More than 150 scientists, researchers, and members of the public attended the conference on November 28th entitled “Linking Research to Management at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in a Rapidly Changing Environment.”
The conference keynote address, “Historical Impacts and Projected Vulnerabilities of Climate Change in National Parks,” was presented by National Park Service climate change scientist Patrick Gonzalez.
Sessions focused in four areas – Aquatic Ecosystems, Biological Diversity, Invasive Species, and Restoration Ecology. Among the 42 presentations and poster sessions were the following:
- Indiana Dunes: Epicenter of Science on Recreational Water Quality
- Nitrogen Deposition Negatively Impacts the Diversity and Species Composition of Beneficial Ecotmycorrhizal Fungi Associated with Oaks
- Monitoring Ecological Restorations in a Rapidly Changing Environment, and
- Preventing and Detecting Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes Basin.
Proceedings and abstracts are available on the park’s website.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established as a unit of the National Park System primarily for its biological diversity. The unusual combination of habitats and biomes in a relatively small area has long been an attraction for science. The existence of more than 100 years of data of the dunes area is a contributing factor in using the park for long-term studies such as climate change and invasive species migration. As one researcher noted, Indiana Dunes has 81% of the Great Lakes amphibian species in less than 1% of the Great Lakes habitat area.
The conference was sponsored by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the Great Lakes Research and Education Center, Indiana University Northwest, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station.