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Lake Ecology course

LEA’s Lake Ecology course is an immersive three-day field experience where high school students examine lake, forest, and wetland ecosystems.

During the course, attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of lake and stream monitoring techniques, lab procedures, and watershed science. Whether you are looking to gain skills in the environmental field, build a resume, or simply explore, this course has it all!

Dr. Ben Peierls guides students in water monitoring
Water sample analysis in the science center lab
Identifying BMIs at the Science Center
Collecting Benthic macroinvertebrates in Willett Brook

Paddling to Holt Pond
A student’s science journal

What to Expect

The course begins with a trip on a specialized monitoring pontoon boat to the deepest part of a nearby lake to learn about LEA’s research buoy, collect data, and take water samples, which will then be transported back to the Maine Lake Science Center (MLSC) lab for processing and analyzing. The next morning, we will explore streams and wetlands, learning about riparian zones, river ecology, bioassessment, rural and urban areas and human use along the stream banks. The afternoon will include more lab time at MLSC. The third day will include a field trip to the Holt Pond Preserve to collect additional water samples, learn about benthic macroinvertebrates (BMIs), observational journaling, and a nature walk through a variety of ecosystems. Back at the lab, we will make connections between the three days of water sampling and data collection, discussing our results in context with human impact and local environmental monitoring initiatives.

The class is taught by our Science Center Research Director Dr. Ben Peierls, Staff Researcher Maggie Welch, and Educator/naturalist Mary Jewett.

This year’s course will be July 18 – 20, 2023 and runs from 8:30 – 4:00.

Class limit is 16.

Cost is $125. Please register here. (Scholarships are available)

Please call or email Alyson Smith with any questions at 647-3318, ext. 117 or

Opportunities for hands-on, placed-based learning are few and far between. Join us outside and re-spark your love of learning!

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