Redefining the Classroom


The ARL is located within a hydroelectric facility on the St. Marys River, the connecting channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  This location provides immediate and easy access to the flora and fauna of the St. Marys River.  Many unique ecosystems, such as freshwater coastal marshes, exist within the river.  In addition, the lab is located within a one hour drive of Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan, which collectively represent nearly 20% of the world’s fresh surface water.  Additionally, over 2000 miles of streams and rivers and over 500 inland lakes (>5 acres), many of which are located within state and national forests, are within a short drive of the ARL.  Access to this multitude of ecosystems makes the ARL an ideal facility to conduct freshwater research within the upper Great Lakes region.  The location also provides a natural water source for experimental facilities (e.g., flow-through mesocosms) that provides a more controlled environment that mimics natural conditions.  The ARL also is extremely accessible to the public, and serves as a strong environmental and educational resource for the community. 

In its current configuration, the ARL occupies approximately 3500 ft2 on two floors of the ESE hydroelectric plant.  The ARL incorporates fish culture and rearing facilities on the first floor. The second floor houses a water chemistry lab, an aquatic microcosm lab, and a general purpose room with microscope and computing facilities.  Equipment available for use by researchers and students using the ARL includes motor boats, field sampling gear, analytical equipment, and general laboratory equipment (see below).  Plans to relocate and renovate the current facility are underway.  The new ARL facility will include additional laboratory space for student and visiting researchers, office space, and a conference/classroom to accomodate summer course offerings.


Motor Boats

•   18' Alaskan Lund with 115 hp 4 stroke motor
•   16’ V-bottom with 40 hp outboard motor
•   18’ flat-bottom boat with 40 hp outboard motor
•   15’8” Sea Nymph with 25 hp motor


Field Gear

•   Fisheries survey gear (fyke nets, gill nets, set lines, seines, backpack electrofishing units)
•   Invertebrate samplers (plankton tows, Schindler sampler, Hess sampler, Surber sampler, dip nets, kick nets )
•   Sediment samplers (Ekman dredge, ponar sampler)
•   Water samplers (Hydrolab multi-probe meters with datalogging, YSI, pH, DO, and light meters, Kemmerer samplers, Van Dorn samplers)
•   Underwater video camera

Laboratory Equipment

•   Lipid extractor
•   Bomb calorimeter
•   Freeze drier
•   Drying oven
•   Tissue grinder
•   Turner fluorometer
•   UV-Vis spectrophotometer
•   Microplate reader
•   Nikon dissecting microscopes & camera with image analysis software
•   GCMS with purge and trap*
•   HPLC*
•   ICPMS 7500a*
•   Perkin-Elmer AA 300 analyst with graphite furnace*
•   Dionex IC DX-500*
•   Elemental analyzer*
•   ABI Prism 310 genetic analyzer
•   GeneAmp 2400 thermocycler*
•   Leica Ultracut ultramicrotome
•   environmental chambers
•   Ultra Epure system
•   Nikon E600 fluorescent microscope

*Instruments are located at LSSU's Environmental Chemistry Lab a few miles away from the ARL