Diatoms

By , March 9, 2012

  Students spent a good amount of time looking through microscopes identifying diatoms using a key found in Third Lake. Visually the diatoms are quite beautiful. Drawing them also is a good way to remember what to look for under the microscope.

niibin 2011 GLIFWC Visit – Bad River Reservation, Odanah WI

By , June 14, 2011

GLIFWC stands for Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  Our first presentation was by Peter David, a wildlife biologist who studies and manages manoomin.  His presentation was an overview of manoomin and the role GLIFWC has in managing it.  Wild rice is an annual aquatic grass that grows well at depths of 0.5-3 ft in water that is not too acidic or dark-stained in an organic-rich substrate.  It prefers water that changes depth some annually and slow moving water.  We learned that one reason it prefers these conditions partially because otherwise the perennial plants will take over.  The big seed variety of wild rice only occurs in the MN, Western WI, and Hudson Bay drainage areas.  Wild rice grows naturally in other areas, but it has smaller seeds.  Wild rice is great healthy eating, but also has huge cultural and ecological benefits too.  We learned about the treaties and how the right to harvest rice falls under these treaties.  Also, we reviewed harvesting techniques, both past and present. GLIFWC has five goals related to wild rice: abundance monitoring, harvest monitoring, restoration, public information and education, and research.  Mostly we discussed abundance monitoring.  GLIFWC is responsible for ceded territory that is off-reservation.  The data collected is from this area.  We learned about how Brown Spot disease can wipe out entire lakes during unusually warm seasons.  The abundance graph of rice over the past 15 years or so has high and low spots.  Factors that influence the abundance of rice over a large area are the four-year cycle of abundance on a particular lake, temperature and weather conditions, disease, and water level conditions. When the abundance of rice falls off for more than two years, scientists and GLIFWC may study the lake to try to restore the rice population.  We learned about some case studies where beaver dams, man-made dams, and carp eating the rice were problems. Sometimes lakes need to be reseeded, but first they try to restore the local seeds.  Genetic variability of wild rice is a future area of research. Next, we talked to Wesley about language and culture projects.  We learned about Inaadiziwin, an interactive DVD with traditional hunting, gathering, and fishing with language and culture.  We decided as a group that spear fishing looks really interesting.  They are working on a new project interviewing elders.  We will be doing something similar with our project, so this was a good connection to make.  Another ranger spoke too about the importance of getting kids out doing traditional activities, especially since there is less interest and the elders are getting older.  He made us aware of internships related to science, but also law enforcement and firefighting. Finally, we watched a short video about treaty rights.  One interesting thing we learned was the only treaties that ensured hunting, fishing, and gathering rights off-reservation is in our area and in the NW US.

Manoomin students talk with Dr.Pastor about UMD’s Wild Rice Study

By , June 12, 2011

 Manoomin students visited the University of Duluth’s Agricultural Farm where Dr. Pastor and colleagues are conducting wild rice experiments. The initial study is observing the 4 year “boom & bust” cycle of wild rice growth as it relates to the nitrogen levels found in the lakes.  The researchers control the experiment by leaving or removing the spent hay and leaving or removing plants.  Some variables, like water level, are kept the same while others are monitored.  Examples of monitored variables are water chemistry, number of plants produced in a year, and the total weight of the spent hay at the end of the season.

The newest experiment is studying the affect of sulfur on wild rice growth. The study has been going on for two years and is now expanded for another 4-6 more years with larger samples of wild rice growing.  Sulfur levels of between 5mg/L and 300mg/L will be controlled as the wild rice grows over time. It is their goal to better answer the questions raised by the current legislature and sulfide mining companies concerning levels of sulfur in the water. Current law is based on an observational from 1940 which found that if sulfur levels were greater 10 mg/L the wild rice was not thriving or was not present.

Students are conducting their own study of the water along the St. Louis River, similar to the 1940 study. They hope to record water chemistry study including sulfur as it relates to the observed growth of wild rice growth along the river. Their data will be posted here once compiled.

