The StreamLab

The National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics at SAFL in Minneapolis, where Jessica Cormier does some of her research, has a very unique sort of laboratory: the Outdoor StreamLab. The StreamLab is a real, active stream, fed by the waters of St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi (which rushes by only feet away). But NCED constructed the StreamLab, and uses it to carefully observe the life of a stream system on a small scale, from the effect a turbulent bend has on levels of dissolved oxygen, to way erosion effects living organisms, and vice versa. For Jessica, the StreamLab acts as a controlled environment, where she can compare invertebrate populations with observed stream conditions. Information gained from the StreamLab can then be used to facilitate the study and restoration of other stream systems.

Check out this page for more on the National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics, the University of Minnesota's St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, and the Outdoor StreamLab.

Want to learn more about the StreamLab and benthic macroinvertebrates?
Send Jessica Cormier your questions!