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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Freshwater Ecosystems REVITALIZING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN LIMNOLOGY Committee on Inland Aquatic Ecosystems Water Science and Technology Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1996
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 CONSTITUTION AVE., NW WASHINGTON, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this project was provided by National Research Council internal funds, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cooperative agreement number CR 823885-01, National Science Foundation grant number DEB-9224974, and the Johnson Foundation, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Freshwater ecosystems: revitalizing educational programs in limnology / Committee on Inland Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Science and Technology Board, Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-05443-5 (cloth) 1. Limnology—Study and teaching (Higher)—United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Inland Aquatic Ecosystems. QH104.F72 1996 574.5'2632'071173—dc20 96-25348 Cover art by Edith Socolow, Gloucester, Massachusetts. This work, titled "Spring Thaw," is from her "Window Series." Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology COMMITTEE ON INLAND AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS PATRICK L. BREZONIK, Chair, University of Minnesota, St. Paul ELIZABETH REID BLOOD, J. W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Newton, Georgia W. THOMAS EDMONDSON, University of Washington, Seattle THOMAS M. FROST, University of Wisconsin, Center for Limnology, Trout Lake Station, Boulder Junction EVILLE GORHAM, University of Minnesota, St. Paul DOUGLAS R. KNAUER, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Monona DIANE M. MCKNIGHT, U.S. Geological Survey, Arvada, Colorado G. WAYNE MINSHALL, Idaho State University, Pocatello CHARLES R. O'MELIA, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland KENNETH W. POTTER, University of Wisconsin–Madison DEAN B. PREMO, White Water Associates, Amasa, Michigan DAVID W. SCHINDLER, University of Alberta, Edmonton ROBERT G. WETZEL, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa National Research Council Staff JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Study Director ANITA A. HALL, Senior Project Assistant GREGORY K. NYCE, Senior Project Assistant (through August 1995)
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD DAVID L. FREYBERG, Chair, Stanford University, Stanford, California BRUCE E. RITTMANN, Vice Chair, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois LINDA M. ABRIOLA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor PATRICK L. BREZONIK, Water Resources Research Center, St. Paul, Minnesota JOHN BRISCOE, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, The World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C. WILFORD R. GARDNER, University of California, Berkeley THOMAS M. HELLMAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, New York CAROL A. JOHNSTON, University of Minnesota, Duluth WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR., University of Colorado, Boulder JOHN W. MORRIS, J. W. Morris Ltd., Arlington, Virginia CAROLYN H. OLSEN, Brown and Caldwell, Pleasant Hill, California CHARLES R. O'MELIA, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland REBECCA T. PARKIN, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C. IGNACIO RODRIGUEZ-ITURBE, Texas A&M University, College Station FRANK W. SCHWARTZ, Ohio State University, Columbus HENRY J. VAUX, JR., University of California, Riverside Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director SHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff Officer CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Senior Staff Officer GARY D. KRAUSS, Staff Officer JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Associate ETAN GUMERMAN, Research Associate ANGELA F. BRUBAKER, Research Assistant ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant MARY BETH MORRIS, Senior Project Assistant ELLEN de GUZMAN, Project Assistant
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chair, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Canada WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, California JUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts S. GEORGE PHILANDER, Princeton University, New Jersey RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN K. SILBERGELD, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director GREGORY SYMMES, Report Officer JAMES E. MALLORY, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate SUSAN SHERWIN, Project Assistant
