Training of Aquatic Ecosystem Scientists

Robert G. Wetzel

Department of Biological Sciences

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

SUMMARY

Limnology is a distinct professional discipline that examines the structure, functions, and management of inland, primarily freshwater, aquatic ecosystems. Limnological expertise is urgently required to understand the mechanisms regulating the operation of lake, reservoir, river, and wetland ecosystems. Only with such understanding can aquatic ecosystems be managed effectively.

Undergraduate programs in the United States usually do not specifically train students in the integrated discipline of freshwater ecology and aquatic environmental problem solving. Even graduates in limnology are frequently inadequately trained and are inexperienced in management of environmental problems. Improvements in instruction and research training in limnology are needed, particularly with regard to interdisciplinary breadth, ecosystem integration, and practical experience in problem solving.

This paper proposes combined programs of rigorous, science-based undergraduate and graduate training at professional schools of limnology, in which practitioners and researchers are trained in inland aquatic ecology with true ecosystem perspectives by means of an integrated problem-solving environment. Programs should be coordinated to ensure minimal professional standards of limnological education. Advanced programs at regional schools of limnology are designed to augment and strengthen existing traditional programs, not supplant them, and to provide guidance to existing instructional programs for improving training in the discipline.

INTRODUCTION

Limnology is an integrative discipline of inland waters. The subject clearly should address the coupled spatial and temporal variations in



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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Training of Aquatic Ecosystem Scientists Robert G. Wetzel Department of Biological Sciences University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama SUMMARY Limnology is a distinct professional discipline that examines the structure, functions, and management of inland, primarily freshwater, aquatic ecosystems. Limnological expertise is urgently required to understand the mechanisms regulating the operation of lake, reservoir, river, and wetland ecosystems. Only with such understanding can aquatic ecosystems be managed effectively. Undergraduate programs in the United States usually do not specifically train students in the integrated discipline of freshwater ecology and aquatic environmental problem solving. Even graduates in limnology are frequently inadequately trained and are inexperienced in management of environmental problems. Improvements in instruction and research training in limnology are needed, particularly with regard to interdisciplinary breadth, ecosystem integration, and practical experience in problem solving. This paper proposes combined programs of rigorous, science-based undergraduate and graduate training at professional schools of limnology, in which practitioners and researchers are trained in inland aquatic ecology with true ecosystem perspectives by means of an integrated problem-solving environment. Programs should be coordinated to ensure minimal professional standards of limnological education. Advanced programs at regional schools of limnology are designed to augment and strengthen existing traditional programs, not supplant them, and to provide guidance to existing instructional programs for improving training in the discipline. INTRODUCTION Limnology is an integrative discipline of inland waters. The subject clearly should address the coupled spatial and temporal variations in

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology physical, chemical, and biological properties; the way in which these properties influence aquatic biota and their growth, dynamics, and productivities; and how the community biological metabolism affects geochemical properties. The aquatic components are integrated in an interactive ecosystem that extends considerably beyond the traditional shoreline boundary of the lake, reservoir, wetland, or stream (Likens, 1984; Wetzel, 1990a; Wetzel and Ward, 1992). Physical, geological, hydrological, chemical, and biological characteristics and processes are examined along a large range of scales, for example, from individual chemical reactions to chemical fluxes within entire ecosystems. A fundamental aspect of aquatic ecosystems that is overlooked frequently, however, is that they are biogeochemical systems; biological processes are essential components of all qualitative and many quantitative aspects of inland aquatic ecosystems. DEVELOPMENT OF THE ECOSYSTEM PERSPECTIVE Past approaches to the study of inland waters were initially descriptive, which was common to many disciplines in the past century. Massive comparative analyses of physical, chemical, and biological properties of inland waters evolved rapidly from 1920 to 1950, particularly in Europe. Greater emphasis was placed on analytical evaluations of intercoupled relationships, particularly among nutrient-phytoplankton interactions, in the subsequent period (1950s-1970s). Simultaneously, great emphasis on feeding relationships emerged in 1970-1980 in concert with marked advances in predator-prey relationships. During the last and present decades, limnologists have begun to recognize the inadequacy of examining pelagic communities independently from the littoral-wetland and land-water interface regions of most lake and river ecosystems. Couplings of all components of the ecosystem, the drainage basin, land-water interface communities, and open-water communities, are critical to both the qualitative and the quantitative understanding of lake and river ecosystems. This essential ecosystem perspective is now being incorporated gradually into the management of inland waters. For a number of complex reasons discussed below, however, the ecosystem perspective is not being incorporated effectively into the undergraduate and graduate training of students in aquatic ecology. UNDERPINNINGS OF THE ECOSYSTEM PERSPECTIVE IN EDUCATION There are two major needs for educating limnologists according to a broad, ecosystem perspective. Foremost, there is a need to promulgate the values of freshwater ecosystems properly in economic terms in our teachings at all levels of education. The importance of the availability

