Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Parkers Prairie Lake Coring


On February 16, 2008, eight brave and enthusiastic 8th grade earth science students from Parkers Prairie High School ventured onto the ice on Lake Adley (on the southern end of Parkers Prairie) to collect sediment cores. Students on the ice were: Lacey Carlson, Krsity Fyhrie, Amber Guenther, Tamara Schmidt, Eloise Warren, and Katherine Wippler. They were joined by their teacher, Marlene Schoeneck, Tom Smith (science teacher at Jefferson High School, Alexandria), and Emily Wolf (science teacher at Osakis High School). In addition, we were benefited by the skills and knowledge of local farmer and substitute teacher, Fred Liljegren. Fred worked on lake cores as part of his graduate program at the University of Minnesota. He was particularly looking at the influx of ragweed pollen as evidence of European settlers.

Our first attempts at getting cores proved fruitless. The math was checked again and again. What was the problem? Finally, someone (of course not one of the brainiac adults) realized that a section of drive rod was still sitting on the back of Fred's pick-up! :0 After that stunning realization, we were able to collect some great core samples!

Lake Adley is unique in that it was used as the outlet for city sewage for many years. Some students still refer to it as "Turd Lake" because of its infamous history! Adley was also known to have dried up back in the drought days of the "Dirty '30s". Lifetime resident, Donna Sigfrid, remembers her cousin landing his plane on the lake bottom back in those dry years! These environmental changes should make the search for differences in lake stratigraphy all the more interesting!

We are hoping to spend the last several weeks of school analyzing the core samples. Students will be coming up with research questions that they would like to pursue. With all of the data present in the lake cores, we expect it to be an ongoing investigation that students will be able to pursue well into the future.

Stay tuned for our investigation questions and data!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Slideshow of Lake Coring

Preparing the Core barrel and Piston at Goodners lake with St. Cloud State EAS 322 Students

Jeff West from St. Cloud made a slide show that outlines the simple steps we all went through when we collected our Lake Cores. He took the Pictures at Big Lake with Big Lake High School Students and Mr. Pelot, as well as Dr. Jones from North Hennepin Community College and one of her students.
Check it out!
Here is the Link: http://media1.stcloudstate.edu/slideshows/limnology/index.html

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Spirit Collects Lake Sediment Core at Crosby Lake

On January 17th a bus full of students from New Spirit School spent the afternoon retrieving two cores from Crosby Lake in St. Paul. It was not a particularly warm winter day (check out the details by going to http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KMNSAINT2). The average temperature was 14.2 degrees F (-9.9 degrees C).

Two Lake sediment cores were collected - then people were glad to get back to the bus - it was cold!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

About the ANDRILL ALCOVE: Background and Participants

ANDRILL ALCOVE is an outcome of the National Science Foundation-founded ANDRILL Project (http://www.andrill.org/ and www.andrill.org/iceberg). ANDRILL stands for ANtarctic Geological DRILLing. In ANDRILL geoscientists used a specially-designed drilling rig to collect over 1000 m of sediment core from the floor of McMurdo Sound beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Geoscientists will use the observations and information from the core to show how the East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets have behaved over the past 20 million years, and to help us understand how they are likely to respond to projected climate changes.

ALCOVE is a research project that uses the same key concepts as ANDRILL. We are collecting lake sediment cores by drilling through the ice (the frozen surface of the lakes), then using a simple coring device to collect a 1.5 meter sediment core from the floor of the lake (as the participants know, the length of the core varies - we encountered a few problems!) at each locality. Participating schools will be describing the core(s) they were involved in collecting. The students will use their descriptions and observations of the core to interpret the sedimentation history for the lake they are working on. Via this blog students and teachers will be able to learn about sedimentation in lakes that other schools are working on, as well as the problems being encountered and discoveries being made by other schools.

Schools and Teachers participating in this project (and the lake(s) they cored) are:
Friends School of Minnesota, St. Paul MN (Steve Moe): Crosby Lake
New Spirit Middle School, St. Paul, MN (Perdita Butler): Crosby Lake
Parker's Prairie High School, Parker's Prairie, MN (Marlene Shoeneck): Lake Adley
Osakis High School, Osakis, MN (Emily Wolf): Lake Adley
Jefferson High School, Alexandria, MN (Tom Smith): Lake Adley
Willmar Senior High School, Willmar, MN (Rob Palmer): Willmar Lake, Eagle Lake
New London-Spicer High School, New London, MN (Roxi Schmiesir): Willmar Lake, Eagle Lake

Benson High School, Benson, MN (Brian Edlund): Willmar Lake, Eagle Lake
Chetek Middle School, Chetek, WI (Mike Steiner): Lake Chetek, Bass Lake
Cromwell-Wright High School, Cromwell, MN (Lori Wester): Island Lake
Big Lake High School, Big Lake, MN (Adam Pelot): Big Lake
Coon Rapids Middle School, Coon Rapids, MN (Cheryl Sill, Kirk Enzenauer, lleila Youakim & Melissa Johnson): Crooked Lake
Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN (Kate Pound): Goodners Lake
North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park, MN (Megan Jones): Goodners Lake, Big Lake