Physical Sciences spring picnic: next week, May 5 in Hammond Park. Picnic is free for all earth science students and their families/friends. Many awards will be passed out. Pick up tickets in SH 133.
|Group pictures on the bridge over the inlet canal at Cheyenne Bottoms state wildlife area (left) and on the diversion dam at Walnut Creek (right).|
|Snakes of Cheyenne Bottoms demonstrated by Logan Sleezer. Left: plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix). Right: speckled king snake (Lampropeltis getula holbrooki).|
|We found many dead crayfish on the mudflat in the Nature Conservancy marsh (left). Nonetheless, cattails and other emergent vegetation were beginning to green up following heavy rains earlier in the week (right).|
|Muddy runoff flowing into the wetlands. Left: inlet canal at Cheyenne Bottoms state wildlife area. Right: high water in Little Salt Marsh at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge at the outlet gate for Rattlesnake Creek.|
|Spring burning is a management technique for control of woody vegetation as shown by this recent burn at Little Salt Marsh, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (left). Burned bird nest (right) with 5-inch comb for scale.|
Our last lecture/reading assignments include high-altitude and high-latitude wetlands (chap. 17) and wetland sustainability (chap. 18). See also subalpine wetlands. Continue working on team projects.
Field trip meet Saturday morning in the north parking lot next to practice athletic fields for 7:30 departure. Bring your lunch and beverage, and wear shoes and clothing suitable for walking through wet meadows. Insect repelent and sunscreen are recommended. The long-range weather forecast calls for sunny sky, warm temperature and south wind, but it's much too soon for an accurate prediction.
From Liz Hagenmaier: A recent article on the ongoing impact of sediment deposition in the Mississippian River delta. High river conditions have led to higher sediment flow in the Southwest Pass at the Gulf of Mexico. It is costing the ship operators millions of dollars because they have to carry less to make it past the shallower area. Wetland loss is an ongoing issue in the delta, caused by many human activities. See delta summary.
From Jamie Harrington: This article describes using wetlands for agriculture in the Chandra village in Bangladesh. It describes how they have constructed floating beds to help in cultivation and the benefits and challenges villagers face in using wetlands for agriculture. Go to Bangladesh.
Preliminary team projects:
Glass Guild Blowout today at the art annex. See working with molten glass.
The spring burning season reaches its peak in the first week of April for the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills region. Burning is done to promote the growth of new green grass, return nutrients to the soil, and prohibit woody vegetation. It's a natural part of a fire-adapted ecosystem.
|Fiery sunset, as smoke rises in front of the setting sun.|
Photos © J.S. Aber.
From Sawyer Green: A rare crane flew into Taiwan and helped to boost wetlands there. Here is the story about the Siberian crane.
From Sophia Mingoia: Here is a link to Wildlife Habitat Council. I work for a company in Kansas City, and one of the items I work on is leading a team to participate in certification for Wildlife Habitat Council. Currently, I am in the process of recertifying our Harrisonville pollinator garden. However, there are several areas that WHC monitors, and among them is wetlands restoration.
Now is the time to start thinking about team projects. All students, on-campus and distance-learning, should contact each other, discuss options, and form teams at this time. Let your instructor know your ideas and team membership.
|Sawyer Green [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Ryan Huth [email@example.com]|
|Zhilin Li [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Brian Madeira [email@example.com]|
|Tameren McMullen [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Caite Schoeck [email@example.com]|
|Connor Simmons [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Logan Sleezer [email@example.com]|
|Nick Vega [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Nick Worthen* [email@example.com]|
|Liz Hagenmaier* [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Jamie Harrington* [email@example.com]|
|Bryan Longwell [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Corey Miller* [email@example.com]|
|Sophia Mingoia* [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Rob Rice* [email@example.com]|
|Katy Schwinghamer [firstname.lastname@example.org]|
From Sophia Mingoia: Here is a link to a factsheet that goes along with this weeks reading from WETwin.
Note: The field-trip schedule for ES 555 in the fall semester has been updated including an overnight weekend trip to western Kansas, October 7-9th.
Now is the time for students to enroll for fall semester. Your instructor will offer three upper-level courses for on-campus and distance-learning students.
From Jamie Harrington: I found this article regarding the nitrogen biogeochemical cycle in wetlands. It discusses anaerobic and aerobic processes and how the cycle impacts wetlands.
Our subject this week is ancient wetlands, cycles and feedback; see textbook chap. 9-10. Spring break next week!
From Sawyer Green: I found this article about environmentalists trying to protect their wetland against the Army Corps of Engineers, which may approve turning this wetland into a residential development. Here is the long-term story about Stumpy Lake.
From David Edds: New book on Biology and control of aquatic plants from AERF.
Regarding the challenge (below), the tree with conspicuous white bark is the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), which is classified at FACW (facultative wet), although this varies somewhat in different parts of the United States (see textbook Table 6-2).
This past Friday your instructor and grad student Megan Sprague visited a floodplain wetland at Mine Creek, where the second largest calvary battle of the Civil War took place. Today it's a Kansas State Historical site near Mound City in Linn County. We conducted kite aerial photography and examined the riparian forest along Mine Creek.
|The winter leaf-off season is a good time to "see through" the trees. Looking toward the southwest (left) and southeast (right). Mine Creek and smaller tributary streams meander through the forest, which consists of many deciduous species including both hardwood and softwood trees.|
|Mine Creek channel and gravel bar (left) and a rock-bed ford formed by limestone outcrop (right). The ford was the key point for crossing the creek in the days before bridges. Mosquitos and frogs were active, which is highly unusual for February.|
|Challenge: notice the distinctive white bark visible on some trees in this close-up shot. Identify this tree and give its hydrophytic status. Send your answer by Thursday noon for a participation bonus point.|
From Sawyer Green: I found this article that talked about the Missouri department of conservation and the Natural resource conservation service providing funds for wetlands on private land. Go to funding for wetlands.
