Clean Water Future
In late 2009, Dartmouth College in collaboration with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, American Forest Foundation, and several regional partners, helped support the development of the Clean Water Future website. The site aims to develop a community that invests in the natural services -- clean water, fish and wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, erosion control and flood protection, recreational use, food, and timber -- provided by private lands in the watersheds of the Northern Forest. This project involves threshold pledges, a social-marketing mechanism, to pay for actions on private lands that sustain public benefits from ecosystem services, such as clean water and healthy forests. In summer 2012, the site transitioned to its permanent home under the Connecticut River Watershed Council Inc. In 2012, the site crowd-sourced over $38,000 for 9 projects submitted by numerous sponsoring organizations.
Restoring Native Brook Trout in the Second College Grant
Collaborators: William Ardren, Senior Fish Biologist, W New England Complex, US FWS; Professor John Kull, Chemistry, Dartmouth College; New Hampshire Fish and Game Department; Trout Unlimited; Dartmouth College Forester
How to conserve biodiversity while using nature to meet human needs is one of the big sustainability challenges of our time. An acute case is the worldwide decline of freshwater fishes due to human impacts. The Dartmouth Second College Grant--nearly 27 thousand acres of forest and streams--is a real-world laboratory for solving this problem. Dartmouth College uses adaptive management to balance timber production, recreation, and conservation goals for the property. However, native brook trout populations have declined due to habitat modification, introduction of non-native species and other stressors. Our research involves conducting genetic analysis to characterize population structure, quantify levels of inbreeding, and clarify relationships between migratory and resident life history forms. This genetic analysis will guide field studies at the Grant during the summer. Suzanne Kelson ’12 is currently conducting DNA-based lab analyses for this project as part of her senior honors thesis in Biology.
Click here for a poster about the project presented by Kiko Lam '14 at the WISP Internship Fair.
Restoration of Atlantic Salmon in Large Lakes by Restoring River Imprinting
Collaborators: William Ardren, Senior Fish Biologist, W New England Complex, US FWS; Steve McCormick, Research Physiologist, Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center; Dr. Hiroshi Ueda, Hokkaido University; Dr. Andy Dittman, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries
This collaboration is the focus of Marcus Welker's PhD dissertation research. The goal of this research is to better understand the role of dissolved amino acids in salmon imprinting and homing in order to improve the imprinting of hatchery-outplanted salmon to home-stream waters. Although our experiments will occur in the Lake Champlain system, results will be applicable to Atlantic salmon restoration in Lake Ontario. We are working very closely with the LC Fisheries Technical Committee, which has identified inappropriate imprinting, leading to the loss of precise homing to release-rivers, as a plausible obstacle to salmon restoration. This research focuses on removing this impediment.
We plan to test three hypotheses within the Lake Champlain salmon restoration program: 1) amino acid profiles (concentrations and compositions) are different in the lake, rivers, and hatcheries across key locations and times (underway with existing funding); 2) juvenile Atlantic salmon imprint to the amino acid profile they experience during their parr-smolt transition (PST) and show preference as adults to that specific profile (GLFC proposal); and 3) it is feasible to shift hatchery amino acid profiles to a river amino acid profile, in order to imprint hatchery fish to a specific river (future work). Methods for hypothesis #2 entail two Y-maze experiments, one with artificially imprinted and captive reared fish, and one with natural river returns. Research for hypothesis #2 also includes molecular biological studies of up-regulation of amino acid receptors in fish olfactory rosettes during smoltification and adult return phases.
Results of this research will improve the feasibility of restoring river-runs of Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario. Results will provide direct evidence of Atlantic salmon amino acid imprinting and inform the revision of hatchery rearing and release practices to improve fish imprinting and successful homing of adults to their release river.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 13:12