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology of high-quality freshwater resources, including ground water, is almost universally underappreciated as essential to the economic viability of society. Responses to reductions and localized crises of water supply or quality are generally evasive, involving cosmetic, temporary technological responses that do not correct the problems (Francko and Wetzel, 1983; Rogers, 1993). Many developed countries, such as the United States, have made concerted and partially successful efforts toward regulated treatment and release of used water. However, with exponentially increasing demands from increasing populations, it will be difficult to maintain present standards of water quality in both developed and emerging countries (Wetzel, 1992). A second major need is imparting to students that the most effective and economical management of aquatic ecosystems results from an understanding of the mechanisms governing the integrated hydrology, chemistry, and biology of these ecosystems. The correct diagnoses of freshwater problems and their corrective management are most effective when the dynamics of controlling processes are quantified. The management to control and correct eutrophication in fresh waters is an excellent example. Corrective techniques (e.g., Chapra and Reckhow, 1983; Cooke et al., 1993) have been possible because of the basic understanding that existed in plant and algal physiology and ecology. Einar Naumann recognized in the 1920s that inorganic nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, likely influenced the growth of phytoplankton. These conclusions were inferred from agricultural studies before nutrients could be measured effectively in water. Similarly, Birge and Juday (1934) inferred the importance of hydrological renewal rates to material loadings and lake productivity. Subsequent extensive evaluations of nutrient regulation of algal growth and productivity, biogeochemistry of nutrients, and hydraulic characteristics of lakes permitted the evolution of effective models with some empirical predictive capabilities. These couplings between phosphorus loading and retention as developed by Piontelli and Tonolli (1964) and Vollenweider (1969), for example, were possible only because of extensive scientific underpinnings. That understanding allows the development of modeling and remedial or restorative programs to cope with individual characteristics of specific lakes and rivers. Many decisions concerning the management and use of freshwater resources, however, are presently based on trial and error or correlative methods that may have little application to real-world conditions. Many management decisions are made by default because of lack of real information, based largely on assumed physical processes and chemical reactions from models or pure solution chemistry. The pivotal roles played by organisms and biological metabolism in these physical (e.g., altered heating and stratification cycles) and particularly chemical processes are still often held subservient or discarded as irrelevant in freshwater supply

