Data-driven Approaches to Illuminate the Responses of Lakes to Multiple Stressors (2019-2020)

Freshwater resources have enormous value to society, but climate change and the growing human population present challenges for the sustainability of these ecological goods and services.

Research at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) has yielded seminal findings of the effects of key stressors on lakes, including acidification, nutrient loading, heavy metal contamination, food web alterations and oil spills. While the results of these studies are widely published in scientific journals and textbooks, the key findings are often not conveyed to nonspecialists in a meaningful way.

This project team worked with IISD-ELA to tell the stories of long-term monitoring and whole-ecosystem experiments in new ways for expanded audiences. Team members worked closely with the outreach, education and marketing staff and processed large amounts of data to create:

  • An interactive website that enables users to explore the water cycle, food webs and the effects of acidification, dam construction and fertilization on lakes. The website will be used by IISD-ELA as a tool for educational activities, allowing people to take a virtual visit to these lakes and immerse themselves in the history of long-term monitoring and iconic experiments.
  • podcast series, titled “Science Under the Surface”, where team members explore the topics of daily life at IISD-ELA, the value of long-term monitoring, environmental policy and scientific ethics.
  • A simulation model of Lake 239, a lake monitored since the late 1960s that has served as a sentinel for how boreal water bodies respond to climate change.

Timing

Summer 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Team website

Science Under the Surface

How Freshwater Systems React to Stressors (2020 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Reflection

Kim Bourne

This Team in the News

Five Things I Learned as a Leader on My Bass Connections Team

Bass Connections Teams Share Research Highlights in a Virtual Showcase

See related Data+ summer project, Data-driven Approaches to Illuminate the Responses of Lakes to Multiple Stressors (2019).

Lake Stressors team.

Team Leaders

  • Kateri Salk-Gundersen, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Jory Weintraub, Science & Society

/graduate Team Members

  • Kimberly Bourne, Civil & Environmental Engg-PHD
  • Sena McCrory, Master of Environmental Management, Ecotoxicology & Environmental Health
  • Yike Xu, Master of Environmental Management, Global Environmental Change

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Lingrong Jin, Statistical Science (BS), Biology (AB2)
  • Henry Mukherji
  • Nicholas Peoples, Environmental Sciences (BS)
  • Margaret Reed
  • Yunqi Shi, Environmental Engineering(BSE)
  • Vincent Wang

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Emily Bernhardt, Arts & Sciences-Biology
  • Wenhong Li, Nicholas School of the Environment-Earth and Ocean Sciences

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Pauline Gerrard, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Experimental Lakes Area
  • Scott Higgins, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Experimental Lakes Area
  • Michael Paterson, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Experimental Lakes Area
  • Angela Reeves, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Experimental Lakes Area