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Friday, May 19, 2017

South Center Lake research station is deployed

Chris Ellis, St Anthony Falls Lab, works to bring the research station online after the anchors have been set in South Center Lake, MN
By Ann Wilkinson, University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

The harmful algal bloom (HAB) team from the University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls lab deployed our long-term HAB monitoring research station on South Center Lake, MN on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with help from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This monitoring effort, led by Miki Hondzo, is funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

The research station will be continuously monitoring lake and weather conditions from May through October 2017, from its anchored location on South Center Lake. The purpose of the research station is to understand environmental triggers for HAB in Minnesota lakes. To do that, we will be monitoring vertical and temporal variability of blue-green algae concentrations, as well as water chemistry and meteorological conditions at high frequency. The research station is uniquely equipped to collect full depth profiles of the lake (14m) every two hours and can run autonomously. The data collected from the research station can be accessed remotely so we can respond to bloom events in addition to long-term monitoring.

We will also be on the lake on a weekly basis to collect water samples for phytoplankton composition, nutrients and toxin quantification. This research will help us predict, where, when and why HAB form and produce toxins to help protect wildlife, recreation and drinking water in and around Minnesota lakes. A similar study using our research station was conducted on Madison Lake last summer.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Aqua Chautauqua – Coming soon to a watershed near you!

The Otter Tail River Watershed Aqua Chautauqua will be held in Fergus Falls on Saturday, August 12.

We are drawn to water: running water in our creeks and rivers, and still water in our lakes and wetlands. We are mesmerized by it and, in Minnesota, our water says a lot about who we are: recreationally, culturally, economically. We want to protect it; keep it clean and safe and available for future generations. Water is a shared community resource. The better we understand it, the better we can advocate for its wise use and protection.

Aqua Chautauqua is a family-oriented event that brings people together to learn and share about the water resources in our communities. Expert speakers and facilitators will present theater, art, hands-on demonstrations, and recreational activities all centered on our lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and what they mean to us.

Chautauqua (sha-taw-kwa) was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America."

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." – Baba Dioum

Monday, March 20, 2017

Registration for Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors program now open

Seven statewide training  sessions to be offered in 2017

Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a new volunteer network and science-based training program launched by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Understanding and predicting harmful algal blooms in Minnesota lakes

Thank you for visiting the Blue-green algae in Minnesota lakes webpage and for reading our blog. We are happy that you are here! The Blue-green Algae webpage is a hub for algae research and outreach.

Recent funding by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and the University of Minnesota has propelled a new round of research focused on understanding and predicting blue-green algae. By sharing information, insight, and lessons learned, we can assist Minnesota state agencies, scientists and all citizens to create a better picture of potential Harmful Algal Blooms in Minnesota.

Our goals for this webpage and blog are to:
  • Explore and learn about algae and freshwater HABs
  • Convey specific and helpful information among researchers, local and state agencies, and the public, so all can learn something new about algae and increase understanding of algae -- particularly freshwater HABs
  • Promote and inform the public of the current algae research by providing a space for our researchers to share about what they do, who they are, who do they work for, and how we all may benefit from their work
  • Make research findings more accessible and provide opportunities for researchers and citizens to get involved in algae research and outreach
  • Provide support and nurturing for our ongoing algae focused programs

What is coming next in our Blog?

Research Updates by HAB researchers. We will follow up with state and regional agencies and stakeholders and learn about their work with HAB and we'll share a lot of photos.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to contribute to this blog, leave a comment on this post or contact Shahram Missaghi, University of Minnesota Extension, at 952-221-1333 or

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