UMD STEM Students out on the Blue Heron

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UMD stands for University of Minnesota at Duluth. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These are STEM students from UMD going out on UMD’s research vessel Blue Heron this morning (Saturday, September 10, 2016). They are freshmen, just two weeks into their college career; a good time to go down and introduce yourself to Lake Superior. This is also UMD STEM students studying Limnology (see below). All this is coordinated by Rachel Breckenridge (4th from the left, above),  an instructor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at UMD. When not teaching Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, and Intro to Contemporary Mathematics, she created and runs their Math Prep for STEM Careers summer program.
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From Wikipedia: Limnology, (/lɪmˈnɒlədʒi/ lim-nol-ə-jee; from Greek λίμνη, limne, “lake” and λόγος, logos, “knowledge”), is the study of inland waters. It is often regarded as a division of ecology or environmental science. It covers the biological,chemical, physical, geological, and other attributes of all inland waters (running and standing waters, both fresh and saline, natural or man-made). This includes the study of lakes and ponds, rivers, springs, streams and wetlands.[1] A more recent sub-discipline of limnology, termed landscape limnology, studies, manages, and conserves these aquatic ecosystems using a landscape perspective.

Limnology is closely related to aquatic ecology and hydrobiology, which study aquatic organisms in particular regard to their hydrological environment. Although limnology is sometimes equated with freshwater science, this is erroneous since limnology also comprises the study of inland salt lakes.

Science Friday at the Duluth ship canal

2015-0605-1734The Blue Heron returned home this afternoon (June 5, 2015) after a six day research trip to recover and redeploy a set of scientific moorings deployed throughout Lake Superior.  Moorings collect data that are used to study lake water warming and  changing ice conditions on the lake and to study internal waves in Lake Superior.
The Blue Heron is owned by the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota at Duluth and is often on the lake working with water quality issues, fish populations and the geo physical structure of Lake Superior.
She is the largest university-owned research vessel in the Great Lakes. Built in 1985 for fishing on the Grand Banks, the Blue Heron was purchased by the University of Minnesota in 1997. She sailed from Portland, Maine, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Duluth, and was converted into a limnological research vessel during the winter of 1997-98. She is outfitted with state-of-the-art research equipment.
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The Blue Heron has berthing for 9 crew and scientists, and can operate 24 hours per day for up to 14 days in between port calls. She is part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), and is available for charter by research scientists on any of the Great Lakes. She served in the Grand Banks fishing fleet until the federal government bought the vessel through an incentive program to protect the depleted fishery.
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Blue Heron does important research

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The Blue Heron, a research vessel owned and operated by the Large Lakes Observatory at UMD, will be departing the port around 7 this morning on one of many research trips it takes into Lake Superior. This trip will concentrate on studying the biology of algae, a food source for many of the fish in the lake. Changes in the algae population is often an early indicator of problems that may later appear in the fish population. Two scientists from the U of M main campus will join a graduate student from UMD working on the science part of the trip. They will be joining the Blue Heron’s regular 5-member crew who will take them to two spots on the lake where they have previously done water sampling. This will allow them to compare current data with past trips, providing them with important trending patterns.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-15-2009

The Heron waits for the Callaway

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Monday afternoon, August 18th, 2008; the Cason J. Callaway had just departed Duluth while the research vessel Blue Heron was circling around to come in on the next lift of the Duluth Aerial Bridge.

Blue Heron home from school

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The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. came under the Lift Bridge on Tuesday afternoon around 5 pm, back from sea trials watched over by the Coast Guard. Right behind the 1,000-footer was the 119-foot Blue Heron, above, coming in after a successful day at school on the Lake. Owned and operated by the University of Minnesota Duluth, the research vessel is used by a wide variety of groups that study the Great Lakes. Today, the Blue Heron hosted a calculus class from UMD, specifically “Calculus for the Natural Sciences.” Today was the natural sciences part. Students took samples of sediment from the bottom of the lake and also did some biological sampling using plankton nets. The class was split into 2 groups; there were about 8 students in both a morning and an afternoon group. The boat carries a crew of 5.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-07-2008

Blue Heron goes out early, in the year, and in the day

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The early bird gets the worm, or today, the Blue Heron will be out on the lake getting rare water samples. Owned and operated by the Large Lakes Observatory at UMD, scientists aboard the Blue Heron collect water, sediment and nutrient samples all year long but rarely have an opportunity to do it in March. The Blue Heron is a small boat and there is usually too much ice in March. But not this year. Joined by scientists from the University of Minnesota, they should be departing under the Lift Bridge this morning around 7 am and returning around 6 pm tonight.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-22-2006

Blue Heron studies the Lake

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The Blue Heron, a research vessel owned by the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, will be going out into the Lake today to test new equipment that will allow them to map the contours of the rock formations below the water and mud of Lake Superior. On other trips, they also research issues relating to water quality and the fish population.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-09-2005