Researchers at the National Lakeshore Dig the Beach! Find Out What They Are Studying

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Date: July 11, 2008
Contact: Steve Yancho, 231-326-5134

While most visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are relaxing on the beaches and dunes, they are unaware of the vast array of scientific research efforts going on at the same time. In any given year, there may be 25 - 30 different research programs authorized within the Lakeshore, often through the efforts of well-known colleges, universities, and/or other government agencies. Scientists are studying air quality, amphibians and ticks, to name just a few of the topics. And now, the public has an opportunity to interact with two individuals who are currently conducting research in the Lakeshore. Both programs are free, will be presented at 3:00 p.m. at the National Lakeshore Visitor Center in Empire on M-72, and everyone is welcome to attend.

  • Tuesday, July 15
    Dr. Sarah Emery of the University of Louisville, will talk about the role of plant-fungus interactions in dune areas with American Beach Grass. She will also discuss her current work, a collaboration with the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy of Michigan, monitoring the effects of removal of the invasive species, Baby's Breath, on native plants, insects, and soil of sand dunes.

  • Wednesday, July 16
    Dr. Kate Bradley of the University of Nevada, Reno, will talk about some of the common invasive plants present in the dunes around the Great Lakes. She will briefly explain how they interact with native plants. One invasive species, Spotted Knapweed, affects the recruitment and survival of the federally protected plant, Pitcher's Thistle here at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Is Spotted Knapweed a friend or foe of the seedling? It seems that a range of dune habitats needs to be protected for this protected plant to survive!

Research presentations at the Lakeshore are free and last about an hour. No reservations or park pass are needed. For more information about these or other Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134 or go to

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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