Watch the segment here!
The Teachers as Scholars program hosted a two-part series with ND-LEEF faculty and staff in October 2013. The seminar focus was The Effects of Environmental Change on Freshwater and presented by Dr. Jennifer Tank and Brett Peters. WNIT's Outdoor Elements, with host Evie Kirkwood, featured this program in their latest episode.
The seminar focused on the major stressors affecting freshwater ecosystems today: invasive species, land-use change, and climate change, which we collectively call "environmental change." They used a combination of multi-media lectures, small group discussions, independent readings, and hands-on field experiences to learn about these important issues, how they impact freshwater ecosystems, and how scientists are studying the effects of these stressors.
The seminar began with an overview of aquatic ecosystems and the mechanisms (biological, physical and chemical) that regulate them. They introduced the components of environmental change, including their history, how they impact freshwaters, and what is being done to mitigate their effects. In addition to the lectures and discussions on campus, a portion of the course was held at the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF) at St. Patrick’s County Park. At ND-LEEF the group learned more about how science is conducted in aquatic ecosystems through the use of controlled and replicated experiments. Finally, the group collected data using ND-LEEF’s real-time sensor network to demonstrate the ecological principles covered previously during the classroom portion of the course.