For the first time in two years, and really, since I have taken the helm, Trout Lake Station (TLS) is planning to be back to capacity with new research and an influx of students in 2022. It is exciting to rev up long-rested motors, oil up the oar wells, and to host a conference room full of budding limnologists and limno-enthusiasts on each Wednesday evening for our weekly seminars.
Our past year has been one of transition and looking toward future capacity building. Amber Mrnak stepped into the station coordinator position last summer and with her hire, we were able to make the position full time, providing effort and support for our science outreach and communication. Her natural resources and teaching backgrounds have already proven invaluable in her planning of our winter North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research (NTL-LTER) Schoolyard event and in the educational bridges she is building (imagine managing ~120 middle schoolers winter sampling lakes through the ice!).
We also have a new post-doctoral researcher at TLS, Ray Allen, who joined the community in October 2021. Ray’s background in developmental biology adds new directions for studies on how extreme spring conditions relate to the growth and reproduction of native fish populations. Ray also brings expertise in Science and Technology Studies and will be exploring how regional communities interact with and perceive our past and present work at TLS.
Capacity building and transitions will continue into 2022. We will be welcoming a new facility team member soon to fill the position left by John Vehrs’ retirement after 29 years at UW. This position will be much needed since this fall and winter will see the beginning of construction on our new heated winter workshop that will replace the existing garage facility.
While lots of action continues in the background at TLS, we are most excited to see research and initiatives, like those highlighted throughout this newsletter, resume in full!
Bring on the native cisco stocking, lake phenology extremes, parasitized crayfish assessments, wild rice seed counts, walleye recovery, creel surveys, and artistry!