The Water Institute's month of water lectures begins with a lecture by Professor John P. Smol, Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL) and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, Department of Biology, Queen's University.
Prof. Smol's lecture is entitled, "Exploring the past to protect our future: Using lake sediments to study water quality issues."
This lecture will be available via webcast.
One of the greatest challenges faced by ecologists, water quality managers, and other environmental scientists is using appropriate time scales. Due to the general lack of reliable long-term monitoring data, it is often difficult to determine the nature and timing of ecosystem changes. In lieu of direct monitoring data, paleolimnologists have developed a variety of approaches to track past changes in aquatic ecosystems using proxy data archived in lake and river sediments. This presentation summarizes a few recent examples that have studied the effects of human impacts on lake ecosystems. The problems of contaminant transport, using the Alberta oil sands region as one example, will be highlighted, as will be the challenges that lake managers must face when dealing with multiple stressors.
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