most fundamental research on aquatic ecosystems ultimately has practical implications. At the same time, applied problems are so widespread that there are few ecosystems in which problem-solving research approaches are irrelevant. Despite the lack of clear boundaries between the applied and theoretical perspectives, limnologists, like scientists in other disciplines, sometimes have tried to draw a distinction between them. This separation has led to weak ties between academic limnologists and the government agencies responsible for protecting and managing aquatic ecosystems. The challenge for modern educators and water managers is to avoid such distinctions and to improve the links between formal educational programs in limnology, which often are considered to focus on fundamental research, and agencies and companies with practical problems to solve. As described in this chapter, these links can be improved in several ways:

  • Universities should (1) survey past students to determine how to tailor limnology programs to the needs of the job market, (2) provide opportunities for senior-level water managers to serve as adjunct faculty, (3) develop better continuing education opportunities for practicing limnologists, and (4) reward faculty members for educating the public about aquatic ecosystem management.

  • Scientists and water resource managers in universities, government agencies, and the private sector should seek opportunities for collaborative research.

  • Government agencies and universities should expand opportunities for faculty to take leave from their normal academic responsibilities to work on solving practical aquatic resource problems in agencies.

  • Government agencies and private companies should increase opportunities for student interns to work on projects related to management of aquatic ecosystems.

  • The federal government should establish a limnologist classification in the federal job register to facilitate the hiring of persons with training in this field.

  • Professional societies representing various types of limnologists should (1) evaluate the need for formal certification of limnologists across the spectrum of aquatic ecosystem types, (2) form a coordinating council to plan joint activities, (3) consider organizing joint annual meetings, and (4) coordinate strategies to increase their influence on policies regarding the protection and restoration of inland waters.


Cook, R. B., and D. W. Schindler. 1983. The biogeochemistry of sulfur in an experimentally acidified lake. Ecol. Bull. (Stockholm) 35:115–127.

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