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.
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.