in climate?" The Nature Conservancy's Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Director, Lindsay Chadderton, works in close relationship with ND-ECI to develop and implement the eDNA monitoring method to detect Asian carp in Lake Michigan. Associate Professor Jessica Hellmann uses the greater Chicago area as a "test bed" for developing climate forecasting tools. ND-ECI has a program devoted to climate adaptation that focuses on how humans might help reduce the consequences of climate change for entire ecological communities.
Dr. David Lodge speaks at the 2013 Shamrock Series Event in Dallas
University of Notre Dame professor David Lodge discusses invasive species on a special segment of CBS Sunday Morning
Dr. Jessica Hellmann on NBC's Changing Planet series discusses adaptation of butterflies.
The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) is tackling the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources. The goal of ND-ECI is to provide solutions that minimize the trade-offs between human welfare and environmental health where trade-offs are unavoidable, and to discover win-win solutions where they are possible.
"When Nature Bites Back: Solving the Budget-Busting Invasive Species Epidemic"
Dr. David Lodge speaks at the 2013 Shamrock Series Event in Dallas.
February 16, 2015 • Author: Joanne Fahey, University of Notre Dame • Categories: ND-LEEF
Although currently under a layer of snow, come spring the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF) will open a brand new outdoor classroom and research destination, the Morrison Family Education and Outreach Pavilion.
Science Serving Society
ND-LEEF is a research facility within the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, which supports innovative research programs that help solve complex environmental problems, including the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change and their synergistic impacts on freshwater. Based in South Bend’s St. Patrick’s County Park, ND-LEEF is a globally unique research site due to its two replicated watersheds that each contain linked streams, ponds, and wetlands. These watersheds provide a platform for cutting-edge environmental research in a setting that mimics nature, yet is highly controlled and replicable.
“ND-LEEF will be critical in solving the world’s major environmental challenges by bridging the gap that has traditionally existed between the lab and the field,” said Jennifer Tank, Galla Professor of Biological Sciences, Director of ND-LEEF, and Interim Director at ND-ECI. “From identifying invasive species through their environmental DNA to predicting nutrient retention from agricultural run-off in bodies of water, ND-LEEF truly is using science to serve society.”
The new Morrison Family Education and Outreach Pavilion at ND-LEEF will translate the research done in the fields and streams to anyone interested in the ecological research, including members of the public, researchers, and students, ranging from children to adult-learners. It will also help raise awareness among community members about issues related to environmental change and sustainability, especially given its central location within a popular county park, and will serve as a critical bridge between the classroom and the field for students of all ages.