Minnesota EPA Protection of Wild Rice

Protect Our Manoomin blog

Minnesta Public Radio reports about Dr. Pastor UMD Wild Rice Study and Sulphide Mining

Summary of Wild Rice Study – Pastor/UMD, Minnesota DNR

2011April manoomin Lake Team 6 Final Poster

By , April 10, 2011

As manoomin students, teachers, scientists and mentors we are asking for constructive critique on our Lake Team posters. These posters will be presented by students at the upcoming site visit (May2 or 21) in the Twin Cities. Please take time to post your initial comments by April 22nd. Keep in mind the spirit of the student’s work. Our goal is to reflect the student’s words through constructive critique. Students should comment on their poster as well as one other team, all others please make comment on all three.

 

2011April manoomin Lake Team 5 Final Poster

By , April 10, 2011

As manoomin students, teachers, scientists and mentors we are asking for constructive critique on our Lake Team posters. These posters will be presented by students at the upcoming site visit (May2 or 21) in the Twin Cities. Please take time to post your initial comments by April 22nd. Keep in mind the spirit of the student’s work. Our goal is to reflect the student’s words through constructive critique. Students should comment on their poster as well as one other team, all others please make comment on all three.

 

2011April manoomin Lake Team 4 Final Poster

By , April 9, 2011

As manoomin students, teachers, scientists and mentors we are asking for constructive critique on our Lake Team posters. These posters will be presented by students at the upcoming site visit (May2 or 21) in the Twin Cities. Please take time to post your initial comments by April 22nd. Keep in mind the spirit of the student’s work. Our goal is to reflect the student’s words through constructive critique. Students should comment on their poster as well as one other team, all others please make comment on all three.

 

onaabani-giizis 2011 Middle Portage Lake

By , March 5, 2011

Lake Team 6 spent the better part of Saturday out on Middle Portage Lake. Two cores were drawn. Students took the cores back to the Natural Resources lab on the Fond du Lac Reservation to sieve the mud and view in the microscopes.

Snow Snakes

By , March 2, 2011

  Snow snakes are a traditional game that has been played by many generations wherever there is snow. Today competitions take place as far north as the Arctic Games. Local games have sprung up annually in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. gidakiimanaaniwigamig students worked to carve their own snow snake during the winter months of camp. They tested the velocity (and friction) their snake produced by pushing it into a track with a per-determined weight attached to a swinging arm.

Traditional games are not only used for gathering people together but to teach a skill needed for survival. Throwing the snow snakes sharpened skills for hunting and spearing as it taught patience, focus and team work. Students used traditional Mora carving knives as well as  tools to carve wild rice knockers to form their snow snakes. A light coat of polyurethane (and some suggest ski wax) will help the snake fly down the snow track.

namebini-giizis manoomin 2011

By , February 5, 2011

Coring crew

Examining cores from Lake Superior

Science Lab


namebini-giizis 2011 Sucker Moon (February) Students worked on a number of activities related to the Earth, Science, the Arts and Culture and Mathematics. Students worked in the Forestry Computer lab to present their findings. Students studied the geology of Lake Superior Glaciers. They also used their skills and knowledge of the Watershed to play a fun game. Lastly they continued working on their snow snakes sharing stories and better carving techniques.

 

biboon 2010 Lake Team 4 to LacCore

By , February 1, 2011

A number of tests need to be completed once a core has been collected. Students were trained and worked with grad students at the LacCore lab as they prepared and studied the cores. Once they had gathered their data the UM stores the cores for future study. Students worked for most of the day Saturday completing tests on the core collected a few weeks earlier on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Information is shared with the Natural Resources scientists. This work demonstrates to students that they could be part of the scientific educational community should they choose to do so.

Students clean up half the core before examining for macro-fossils.

Looking for diatoms and phytoliths with high power microscopes.

A surgical saw is used to cut open the plastic tube around the core.

Highly accurate color photo of core is helpful for remembering.

Moving the core carefully in a busy lab takes two.

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