Freshwater Algae Identification Intensive Summer Workshop
A Summer Field Course
What this course is about
This course focuses on algal identification, with a strong emphasis on the ecology and diversity of algae in freshwater habitats, and introduces the use of algae to assess water quality.
We are located in Westchester County NY. The station has a spring-fed lake and is short distance from a diverse range of aquatic habitats. We have an excellent library of taxonomic keys, facilities for imaging specimens, as well as the boats and a wide array of field and laboratory gear for collecting and quantifying freshwater phytoplankton and periphyton. Housing on site will be available on a first-come first-served basis, and can be requested at the time of application.
What we will do
- Collect and study members of all freshwater algal groups, from cyanobacteria through greens, euglenophytes, dinoflagellates, chrysophytes, diatoms, red algae, and plant-like members.
- Gain familiarity proficiency using modern taxonomic keys.
- Learn the features that distinguish the freshwater algal phyla and genera, and gain familiarity with the diagnostic features that are used to identify members of the major groups.
- Create a database of high-resolution algal images and voucher specimens that can be used in future studies.
Activities and Projects
- A detailed habitat-based survey of benthic and planktonic algae at the meso-eutrophic lake located on the field station property;
- Comparison of algal floras and their ecological factors across a diversity of aquatic habitats in the local area, which encompasses numerous lakes, ponds, marshes, streams, and rivers;
- A detailed study of a specific group or genus of algae in each student’s area of specialization or interest.
- Algae Bio-Blitz: a 24-hour hunt and competition to find the most biodiversity!