Monday, September 14, 2009

Featured Research by Norine Dobiesz

Dobiesz, N.E. and Lester, N.P. 2009. Changes in mid-summer water temperature and clarity across the Great Lakes between 1968 and 2002. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35:371-384.

Norine Dobiesz and her colleague examined data from more than 15,000 sites across Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario and documented significant changes in water temperature and clarity between 1968 and 2002. Surface water temperature in August rose by 2.9°C in Lake Huron and 1.6°C in Lake Ontario, and water clarity increased in all three lakes by 2 to 3 meters. Norine identified three important contributors to these changes: 1) warmer climate, 2) reduced phosphorus loading, and 3) invasion by zebra and quagga mussels. These changes have the potential to alter lake mixing and may inhibit nutrient and oxygen exchange, modify photosynthesis rates that drive the lakes’ food webs, and change fish distribution and growth.

Norine received a dual Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior from Michigan State University in 2003. She is currently a Research Associate with the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth where her work focuses on identifying metrics of ecosystem health for global large lakes.