The next event in the 2017-18 Ashland University Environmental Lecture Series, with a theme of "Ohio’s North Coast," will be a presentation by Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, professor of ecology at the University of Toledo and on the faculty of UT’s Lake Erie Center.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Dwight Schar College of Education. Bridgeman will speak on "The Great Green Goo of Lake Erie: What You Need to Know about Harmful Algal Blooms and Your Drinking Water."
The Lake Erie’s Center mission is research related to Maumee Bay and the western basin of Lake Erie. Projects help people understand links among "land-use practices, water quality, habitat, economics, natural resources, sustainability, and environmental and public health."
Dr. Patricia Saunders, director of the Environmental Science Program, said the goal of this year's series is to explore what is being learned about the ecosystems along Lake Erie’s coast. There are recent projects that rehabilitate or replace coastal wetlands and estuaries. These improvements have many benefits, including the way they help nature amplify the work of other water quality initiatives.
"Historically, there was a rich complex of rivers and wetland habitats. In recent years, new projects in several regions have re-established connections between a variety of coastal ecosystems and the lake," she said. "Ongoing urban and suburban development is now being countered, one region at a time, with steps toward better pollution avoidance and carefully planned rehabilitation of coastal habitat. This series highlights projects that help Lake Erie and its coastal wetlands work better for fisheries. We are more or less partnering with nature to protect water quality and wildlife. We also get the fun of learning more about these complex ecosystems."
The final lecture in the series will be held on March 22 when John Simpson, executive director of the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy in Port Clinton, will speak on "Winous Point Marsh: Management and Conservation of Ohio’s Coastal Wetlands."
The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University after the Environmental Science program was implemented in 1991-92. Now in its 26th year, the lecture series was designed to support the Environmental Science program by allowing students, faculty and members of North Central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in environmental science and policy. Over the years, the lecture series has generated significant campus and community involvement and support. Current support for the lecture series is provided by a grant from the Lubrizol Foundation, the National Science Foundation, individual donations and additional support from Ashland University. Past series have been supported by AU and grants from the GTE Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.
For information about the spring series events and any updates on the lecture series, visit the website at: ashland.edu/environmental-lecture-series.