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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

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UMESC Experimental Pond Complex

  • The Center's experimental pond complex is a major asset. With 45 ponds varying in size from 1/100th to 1/2 acre, 13 raceways, and an environmental mesocosm, the complex enables considerable flexibility in the design and implementation of research. The larger, oval shaped, ponds have a clay base with vinyl lining. The smaller, square shaped, ponds are concrete. Well water is used to fill the ponds. Several are enclosed with fencing to accomodate research with waterfowl. The mesocosm unit allows researchers to precisely recreate desired environments. Light, temperature, and water chemistry can all be carefully controlled to meet the research specifications.
    Experimental pond complex
  • The following scenes illustrate how the ponds are being used. Here, teachers and students from a local middle school are using one of the ponds to conduct studies on the aging of fish. Last summer, researchers used several of the concrete ponds to examine the effects of various water levels on aquatic vegetation. The enclosed pens shown here proved to be well suited to research using loons. Investigators were studying the possible effects that mercury contamination might be having on waterfowl.

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Page Last Modified: November 3, 2015