This award supports a planning effort by the Great Rivers Center aimed at the development of a biological field station on the St. Lawrence River at a site where some field research and education efforts are already in progress. The river has a mean discharge rate of 8,000 cubic meters of water per second. Its source, the Laurentian Great Lakes, contain 20% of the Earth's fresh surface water in a watershed that is home to 33 million people. Despite the ecological and economic importance of the river, there is no major field station on its US banks that can conduct year-round research. The planning effort supported through the award will include a meeting of directors of leading field stations in the region, to be conducted in conjunction with the annual conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research in spring 2007. A second workshop will be held in the fall of 2007, using a white paper on the state of limnological field stations in the laurentian great lakes and St. Lawrence River as a focal point for development of a detailed strategic plan for the Great Rivers Center Field Station. The Great Rivers Center has an explicit mandate of research and education in aquatic sciences, and is a focal point for creative multidisciplinary research, scholarly activity and community outreach involving the St. Lawrence River ecosystem. Given the proximity to Clarkson University (in addition to the collaborating universities: St. Lawrence, SUNY-Potsdam, SUNY-Canton), the proposed Great Rivers Center Field Station will provide a platform for teaching regular courses, and for participants in existing NSF K-12 and NSF-REU programs at Clarkson University. The proposed location of the field station near a state park (Coles Creek) is expected to facilitate a public outreach component.
FSML: Planning Grant for the Great Rivers Center Field Station