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology and quality management. Biogeochemical regulation of the metabolism, energy fluxes, and productivity of inland waters, all at the ecosystem level of integration, is relevant to all managerial procedures. Limnologists must be educated to understand and manage inland waters as multidimensional ecosystems, which can be done more effectively than in the past through enhanced foundational understanding from research into causes and control relationships and by application of this understanding to management of the integrated ecosystems. Both are essential, and limnologists should be versed in the basics of both. FRAGMENTATION OF DISCIPLINES The ecosystem perspective is uniformly recognized and espoused as essential to both research and training in aquatic ecology, but because of specialized training among most faculty, this approach requires integrated, interdisciplinary instruction. In a few cases, integrated formal educational programs are appropriate, particularly at the undergraduate levels to prepare students adequately for advanced training in aquatic sciences. The opposite conditions prevail, however, in nearly all American universities. Some claim to have comprehensive and integrated programs in limnology, but most exist largely on paper. Based on a review of limnological programs at a variety of U.S. universities, I conclude that faculty in needed component subdisciplines (e.g., hydrology, aquatic chemistry, applied health, aquatic law, or engineering facets) may exist on campus, but most do not participate in training aquatic ecologists. Stated specialty courses, if taught, are disparate, offered infrequently, and almost always optional to aquatic ecology students as electives. Essential courses, such as hydrology for nonengineering majors or limnology for nonscience majors, are rarely offered; extant courses often have excessive requirements for an ecosystem-oriented program. Such specialized courses are necessary for advanced training, but they can inhibit interdisciplinary integration if no alternative courses at the general level are offered. True instructional interaction among faculty of different departments rarely exists in reality. Often members of the aquatic faculty of the same university never meet or interact because of ideological differences and the general time constraints in a very demanding profession. RESEARCH SYNERGISM WITH EDUCATION Strong educational programs for aquatic ecologists are most frequently associated with strong research programs, where students have opportunities for direct field and experimental involvement in problem solving.

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Ecosystem-oriented programs are essential, but such instructional programs are rare owing to a number of synergistic factors. Government support of faculty-student research programs in limnology is inadequate, given the value of freshwater resources and the crucial importance of basic and applied research and education to effective management of these resources (Lewis et al., 1995). The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the only significant agency that supports fundamental limnological research in academic institutions. With extremely severe competition for these limited funds, the probability of long-term support, which is required for ecosystem research, is low. Alternative funding sources without specific mission commitments are very few. The weak governmental support and budgetary anonymity of limnology have contributed to a decline in the independence and recognition of the discipline (Lewis et al., 1995). This support structure has also contributed to fragmentation of the discipline into specialized fields of inquiry and weakening of their interconnections. As a result, university researchers tend to conduct research in small, specialized areas in which specific results can be obtained relatively rapidly. Extreme competition for scarce resources also promotes isolation among faculty and researchers. Instruction by faculty tends to become specialized and insular, with minimal interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition to the inadequate federal funding of limnological programs and the shift of fiscal responsibilities for higher education to state and internal sources, universities commonly encourage popular and relatively well-funded subdisciplines, such as molecular biology or medicine. A number of particularly strong research and instructional programs in aquatic ecology in major universities (Yale University, Indiana University, University of Washington, and others) have been terminated in the past decade. This decline is in sharp contrast to the marked increase in aquatic ecosystem programs in many other industrialized countries where the critical importance of research foundations to effective management of fresh waters is recognized. Strong instructional and research programs in limnology have emerged in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, where the research and instructional liaisons between universities and environmental agencies are particularly vigorous and there is recognition of the importance of understanding the quantitative dynamics of controlling factors for effective management and restoration of freshwater ecosystems. In the United States, several alternatives have emerged by default. Limnology has often languished in departments of biological sciences, which are too narrowly based, while emerging in departments of fisheries and schools of natural resources, where stream ecology and wetlands are more relevant. Aquatic chemistry and environmental hydraulics programs related to lakes and rivers have developed in engineering departments

