2014 Maymester/Summer Course Schedule

Reelfoot Lake Environmental

Field Station

254 Second Avenue

Samburg, TN 38254

Ph:

(731) 881-7594

Em:

Dr. Tom Blanchard, Director


2014 Maymester/Summer Course Schedule

Application Form

 

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

(ZOOL 326 – 3 semester hours)

Meeting time: May 12- May 29 (Monday – Thursday, full day)
Instructor: Dr. Tom Blanchard (University of Tennessee at Martin)
e-mail: tblanch@utm.edu
Phone: (731) 881-7594

 

The Reelfoot Lake area provides a great variety of aquatic habitats that support a diverse assemblage of aquatic insects and other invertebrates. The lake itself is a relatively shallow, natural lake with abundant emergent and submerged vegetation. Surrounding the lake is extensive bottomland forest that is periodically flooded to varying degrees thus providing important ephemeral aquatic habitats. There are also several streams that feed the lake or the Obion River that contain invertebrate taxa more characteristic of flowing water habitats. This course is designed to be an introduction to the study of freshwater macroinvertebrates including structure, classification, ecology and identification. Each day will include a 1 – 2 hr. lecture, collecting in various habitats, and the identification of specimens in the laboratory. One over-night camping trip to Montgomery Bell State Park is planned for the second week of class. Prerequisites: introductory biology (BIOL 130-140) or instructor’s approval.

 

Geology of the Greater Reelfoot Lake Ecosystem

(GEOL 485 – 3 semester hours)

Meeting time: May 12 - 23 (Monday-Friday, 9 – 4 p.m.)
Instructor: Dr. Michael A. Gibson (University of Tennessee at Martin)
e-mail: mgibson@utm.edu
Phone: (731) 881-7435

 

Reelfoot Lake is unusual as lakes go because it formed due to earthquakes that re-routed the Mississippi River, and geologic processes still dictate its size, shape, location, and other physical characteristics. This unique lacustrine ecosystem is home to an incredible array of plants and animals. The basins and sediments in the lake, the surrounding floodplain of the Mississippi River, and nearby Chickasaw Bluff glacial and pre-glacial deposits define the parameters in which these organisms must adapt. This course is an examination of over 30 million years of geologic process and materials that formed and have subsequently shaped Reelfoot Lake, its surrounding drainage area, and living and fossil ecosystems. Topics include: Modern geologic processes and sediments of fluvial and lacustrine systems emphasizing Reelfoot Lake and Mississippi River, geologic history of the Upper Mississippi Embayment region, fossils and paleoecology of the region, and environmental issues such as earthquakes, flooding, mass wasting, and water contaminants. Field and laboratory emphasize techniques used in geologic investigations of these systems. Prerequisites: BIO 130 or instructor’s approval.

 

Freshwater Algae

(BOT 305 – 3 semester hours)

Meeting time: June 2-July 2 (Mon., Wed., alternate Frid., Full day)
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Greenwood (University of Tennessee at Martin)
e-mail: jgreenwood@utm.edu
Phone: (731) 881-7175

 

Why would anyone want to take a course in freshwater algae? Why doesn’t everyone want to take a course in freshwater algae? Learning about algae is like opening a door to a brand new microscopic world that is colorful, vibrant and teeming with life. You might hardly ever think about algae, but algae are beautiful organisms that play a critical role in freshwater ecosystems. This course will teach students how to sample algae from different aquatic ecosystems such as lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands, and also how to sample from different microhabitats such as plankton, sediment, rocks, Cypress knees, etc. Students will learn how to key algae and to recognize algal genera representatives from cyanobacteria, green algae, diatoms, euglenids, chrysophytes and any other group that we sample. Knowledge from this course would be useful for students who are planning a career in an environmental or aquatic field. There is also increasing demand by consulting firms and government agencies for people with experience in algal identification. This course will require field work involving physical activity. Prerequisites: introductory biology (BIOL 130-140) or instructor’s approval.

 

Field Ornithology

(ZOOL 323 – 3 semester hours)

Meeting time: June 3-July 3 (Tues., Thur., alternate Frid., Full day)
Instructor: Dr. H. Dawn Wilkins (University of Tennessee at Martin)
e-mail: hwilkins@utm.edu
Phone: (731) 881-7188

 

Field Ornithology is designed to teach students how to identify birds and to give students a better understanding of what it means to be a professional field ornithologist. We will investigate the numerous habitats around Reelfoot Lake as students learn to identify a wide range of species. In addition, students will use the scientific method and common field techniques in ornithology as they participate in research projects. Projects include observing differences in diversity between habitat types, censusing owls, erecting and monitoring nest boxes, observing interactions within heron rookeries, and mapping Osprey/Eagle nests. This course will require extensive field work in a variety of situations including hiking, wading, canoeing, and boating. Prerequisites: introductory biology (BIOL 130-140) or instructor’s approval.

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Reelfoot Lake Environmental

Field Station

254 Second Avenue

Samburg, TN 38254

Ph:

(731) 881-7594

Em:

Dr. Tom Blanchard, Director