To fulfill its commitment to clean water, the United States depends on limnology, a multidisciplinary science that seeks to understand the behavior of freshwater bodies by integrating aspects of all basic sciences--from chemistry and fluid mechanics to botany, ichthyology, and microbiology. Now, prominent limnologists are concerned about this important field, citing the lack of adequate educational programs and other issues. Freshwater Ecosystems responds with recommendations for strengthening the field and ensuring the readiness of the next generation of practitioners. Highlighted with case studies, this book explores limnology's place in the university structure and the need for curriculum reform, with concrete suggestions for curricula and field research at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. The volume examines the wide-ranging career opportunities for limnologists and recommends strategies for integrating limnology more fully into water resource decision management. Freshwater Ecosystems tells the story of limnology and its most prominent practitioners and examines the current strengths and weaknesses of the field. The committee discusses how limnology can contribute to appropriate policies for industrial waste, wetlands destruction, the release of greenhouse gases, extensive damming of rivers, the zebra mussel and other "invasions" of species-- the broad spectrum of problems that threaten the nation's freshwater supply. Freshwater Ecosystems provides the foundation for improving a field whose importance will continue to increase as human populations grow and place even greater demands on freshwater resources. This volume will be of value to administrators of university and government science programs, faculty and students in aquatic science, aquatic resource managers, and clean-water advocates--and it is readily accessible to the concerned individual.
National Research Council. Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1996.
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