Module 29

Queen's University
Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology

Course Title :
Limnology of Stressed and Recovering Aquatic Ecosystems
Instructor(s) : Dr. Shelley Arnott, email:  arnotts@queensu.ca, phone: 613-533-6384
Date(s) : Sunday, August 21 to Saturday, September 3, 2011
Location :

Killarney Wilderness Park (approximately 80 km from Sudbury), Hwy 637. Transportation from Sudbury will be provided, if needed.  You will need to find your own transportation to Killarney Park or Sudbury.

Cost : $700.00 ($250 deposit to home university, $450 balance).  This cost includes room and board, and supplies. Local transportation is provided.
Prerequisites : University course in general biology. Additional course(s) in ecology and biostatistics are an asset.
Enrollment :

12 students (8 spots for OUPFB, 4 spots for Queen’s University)

Description :

General limnology of crystal-clear lakes in the beautiful LaCloche Mountains of Killarney Wilderness Park.  The lakes in the Killarney area were historically damaged by acid precipitation, resulting in low pH, increased water clarity, and impoverished biotic communities.  In response to sulphur emission reductions, many of the lakes are beginning to recover.  We will survey and compare a variety of lakes within Killarney Wilderness Park with different physical and chemical characteristics and at different stages of recovery.  Emphasis will be on examining factors (physical, chemical, and biological) that determine the abundance and distribution of organisms within and among lakes. 

Various limnological techniques will be used to assess the recovery status of Killarney lakes.  They will include sampling methods such as temperature, oxygen, pH, conductivity vertical profiles, integrated and discrete phytoplankton and zooplankton sampling, and littoral macro-invertebrate sampling.  Students will conduct independent field experiments designed to determine the influence of various disturbances on aquatic biodiversity.

Students will be required to canoe, hike, and carry limnological equipment to the lakes.  A moderate level of physical fitness and a positive attitude are essential.  Previous canoeing experience is NOT necessary.  Students will receive basic instruction in paddling techniques and boating safety at the beginning of the course.
Evaluation : 1)  Seminar: 30 minute public seminar, based on scientific literature 20%
2) Webpage (graphs and observations) highlighting physical, chemical, and biological differences among survey lakes 20%
3) Written report (10-15 pages) based on data obtained individual projects (due~ 4 weeks after end of field course) 40%
4) Participation: 20%Participation in field and lab activities (individual): 10%