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Explore Lake Winona’s history, ecology

Lake Winona: Natural History and Modern Ecology
In this class students will explore both the geology and ecology of Lake Winona, the most-used and appreciated of Winona’s natural landmarks. Students will learn about how Lake Winona formed and how it is tied to the Mississippi River, recent glaciers, and even other lakes and streams in the area. Attendees will then explore the ecological function of the lake by looking at the plant and animal communities that inhabit the lake and the surrounding area. Participants will also learn about current research and management efforts that involve Lake Winona, as well as opportunities for future involvement in these efforts as citizen scientists. There will be some in-class lectures, but most of the time will be spent outdoors.

This is a field-based course, so proper field gear will be required, including boots/shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, and plenty of water. Some days will be spent wading in the water, so you may bring your own waders on those days (some waders will be provided to the group). Participants may wish to bring a pair of binoculars and a notebook. (All-weather notebooks, such as Rite-in-the-Rain, are ideal when working near the water and are available in the Winona State Bookstore).

Course schedule
• Week 1: Wednesday, June 6, 10 a.m. to noon
Introduction/course overview; water chemistry
• Week 2: Wednesday, June 13, 10 a.m. to noon
Geologic history — bluffs, river valley, Lake Winona watershed
• Week 3: Wednesday, June 20, 10 a.m. to noon
Plant communities of Lake Winona from shoreline to substrate
• Week 4: Wednesday, June 27, 10 a.m. to noon
Aquatic invertebrate communities of Lake Winona
• Week 5: Wednesday, July 11, 10 a.m. to noon
Electrofishing on Gilmore Creek, the main tributary to Lake Winona
• Week 6: Wednesday, July 18, 10 a.m. to noon
Current/future projects on Lake Winona

Dylan Blumentritt is an assistant professor in the geoscience department at Winona State with expertise in hydrology and geomorphology. His research interests center around the forces that shape the landscape, like rivers, lakes, glaciers, and humans.

Jennifer Cochran Biederman is an assistant professor in the biology department at Winona State. Her research interests center on the ecology and conservation of aquatic ecosystems and watersheds, and she has an almost equal affinity for tropical rivers and trout streams.
Registration is limited and is open now. To register, go to


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