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Preface Limnology, an integrative science of inland aquatic ecosystems, has made immense strides over the past quarter century. Our understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting the properties and behavior of lake, flowing water, and wetland ecosystems has increased substantially. In addition, fundamental conceptual advances made by limnologists have contributed to similar advances made in other fields of natural science and to the solution of many practical problems related to human impacts on aquatic resources. The field of limnology has been broadened substantially in scope from a science with a traditional focus on relatively small water bodies (lakes) in temperate latitudes to one that includes the range of inland aquatic ecosystems—lakes of all sizes from the tropics to polar regions, reservoirs, rivers and streams, and a variety of wetland ecosystems. As a multidisciplinary science, limnology also has extended its breadth over the past several decades so that modern limnology in academic institutions involves faculty, courses, and students in a diversity of natural resource, engineering, geoscience, and more traditional bioscience departments. Growth of the field during this period has been reflected in an increasing number of professional societies and journals focused on its several areas of specialization. In spite of all the above indicators of a vigorous and growing science, limnologists, especially those in academic institutions, increasingly during the past decade have expressed serious concerns about the status of their field. At least three major areas of concern have been cited: inadequate base of funding for fundamental research across the subareas of limnology; inadequate educational programs; and poor linkage between academic programs and academic research in limnology on the one hand and the practice of limnology in the protection, management, and restoration of aquatic ecosystems on the other. Several recent studies and reports have addressed the first issue; the committee that wrote this report has focused its efforts on the latter two
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology concerns. In brief, the committee concluded that academic training in limnology at North American universities is highly fragmented, lacks visibility, and does not reflect the breadth and vigor of modern limnology. Moreover, existing programs tend to be focused on producing Ph.D.-level researchers with generally narrow interests, rather than professionals interested in applying their knowledge to the management of aquatic ecosystems and the solution of practical problems. This report provides the basis for that conclusion, evidence for the relevance and importance of broad limnological training, and a range of practical recommendations to revitalize education in limnology at both the bachelor's and the graduate degree levels. The current situation in limnology is analogous to the problems addressed by a predecessor Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) committee on hydrologic sciences and indeed is a subset of a broad problem in academic programs in aquatic sciences. Courses and areas of specialization within limnology in particular and aquatic science in general are found in many departments and colleges of research universities, but departments or interdepartmental academic programs that encompass the breadth of these subjects hardly exist in U.S. universities. This situation lends itself to a "tragedy of the commons" syndrome: limnology and aquatic science are interests in many disciplines and many departments but are not regarded as the primary responsibility of any. Academic fragmentation may be more pronounced in limnology than in most natural resource sciences; many inherently multidisciplinary natural resource fields, including oceanography, soil science, and forestry, have had departmental and/or collegiate status in some universities for decades. Why limnology has not done so perhaps reflects the unique historical development of the field. Nonetheless, the past need not be a prescription for an indefinite future. The committee hopes that limnologists in universities will consider this report's recommendations carefully and work toward their implementation in revitalizing academic limnology in the United States. Much of the work in writing this report was done by the committee members at their home institutions and by mail and phone interactions. However, the framework for the report, major recommendations, and initial drafts of Chapter 4 were developed at a week-long workshop held in October 1994 at Wingspread, a conference center of the Johnson Foundation in Racine, Wisconsin. The quiet, picturesque surroundings of the center and the warm hospitality of the Wingspread staff and of Jon Vondracek, then Vice President for Program and Public Communications at Wingspread, contributed greatly to the success and productivity of the workshop. The committee also thanks Art Brooks of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee for an informative tour of the Center for Great