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology as natural extensions of those fields, but with minimal training in the importance of biogeochemistry to ecosystem functioning. Environmental resource programs have proliferated in geography and resource groups with minimal science underpinnings, but effective solutions of water resource problems require an understanding of metabolic constraints within ecosystems and the biogeochemical dependencies of ecosystem functioning. Such fragmentation frustrates students who wish to obtain essential interdisciplinary training and faculty who wish to communicate and collaborate in both instruction and research. Many small aquatic foci within a university also compete less effectively with larger, departmentally oriented programs for funding, positions, and program development. Another development is an increase in the programs in ecology and environmental sciences in non-research-oriented colleges and universities. Often these programs develop in response to perceived needs for broadly trained individuals in environmental sciences, deficiencies of those programs in larger universities, and dedicated individual faculty members. Students of the better programs are involved in research projects, and dedicated instruction is common. Many of these programs, however, lack the necessary physical, chemical, and biological expertise. Often a single committed individual has developed an admirable but modest program without the programmatic resources required. A number of exceptional programs exist at undergraduate schools; these should be promoted and enhanced. In times of limited resources, dilution of resources at the expense of quality is unwise. (See discussion of a national initiative in general education below.) OPTIMAL CRITERIA FOR LIMNOLOGICAL EDUCATION Effective management of freshwater resources ultimately must be based on an in-depth understanding of the structure and physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms governing biotic development within lake, river, and wetland ecosystems. This understanding must be sufficiently detailed to encompass both the individualities of the ecosystems and the functional commonalities that prevail among them. Limnological education should strive to train limnologists (1) with the critical scientific underpinnings required for understanding integrative ecosystem processes and (2) with sufficient understanding of ecosystem components to make effective managerial and regulatory decisions. These objectives are rarely accomplished in training programs. Limnology students frequently are trained in general biology or environmental engineering, with specialized exposure to a course in general limnology and one or more courses in the biology of aquatic organisms (e.g., algae, aquatic insects). Limnology is usually taught as a brief lecture course, with no exposure to field conditions. Rarely are students more

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology than superficially versed in ecology, quantitative statistics, the conditions of natural communities (particularly, for example, under ice cover or during high river flows), dominating irregular nonequilibrium conditions, growth and reproductive characteristics, environmental heterogeneity, etc. Dissertational research in graduate school, although often of excellent quality, is frequently narrow and laboratory oriented. Recently, a few vocal schools have advocated empirical correlational modeling in limnology with no appreciable understanding of causality or controlling variables. A strong bias exists toward zoological aspects of limnology. Deeply rooted in historical and in some cases religious foundations,1 limnology has been, and still is, taught primarily by biologists with zoological training and interests. The importance of consumers in determining the biomass, species composition, and production of prey is paramount among the principles governing aquatic food web structure. Size-selective predation by fish on zooplankton is among the most predictable community phenomena. Yet generally less than 10 to 20 percent of aquatic ecosystem energetics and regulation is associated with animals (Wetzel, 1995). The pivotal importance of organic matter produced by photosynthetic organisms both within the lake or river and within the drainage basin and imported to the water body, and of degradation, biogeochemical cycling, and energy fluxes, is markedly understudied and poorly taught. It is important that the enormous existing zoological information be integrated correctly into educational and research evaluations of ecosystem operations and regulation. Integration at the ecosystem level is required of studies and teaching of system components. Limnology is a composite of physical, chemical, geological, and biological topics, and an integration among these subdisciplines is essential for the interdependent ecosystem perspective and effective management of inland aquatic ecosystems. Coupled research and teaching are essential to achieve this training. 1   The premier position that animals have assumed in biological study, ecological research, and conceptual developments of ecology cannot be questioned. Historical roots of zoological dominance in aquatic ecological study and conceptual developments are varied and include the food and economic importance of fish and aquatic insects, the early relative ease of sampling and examination of population and community interactions of larger organisms, and—in part—the religion-inspired omnipotence of humans and other animals over other organisms, particularly plants and microbes. The idea of humans as supreme over the environment has prevailed in recent history, particularly in the schools of Goethe, Spencer, and Darwin. The behavioral characteristics of animals, fish as a protein source, and human biology related to medicine have contributed further to a greater emphasis on animals than on plants or microbiota and to weakened understanding of the couplings and interactive regulations at the ecosystem levels (cf. review of Wetzel, 1995).

