Zoom a Scientist!

Dr. Danielle Garneau, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Plattsburgh SUNY, is one of the scientists who will be making a presentation in the virtual series. Photo courtesy of Plattsburgh SUNY.

Over the next few weeks, our friends at Lake Champlain Sea Grant are hosting "Zoom a Scientist," an interactive, virtual webinar series focused on watershed and aquatic science. The programs will feature scientists from the University of Vermont Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, SUNY Plattsburgh, the Lake Champlain Research Institute, and other organizations. Every Tuesday and Friday from noon until 1:00 p.m. scientists will lead viewers through the Lake Champlain watershed and share their research. While most of the content in the series has been developed for middle and high school students, folks of all ages are welcome! Click here to register.

Scroll down to see the line-up of presentations. Tune in to learn more about the Lake Champlain watershed from regional experts. If you’re looking for content specifically for kids, check out the links in our At-Home Creativity write-up.

Friday, April 10, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Photogrammetry 101 – Chris Sabick, the Director of Research and Archaeology at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, will present 3-D models of shipwrecks, based on field research, with examples from Lake Champlain and beyond. Learn how photography is used in surveying and mapping to measure distance between objects. Click here to register.

Tuesday, April 14, noon to 1:00 p.m.

What Do Fish Do in the Wintertime? – Winter in the North Country is cold and dark. Unlike humans, fish in northern lakes can't migrate to Florida and wait for spring. Instead they have to adapt to the conditions. Where do they go to find warm water? Does their metabolism dip as the temperatures dive? University of Vermont Master of Science Candidate Ben Block will share how fish handle the chill, the lack of light and little food during wintertime. Click here to register.

Friday, April 17, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: What's Already Happened and Where We're Headed – We often thing about climate change as a distant consequence of today’s actions but climate change is here and we are already experiencing the impacts. Climatologist Dr. Eric Leibensperger of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh will highlight changes that have already been observed and others that are projected to occur in the Champlain Valley. Click here to register

Tuesday, April 21, noon to 1:00 p.m.

A Fish's Story: Following Lake Trout Movement around Lake Champlain – Studying aquatic organisms can present challenges due to limits in direct observation. University of Vermont Master of Science Candidate Matt Futia will lead us through some technological advances that enable scientists to track individual fish to understand their movement across time. Learn what technologies are being employed and how they help us understand how Lake Champlain fish behave and use the resource. Click here to register.

Friday, April 24, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Microplastics in FreshwaterSystems – Numerous studies document the physical and toxicological effects of plastic in the environment. Microplastics—those tiny plastic fragments of less than 5 mm in length—are of particular concern because they have the potential to be ingested by a much wider range of organisms than large plastic debris, making them and the chemicals they carry bioavailable throughout the food chain. Dr. Danielle Garneau has analyzed Lake Champlain wastewater treatment effluent for microplastics and mapped microplastic distribution in the lake’s zooplankton. She’ll share findings from her research and some thoughts on what can be done to address the problem. Click here to register.

Tuesday, April 28, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Long-term Effects of Climate Change on Lakes and the Importance of Winter Sampling  This episode looks at some of the research summarizing the effects of climate change and extreme events on lakes. What are some of the effects of climate change and extreme events on lakes? What happens to lakes during winter and why do most scientists only sample lakes in the summer? University of Vermont Limnologist Dr. Jennifer Brentrup will discuss some long-term studies on lakes and why sampling lakes year-round, especially under-ice, is becoming increasingly important. Learn how dissolved oxygen levels are used to estimate lake metabolism under-ice and other neat research methods. Click here to register.

Friday, May 1, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Sensing What is in the Water: Next-generation Sensor Technologies for Water Quality Monitoring – Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Director Dr. Breck Bowden will review how researchers measure water quality, traditional sampling methods, and how new technologies are providing new insights. He’ll talk about the both the challenges and emerging opportunities that sensor technologies provide for water quality monitoring. Click here to regsiter.

Tuesday, May 5, noon to 1:00 p.m.

But How Do We Know? Sampling Fish to Understand What's Happening with Populations – ​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?​ University of Vermont Fisheries Biologist Dr. Ellen Marsden will help answer these and other questions about current fisheries research on Lake Champlain.​ Click here to register.

Friday, May 8, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Squeezing the Middle of Lake Champlain's Food Web  The recent surge in natural reproduction by lake trout is a success story, but can too much success be a bad thing? UVM Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory's Director, Dr. Jason Stockwell research explores 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. How might the potential for a quagga mussel invasion effect food web energy and shunt production to the bottom of the lake.. Click here to register.

Tuesday, May 12, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Mapping our Streams and Lakes With Drones​ – You have likely seen a drone fly by 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? Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, Director of the University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Laboratory​, will share how drones are being used to map invasive species, respond to floods, and track changes in streams in the Lake Champlain watershed. Click here to register.