SAULT STE. Marie — Lake Superior State University Freshwater Research and Education Center offers unique opportunities for students.
Freshwater Research Center near downtown Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place for freshwater research. The result of over ten years of preparation, the center offers a teaching and research experience that no other school can offer.
LSSU opened its research center in December 2021 and now supports several different majors. Students can use the center to support classes and participate in groundbreaking research and community outreach programs in several areas.
The center began with the idea that no other school had such wide access to the Great Lakes.
“We’re the only place in the world that’s within an hour of the three Great Lakes, and that’s a huge resource,” said Executive Director Ashley Moerke.
Moerke said this is not only a unique opportunity for research, but also a unique opportunity for students to gain real-world research experiences not found in the classroom.
“What you learn is different from how you apply it,” says Moerke. “There are so many intangible aspects that you cannot get from reading books, hearing from lecturers, or even discussing.”
This resource is mostly specific to LSSU and enables many areas of research. Students can learn first-hand about invasive species, clean water restoration, water quality, and many other areas of research.
Research programs include simulations that allow the center to pump water directly from the lake and test it under different conditions to understand how lake and fish life respond to climatic conditions, oil spills and other conditions. Contains the environment.
“We are not Michigan State University or the state of Michigan,” Moerke said. “But we have resources they don’t have access to and have built facilities and equipment like no other.”
The center is also working to create and pioneer new technologies such as real-time water sensors, remotely operated water vehicles, and advanced sonar-based fish tagging systems.
It is also an opportunity to connect with and educate the community. The center provides tours of the facility and its exhibits to local schools and participates in events such as Soo Locks Engineers Day.
The center has student employees who support research as well as other educational opportunities. Her Halle Grulke, her senior at LSSU studying Elementary Education, works at the center because she can gain experience in her major as she hosts field trips.
The center also helps stock Rotary Park ponds for the annual Kids Fishing Day event, hosts high school camps for aquatic sciences, and hosts LSSU’s weekly Kids Camp. We support local Tamsui events such as holding
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Inside the facility, you’ll find a school board and exhibits that teach about invasive species, an interactive sandpit that shows how water currents cause erosion in the basin, a live camera feed of the St. Mary’s River, and two live animals for visitors to see There is a sturgeon. See it up close and touch it.
The center also hosts many off-campus LSSU classes for various degree majors, and also has space that can be rented out for local events.
Moerke hopes the center will be something that teaches communities how to better understand and treat the Great Lakes. She also hopes that this education will bring respect for the lake to those who live on or near it.
“It’s not just about training students. Our community didn’t have a place to go to learn about the Great Lakes or a way to become a better steward of this unique resource,” says Moerke. “Our mission is to partner with other organizations to protect freshwater resources. We are small and we know we can’t do it alone.”
Contact Brendan Wiesner: BWiesner@Sooeveningnews.com