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology A National Initiative: General Education Educational programs in limnology should be redesigned and strengthened to achieve the breadth of the ecosystem perspective and to couple that perspective with prudent uses and management of freshwater resources. The public must be kept informed about the importance of ecosystem-oriented limnology to the wise management of inland waters, the essential characteristics of inland waters, and the value of these resources. Instruction in general limnology or aquatic ecology (not just biology) should be conducted at every institution of higher education, preferably by faculty with some interest and training in limnology. Training for professional limnologists (inland aquatic ecologists) obviously must be much more intensive and interdisciplinary. Most institutions, however, are not committed to the development of a program in limnology. A National Initiative: Coordinated Schools of Limnology There is an urgent need to properly train limnologists in the United States at both a research level and a practicing level. There are many viewpoints about how limnological training should be carried out. Present education in aquatic ecology suffers from inertia, and laissez-faire attitudes among faculty are common. It is my thesis that programs must be structured more rigorously than has been the case in the past and that research and practical training are best done simultaneously. Several universities in the United States should make coordinated commitments, rigorously screened by a panel organized by the National Academy of Sciences with national scientific societies in aquatic ecology and supported by the federal government, to develop regional university-based schools of limnology (Wetzel, 1991). These schools would train both limnological practitioners and researchers from the undergraduate through the doctoral and postdoctoral levels. Excellence in the medical profession emanates from medical schools that both train practicing physicians and conduct basic research. Similarly, schools of limnology should train limnologists to function as effective diagnosticians and problem solvers and should also train professional researchers to conduct active research on the fundamentals of aquatic ecosystems. Just as in the medical profession, professional researchers and faculty would be very few in relation to the practitioners that are applying the results of research to practical problems. Professional researchers must demonstrate the capacity for continuing innovative contributions to the discipline. Improved programs of instruction and training must be phased into the existing spectrum of largely biology and engineering programs. The proposed schools of limnology are designed to augment existing programs,

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology not supplant them (Figure 1). Most of the existing educational routes, largely through departments of biological sciences, would continue their traditional programs in aquatic biology, water resources, fisheries management, etc. Freshwater resources are of such value to the economy and health of the country (Francko and Wetzel, 1983; Benke, 1990; Thornton et al., 1990; van der Leeden et al., 1990; Wetzel, 1992; Callow and Petts, 1993; Gleick, 1993; Rogers, 1993) that expanded training of limnological leaders to enhance the understanding and invigorate the management of fresh waters is greatly needed. The interdisciplinary nature of limnology mandates that programs or schools of limnology consist of integrated instruction from disciplines not normally aggregated into a single department or even division. Rigorous FIGURE 1 Example of possible educational tracks in limnology.

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology instructional programs are needed. Just as chemists must be versed in physical, inorganic, organic, and other facets of chemistry before specialization, limnologists should be required to know the basics of geomorphology, hydrology, aquatic inorganic and organic chemistry, biochemistry, biology from bacteria to fish, biostatistics, and other facets of limnology. Ideally, students would commit early to limnological training. A basic two-year curriculum in mathematics and science should be followed by upper-level courses that maximize understanding of inland aquatic ecosystems, their biota, biogeochemical cycling, and management (Box 1). A rigorous program of instruction of this depth and thoroughness will require discipline and perseverance. Time is inadequate in a traditional four-year curriculum to include the necessary training and practical experience. Electives in liberal education are limited to the early phases of the curriculum, as is the case in nearly every structured professional program (e.g., engineering, medicine, nursing, business). Claims that limiting liberal arts electives would produce narrow-minded graduates are not substantiated. In contrast, there is abundant experience that graduates poorly trained in aquatic ecology are often functionally disadvantaged and require many years of expensive and inefficient on-the-job training before becoming moderately productive. That internal training commonly comes from individuals who received their training 15 to 25 years earlier, thus frequently perpetuating antiquated methods and understanding. Options include a four-year program in which two or more full summers are devoted to internships with government environmental agencies, consulting firms, university research projects, and other training programs or a five-year curriculum similar to professional nursing programs. The fifth year would be relegated to ''practicals," in which participants analyze problem ecological situations at an integrated ecosystem level. Limnological conditions and problems would be diagnosed, evaluated, and actually corrected where possible. Students would participate in field courses and be encouraged to gain experience in ongoing field experiments and analytical programs. In the final or fifth year, students would also be expected to interact extensively with graduate students and their research programs. Most universities in Europe require a mandatory examination, consisting of oral and written components, in order to receive the B.Sc. degree. Professional examinations (boards) are required on completion of the B.Sc. degree in many disciplines (e.g., nursing) in the United States in order to practice. Similar minimal national examination standards are essential if limnology is ever to develop into the rigorous professional discipline that freshwater resources deserve. Graduate Programs Most graduates of the schools of limnology at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels would become practitioners who apply their training in diagnostic and

