Ashley Moerke, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Co-Director of the Aquatic Research Laboratory
Department of Biological Sciences
Lake Superior State University
|A visit to Turkey Lakes Experimental Watershed, Canada|
BIOL286 - Principles of Watershed (Spring course)
Overview of the geomorphology, hydrology, and biota of aquatic ecosystems, with emphaiss on terrestrial-aquatic linkages, hydrographic methods, land use, and management principles.
BIOL345 - Limnology (Fall course)
An investigation of the principles of freshwater ecosystems with an emphasis on lakes and streams. The physics and chemistry of natural aquatic ecosystems are presented, as well as a survey of the dominant biota and their ecological interactions.
BIOL399 - Junior Research Seminar (Fall & Spring course)
Students meet in discipline-based, student-faculty groups in conjunction with BIOL199, 299, and 499. Weekly meetings will include discussions of scientific literature, how to prepare presentations and write proposals, and feedback on upperclass students' thesis projects. Juniors will develop and present a proposal for a scholarly project by the end of the course.
|LSSU students presenting their watershed restoration proposals at the local Environmental Summit|
BIOL400 - Special Topics: Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems
Students work closely with local watershed conservation groups to identify local watershed problems, design restoration projects, and assist with implementation of projects. Class discussions are focused on scientific literature relevant to aquatic ecosystem restoration, including ecological restoration concepts and theories, common restoration practices for different types of aquatic ecosystems, and management of a restoration project.
BIOL400 - Special Topics: Ecology and Management of Sub-Sahara Africa (Study Abroad) - to be offered in spring 2014
Students spend 22 days traveling throughout southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe) while learning about the culture, ecology, and management of parks and ecosystems. While driving in a 4x4 truck/bus and camping along the way, we visit Kruger National Park, Makhadikgadi Salt Pans, the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, and Victoria Falls National Park. Students are expected to develop and participate in a service learning project (e.g., collecting items for needy children) as well as a research project.
|LSSU student up close with an African elephant skull||Students experience the Okavango Delta the traditional way--by mekoro|
BIOL475 - Aquatic Entomology (Spring course)
Survey and identification of regional lake and stream insects, with additional emphasis on life-history strategies and community ecology. Insect ecology, physiology, behavior, importance as fish food, and utility as indicators of water quality is also presented. Classes generally are discussion-based and labs are focused on taxonomy and collecting methods. The final lab exam is the SFS Taxonomic Certification exam to family level; ~50% of the students have become certified taxonomists after the course.