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"Superior Science for You!"
A Monthly Speaker Series About Lake Superior

With frost in the forecast, it's time to cozy up with a good speaker. Minnesota Sea Grant is luring eight respected scientists away from their Lake Superior research for your education and enjoyment. Throughout the next nine months, you can learn the latest about Lake Superior's ecological dramas, deep-water mysteries, and curious details from these scientist-speakers.

The hour-long talks will be held monthly in Duluth, with duplicate presentations given alternately in Grand Marais and Grand Portage. Post-presentation receptions will allow conversations with the researchers.

If you can't travel to the talks, they can travel to you. The Duluth presentations will be broadcast via live streaming audio over the Internet from our Web site. Those in the desktop audience can e-mail questions to the researchers during the question period following each talk.

Videos of the Duluth presentations will also be archived on our Web site. Watch the Seiche for related articles, and for a book and CD to be published late next year.

The Superior Science For You! Speaker Series was made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-Waters and Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program through the Coastal Zone Management Act, which is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Project partners include the University of Minnesota's Natural Resources Research Institute and Large Lakes Observatory, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Great Lakes Aquarium and Discovery Center, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, North House Folk School, St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin and Michigan Sea Grant Programs, and Northland College.


Superior Science for You!

Speaker Series Schedule

It's a Fish-Eat-Fish World

Presented by Professor James Kitchell, Department of Zoology and Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

More than 70 species of fish swim in Lake Superior. Who eats whom and what does it mean? Join renowned fish biologist, Dr. Kitchell, as he examines predator-prey relationships and their role in the structure of Lake Superior's food web.

October 9, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

October 10, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Portage, Grand Portage Lodge

Romancing the Sea Lamprey

Presented by Assistant Professor Weiming Li, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

Forget wine and candlelight. If you want to attract a female sea lamprey, you've got to use the right cologne -- in this case, a sex pheromone. Dr. Li will describe his groundbreaking research, which yielded a purified vial of this super-powered sexual attractant from a ton of water and is expected to lead to novel management options for controlling this damaging invasive species in the Great Lakes.

November 13, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

November 14, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Marais, North House Folk School

Lake Superior's "Canaries" – Detecting Ecological Change

Presented by Professor Gerald Niemi, Department of Biology and the Center for Water and the Environment, Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), University of Minnesota Duluth

Just as coal miners used canaries to monitor air quality in the mines, biologists look to Lake Superior's birds, fish, and bugs to alert us to environmental stresses. Enjoy colorful slides and listen to Dr. Niemi, seasoned researcher and director of NRRI's Center for Water and the Environment, talk about a multi-million-dollar endeavor to identify species and chemicals that can be used to assess the condition of Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

January 15, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

January 16, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Portage, Grand Portage Lodge

Three Quadrillion Gallons, Give or Take a Foot

Presented by Dr. Cynthia Sellinger, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)

Everybody knows Lake Superior has a lot of water, but does it have enough? Dr. Sellinger, GLERL scientist and assistant to the director, will address issues related to the rise and fall of the Great Lakes and Lake Superior, including how and why levels change, and what those changes mean to lake ecology, fish, and people.

February 12, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

February 13, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Marais, North House Folk School

Wetlands—They're Not Just for Mosquitoes Anymore

Presented by Dr. Janet Keough, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mid-Continent Ecology Division

Although they are small in proportion to the open lake, the coastal wetlands of Lake Superior generate significant biological activity. The EPA is examining the mechanics and ecology of these often over-looked habitats of Lake Superior. Join Dr. Keough as she explains how wetlands contribute to life in the lake and their relationship with Lake Superior's seiches.

March 12, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

March 13, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Portage, Grand Portage Lodge

Coffee Beans, Laundry Soap, and Fish Sexuality: What Comes Around Goes Around

Presented by Professor Deborah Swackhamer, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

The things we eat, drink, and wash with can mess up a fish's sex life. As they work through our lives and down our drains, some common chemical compounds can scramble the hormonal signals that rule fish development and reproduction. Dr. Swackhamer, an expert on these endocrine disrupters, will discuss her research on these chemicals and their impact on fish in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.

April 9, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

April 10, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Marais, North House Folk School

Something's Going On Down There! Exploring the Lake Superior Food Web

Presented by Professor Martin Auer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Explore the foundations of underwater life with Dr. Marty Auer, a limnologist and engineer with over 30 years experience on the Great Lakes. Dr. Auer will describe some of the mysterious phenomena observed in the lower food web of Lake Superior, relating these findings to the stewardship of this precious resource.

May 14, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

May 15, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Portage, Grand Portage Lodge

Lake Superior: The Big Picture

Presented by Professor Carl Richards, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program

It's hugely beautiful and coldly treacherous; it's a fisheries and water quality manager's nightmare; it's Lake Superior. Dr. Richards will discuss how intriguing interactions among space, time, chemicals, and species influence our understanding of Lake Superior. From the moments it takes a biochemical reaction to occur inside a diatom, to the eons it takes to sculpt the rock formations of the North Shore, enjoy the grand finale!

June 11th, 7 pm-8 pm, Duluth, EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Gitchee Gumee Conference Facility, 6201 Congdon Blvd.

June 12th, 7 pm-8 pm, Grand Marais, North House Folk School

To request disability access, please contact Marie Zhuikov with Minnesota Sea Grant, 2305 E 5th St., Duluth, MN 55812, (218) 726-7677.

Site Addresses:
US EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth Minnesota

North House Folk School, Highway 61 at the foot of the Gunflint Trail, Grand Marais Minnesota

Grand Portage Lodge, Off of Highway 61, Grand Portage Minnesota


By Sharon Moen
September 2002

Return to September 2002 Seiche



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