Thursday, April 9, 2020

‘Zoom a Scientist’ – Learn Environmental Science from Home

The Lake Champlain Sea Grant team is hosting an interactive webinar series focused on watershed and aquatic science called “Zoom a Scientist.”

For one hour starting at noon every Tuesday and Friday, scientists give viewers a virtual tour of the Lake Champlain watershed and showcase their research. Scientists from the University of Vermont Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, SUNY Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain Research Institute, and other organizations present on content is geared towards middle school and high school students, but all ages are welcome.

See below for the schedule. If you are looking for content geared specifically towards kids, an At-Home-Creativity section is offered by the Lake Champlain Committee, and is stocked with information and resources to keep them entertained and informed.

More information on the webinars and other resources can be found at

  • Photogrammetry 101 with Chris Sabick the Director of Research and Archeology at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (Friday April 10 12-1pm): will present 3-D models of shipwrecks, based on field research, with examples from Lake Champlain and beyond! Register Online
  • What Do Fish Do in the Wintertime? with Ben Block – UVM Master of Science Candidate (Tuesday April 14, 12-1pm): Winter in Vermont is cold and dark. Unfortunately, unlike humans, fish in Vermont lakes can’t migrate to Florida and wait for spring. Rather, fish have to adapt to the conditions of lakes in winter: cold, dark, and not much food. Register Online
  • Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: What’s Already Happened and Where We’re Headed with Dr. Eric Leibensperger – Climatologist SUNY Plattsburgh (Friday, April 17, 12-1pm): Climate change is here. We often think about climate change as a distant consequence of today’s action, but we are already experiencing the impacts. This discussion will highlight changes that we have already observed and the changes that are projected to occur in the Champlain Valley. Register Online
  • A Fish’s Story: Following Lake Trout Movement around Lake Champlain with Matt Futia UVM PhD Candidate (Tuesday, April 21, 12-1pm): Studying aquatic organisms can have additional challenges from limited direct observation. However, recent advances in technology have allowed for tracking individual fish to understand their movement across time. These tracking techniques are being used to help understand behaviors and resource use fish in Lake Champlain. Register Online
  • Microplastics in Freshwater Systems with Dr. Danielle Garneau from SUNY Plattsburgh (Friday, April 24, 12-1pm): Microplastics pose a serious threat to ecological systems, Dr. Garneau will share findings from her research on microplastics in Lake Champlain. Register Online
  • Long-term Effects of Climate Change on Lakes and the Importance of Winter Sampling with Dr. Jennifer Brentrup – Limnologst at the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Labratory (Tuesday, April 28, 12-1pm): Some research summarizing the effects of climate change and extreme events on lakes and the importance of sampling lakes year-round. In a recent study, we sampled dissolved oxygen levels to estimate lake metabolism under-ice and compared the winter to summer and year-round estimates. Register Online 
  • Sensing What is in the Water: Next-generation Sensor Technologies for Water Quality Monitoring with Dr. Breck Bowden – Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Director, UVM Patrick Professor and Stream Ecologist (Friday, May 1, 12-1pm): Learn how researchers measure water quality, traditional sampling methods, and how new technologies are giving us new insights. Includes examples from the NEWRnet project focusing on land-use impacts on nitrate and dissolved organic carbon loading. Register Online 
  • But how do we Know? Sampling Fish to Understand What’s Happening with Populations​ with Dr. Ellen Marsden – UVM Fisheries Biologist (Tuesday May 5 12-1pm): Water is an alien habitat for humans; most information about fish is collected by remotely sampling (bringing fish to the surface to study). How do scientists use those samples of fish to understand whether fish populations are healthy? Are they increasing or decreasing in abundance? How do we interpret the data from a few fish to a whole lake? What new methods are being developed for observing fish?​ Register Online
  • Squeezing the Middle of Lake Champlain’s Food Web with Dr. Jason Stockwell – UVM Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory’s Director (Friday, May 8, 12-1pm): The recent surge in natural reproduction by lake trout is a success story, but can too much success be a bad thing? Our research is exploring the interaction of lake trout natural reproduction and lake trout stocking strategies to evaluate if too many lake trout mouths will be too much for prey fish populations, especially in light of the potential for a quagga mussel invasion which may shunt food web energy and production to the bottom of the lake. Register Online 
  • Mapping our Streams and Lakes With Drones​ with Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne​ –  the Director of the University of Vermont’s SAL-Spatial Analysis Laboratory​ (Tuesday, May 12, 12-1pm): Drones. You have undoubtedly seen a drone fly and maybe you even own one to take pictures or shoot video but did you know we can also use drone technology for mapping and monitoring our streams and lakes. Learn how the SAL use drones to map invasive species, respond to floods, and track changes in streams. Register Online

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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