Good Reads

The research assistants were each given copies of two books that will help them better understand the importance of the work they are doing. Blue Mind by Wallace J Nichols is subtitled “The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.” The notion might seem intuitive to us since our campus is on the lakeshore, but Nichols takes it beyond intuition by providing scientific data to support his claim. Garbology by Edward Humes explains the scale of the problem we face with garbage and how to best deal with it.

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Planning our Research

The research assistants got the chance to meet Ted Peters, executive director of Geneva Lake Environmental Agency. Ted will be collaborating on this project, sharing his knowledge and experience gathered through many years of studying Geneva Lake. Topics discussed at the meeting included which ten sites on the lake to sample, what type of research boat might best suit our needs, and a general discussion of the general conditions of the lake and its watershed.

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Top – Karolina Skerrett, Lily Meyer-Volinek, Ted Peters
Bottom – Baylee Hoff, Bryce Lalor

Video Adapter Testing

Another snowy day in the Midwest, and this song came to mind – Oh the weather outside it frightful. But fire is so delightful.

Those conditions made this a perfect day for testing the adapter that makes it possible to use a laptop to record video from the ROV.

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Setup and installation went smoothly, and a quick test video shows that everything works as expected.

The Adventure Continues

We began this research project with a pilot study in September 2015. The pilot study looked at three sites at the bottom of Geneva Lake in southeaster Wisconsin. This online map shows the location of the three sites explored during the pilot study. Clicking on the location pins brings up links to images of the debris found at each sites. A static image of the map is shown below.

ArcGIS Explorer Online

Our next step will be to examine ten sites at the bottom of Geneva Lake during the fall of 2015 to get a better sense of the extent and types of benthic aquatic debris that exist and the impact the debris is having on the bottom community of the lake.

In the near future four undergraduate research assistants from George Williams College of Aurora University will be selected and taught to operate the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will be used to examine the ten sites. Updates will be posted as the project progresses.