Reminder: the mid-term exam is coming up soon. Keep up with reading assignments and exercises!
Jamie Harrington: Here is a link to more information on Stillwater Wildlife Refuge near Fallon, NV since it is mentioned several times in our reading for the week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife website contains information about some of the migratory birds at the refuge and the continuing drought. It also provides some information regarding maintenance projects on water control structures with a link to WQ DataLive to view water flow readings at the refuge. I had the pleasure of doing some field work at the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge so it is of interest to me. My experience there was sampling Foxtail Lake waters and collecting soil samples.
From Nick Worthen: Touching off of the topic Jamie Harrington presented on the Hamoun wetlands, I found an interesting read that referenced global (as well as local) conflicts affecting preservation of wetlands and the ability to properly evaluate the rate of loss. Go to Hamoun wetlands.
From Sophia Mingoia: Here is a link to a draft version I found written by the US Army Corps of Engineers of the John Redmond Dam and Reservoir Master Plan, Neosho River, Coffey and Lyon County, Kansas. I found it to be an interesting read for the Lab that we just worked on in this weeks class. It also ties in a bit with the reading discussing topography, geology and soils.
From Logan Sleezer: The link below is to an article about an invasive plant and its affects in the waters of the state of Minnesota according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) affects wetland ecosystems in the United States in many ways, including crowding out important native wetland plants. Links at the bottom of the page provide more information on what is being done in Minnesota.
From Sawyer Green: I found an article describing Phragmites australis invasion in Maryland. This article claims that even though Phragmites is invasive, the plant may have a benefit of high carbon storage that would make the plant's invasive nature worth it.
From Sawyer Green: I found this article on World Wetlands Day. It describes saving wetland forests as a priority of National conservation.
|Regarding the challenge (below), the Neosho River flows along the northern edge of the ESU campus. Campus Woods in the foreground occupies a meander loop of the Neosho River (left side), and a wide floodplain is visible in the background. Kite airphoto © SWA and JSA.|
From Liz Hagenmaier: The EPA Superfund program operates under the authority of CERCLA and OPA. These statutes allow authority for assessment and restoration of natural resources that have been injured by a hazardous substance release or response. Wetlands are indirectly defined as natural resources in both CERCLA and OPA. Other Federal, State, and Tribal agencies act as Natural Resource Trustees on behalf of the public. Assessments and restorations of these damaged resources are happening throughout the US and have restored thousands of acres of wetlands. The NRDA process is described by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta group.
From Logan Sleezer: Here is a link to an article about a very large flooding event on the Souris River in North Dakota which gives among other things a history of climatic conditions that led eventually to the flood.
From Jamie Harrington: I found an article about wetlands reducing flooding and helping with storm-water management, which I thought would be appropriate to go along with this weeks materials. The article discusses research done in the Smith Creek watershed in Saskatchewan and implications of flooding when wetlands are drained.
From Nick Vega: I found a news article about 7 Louisiana coastal restoration projects that were approved near the cities of New Orleans and Slidell to clean up the Fritchie Marsh, Barataria Bay, and surrounding wetland areas.
From Sawyer Green: I found a story about Auburn, Maine - where 500-600 gallons of sodium-hydroxide solution spilled into surrounding wetland areas this past Friday. This spill would probably create some environmental problems for the wetland.
From Sophia Mingoia: Here is a link to the EPAs Methods for Evaluating Wetland Conditions. This report is very interesting and gives a brief description of the goals of wetland classification, existing wetland classification schemes, sources of information for mapping wetland classes and empirical classification methods.
From Nick Worthen: During my research into waste water treatment, I came across a webpage that has information and current projects related to wetlands waste-water treatment, which I found it interesting.
|Photo from Keagan Riddick: Enjoying the lovely weekend weather.|
Even if you can't leave Emporia, there is always ESU Campus Woods!
From Jamie Harrington: I found an interesting fact sheet on constructing wetlands to help treat waste water. Wetlands can act as water filtration systems that can help transform pollutants to less soluble forms. It can be a great technique to use for the remediation of contaminated sites from industrial to agricultural settings.
From Liz Hagenmaier: I found an article that illustrates human impacts on wetlands. Sarasota County, Florida is allowing a rezoning of a wetland preserve that has been protected since 1997 to build a Whole Foods store. The loss of this 4.5-acre forested wetland will be "mitigated" by the purchase of 41 acres within an area of already protected wetlands with a net increase of 35 acres of protected land. The opposition has concerns on the precedent that this decision will make for future projects.
From Sophia Mingoia: Check out the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory. It has a large amount of data on U.S. wetlands that can be easily shown either through the website or you can download a KMZ file and open it in Google Earth to display. It is a very useful and interesting interactive wetlands map.
From Liz Hagenmaier: Found a great article of the continuation of restoration of wetlands in south Florida. See CREW Project . The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has been acquiring tracts of land to include in a restoration project that has been continuing for over a decade to restore wetlands that will improve flood protection and drainage and increase water storage and aquifer recharge capability. They recently awarded a construction contract for the restoration of over 1,000 acres. Over $39 million has been invested to protect and restore these lands.
This past summer, your instructor traveled to Japan for a scientific conference. After the conference, we visited Mikimoto Island, the birthplace of the Japanese cultured pearl industry, which has been a world leader for a century. More about pearl aquaculture later in the course.
young Japanese women. Photos © JSA.
Return to wetlands syllabus.
EB/ES/GE 341/767 © J.S. Aber (2016).