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      Scientists study Lake Superiorâ??s ecosystem

      Scientists from Michigan Tech are using the Agassiz, a research vessel, to study Lake Superior.Researchers say The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative allows them to predict the changes that occur within the ecosystem caused by global warming."We have a transect of 12 stations. We call three of them our major stations, and we sample for everything. We sample for water quality, we sample for water temperature, and larval fishes. It's the whole routine of standard survey sampling,â?? said Nancy Auer, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences.

      So why is this research so important?"The timing of important stages in ecosystem warming each spring and cooling each fall impact the birth and death of organisms within the food web, so subtle changes in temperature can really impact all kinds of things in the lake," Auer said.Tech launched one of their buoys off the south entry of the Keweenaw Waterway. Researchers will use the information coming from the buoy to study global climate change. The director of the Great Lakes Research Center, Charles Kerfoot, says Michigan Tech has three buoys collecting information from Lake Superior.â??The major thing is that we have a meteorological station that's on top of the buoy that measures wave height and wave direction and wind strength,â?? said Kerfoot.One of the next projects slated for Michigan Tech is to study atmospheric conditions and its connection to what happens within Lake Superior.