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Lakes Studies and the Environmental Protection Agency research vessel, the Guardian, in Milwaukee harbor. In preparation for the workshop, during the summer of 1994, various members of the committee developed background papers on a variety of topics related to the committee's charge. The papers formed the basis for many useful discussions at the workshop, and modified versions of the papers are included in this book after the body of the report. I thank Wayne Minshall and Bob Wetzel for serving on the steering committee that developed the topics for these papers and helped to organize the format of the workshop. The committee also owes a special debt of gratitude to Diane McKnight, who served as rapporteur at the workshop and prepared an initial draft of Chapter 4. The committee completed its discussions on the report and developed a consensus on its recommendations at a second meeting in Washington, D.C., in May 1995. A workshop held in conjunction with this meeting provided the committee with valuable insights on educational needs in limnology from representatives of government agencies and private firms involved in management of aquatic ecosystems. I am deeply appreciative of the hard work and vital contributions of Jackie MacDonald, senior staff officer for this committee. Her organizational and editorial skills contributed immensely to the task of gathering information and pulling the many pieces of this report together. Anita Hall, administrative assistant, and Greg Nyce, senior project assistant, also contributed significantly to the completion of the committee's work. I would like to thank my secretary at the Water Resources Research Center, Maria Juergens, for help with the survey of universities and for assistance on many other matters. Several individuals associated with the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) were instrumental in the developmental stages of this project. Sheila David, senior staff officer at the WSTB, organized a planning meeting at which the project proposal was written, and Judy Meyer, professor at the University of Georgia and then a member of the WSTB, chaired that meeting. I am grateful to them and to Steve Parker and other members of the WSTB, through whose continued interest and support the project reached active committee status. Funds for this study were provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Johnson Foundation, Inc., the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council Basic Science Fund. The committee appreciates the foresight of these institutions in recognizing the need for this study and hopes that their expectations have been realized in this report. Finally, the committee is grateful to the large number of people who contributed information or text material for this report; without their
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology efforts, this report would be much diminished. A list of these individuals is found in Appendix D. Patrick L. Brezonik Chair, Committee on Inland Aquatic Ecosystems
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Contents Executive Summary 1 1 Overview: Status of Inland Waters 10 Fresh Waters at Risk, 13 Sources of Stress on Inland Waters, 15 Restoring Inland Waters: the Role of Limnology, 20 References, 21 2 Limnology, the Science of Inland Waters: Evolution and Current Status 24 Early History, 25 Regional and Descriptive Era, 30 Midcentury Expansion, 31 Recent History, 42 Current Status, 51 References, 61 3 Contemporary Water Management: Role of Limnology 65 Physical Changes in Watersheds and Water Bodies, 66 Chemical Changes in Aquatic Ecosystems, 77 Biological Changes in Aquatic Ecosystems, 97 Enchancing the Role of Limnology in Freshwater Ecosystem Management, 104 References, 106 4 Education in Limnology: Current Status and Recommendations for Improvement 118 Limnology Under the Current Educational System, 119 Strengthening Limnology Through Administrative Reforms, 127
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Designing Educational Programs in Limnology: Curricular Issues, 134 Role of Field Research Sites in Aquatic Science Education, 147 Recommendations for Restructuring Educational Programs in Limnology, 151 References, 153 5 Future of Limnology: Linking Education and Water Resource Management 154 Careers in Limnology, 155 Collaboration Among Universities, Government Agencies, and the Private Sector, 160 Enhancing the Involvement of Limnologists in Water Resource Management, 169 Summary: Recommendations for Improving Links Between Limnology and Water Management, 175 References, 176 BACKGROUND PAPERS Organizing Paradigms for the Study of Inland Aquatic Ecosystems by Patrick L. Brezonik 181 Linkages Among Diverse Aquatic Ecosystems: A Neglected Field of Study by Eville Gorham 203 Training of Aquatic Ecosystem Scientists by Robert G. Wetzel 218 Wetlands: an Essential Component of Curricula in Limnology by Eville Gorham 234 Applied Aquatic Ecosystem Science by Dean Premo and Douglas Knauer 247 Fundamental Research Questions in Inland Aquatic Ecosystem Science by Diane McKnight, Elizabeth Reid Blood and Charles O'Melia 257
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology The Role of Major Research Centers in the Study of Inland Aquatic Ecosystems by Thomas M. Frost and Elizabeth Reid Blood 279 Bringing Biology Back into Water Quality Assessments by G. Wayne Minshall 289 APPENDIXES A Limnology Programs in U.S. Institutes of Higher Education: A Survey 327 B Where Are the Limnologists: Surveys of Professional Societies and Journals 344 C Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff 347 D Other Contributors to This Report 352 Index 355
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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Freshwater Ecosystems REVITALIZING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN LIMNOLOGY
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