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology BOX 1 OUTLINE OF REQUIREMENTS FOR A RIGOROUS UNIVERSITY LIMNOLOGY PROGRAM Undergraduate Mandatory subjects (one semester or equivalent unless noted) Mathematics through basic calculus and differential equations Statistics (see biology) (two semesters minimum) Physics (thermodynamics, heat, light) Chemistry Inorganic (two semesters) Organic Biochemistry Aquatic chemistry Geology/geomorphology Hydrology, with emphasis on ground water Biology General biology for majors (two semesters) Invertebrate biology, including aquatic invertebrates Algae Aquatic plants Genetics and Molecular biology Biostatistics (two semesters minimum) Parametric/nonparametric Analyses of variance; problem applications Limnology (four-semester sequence) Physical/chemical limnology Biological limnology Lake/reservoir limnology practicum River limnology practicum Microbiology Microbial ecology Ichthyology/fisheries management Limnological analyses (problem-solving practicum, two semesters) Ecology Ecosystem ecology Highly recommended subjects Physical chemistry Advanced hydrology Landform analyses/geographic information systems Aquatic biotic productivity Wetland ecology Environmental law Public speaking

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Graduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) Course studies for the M.Sc. and 48 semester credits for the Ph.D. Minimum of 24 semester credits of advanced studies in addition to those cited in the Undergraduate curriculum (above).1 Courses should emphasize advanced integrated treatment of the ecology, biogeochemistry, evolution, and systematics of freshwater ecosystems. Dissertational research and thesis composition, in which independent thought and research capacity is evidenced. Research must be publishable in refereed scientific literature. Research for the M.Sc. degree should serve as an evaluation period to determine reasonable qualifications for Ph.D. studies. Often the research will serve as pilot studies for research of greater depth in the Ph.D. program. 1   Bypassing the M.Sc. with direct entrance into the Ph.D. program is not recommended. The M.Sc. degree should serve as an evaluation period in advanced study and research abilities, from which only the best qualified are encouraged to obtain the Ph.D. advisory capacities. Only a small percentage would enter the advanced research training stages toward higher degrees. Entrance into the advanced degree program in a school of limnology also must be rigorous. For example, students with a basic undergraduate degree from another university would be required to fulfill the minimal standards of the undergraduate program in the school of limnology before being able to participate in the graduate program within that school (see Figure 1). There should be a screening entrance examination in ecology, as well as demonstration of acceptable Graduate Record Examination grades, prior to admission. The master's degree should serve several purposes simultaneously. A primary objective is to gain additional experience in limnology concerned with the regulation of biotic growth and productivity, biogeochemical dynamics, and other community processes in inland waters. Small independent research projects are mandatory to gain experience in the design and execution of research and the communication of results to scientific peers. The fundamental final step of research is written communication of those results to scientific peers. Although research conducted at the M.Sc. level is often preliminary and designed largely for training purposes, summaries of the results must be published, at least at the regional level. Research conducted at the Ph.D. level must provide advances to fundamental knowledge of the discipline. Results that are not publishable in refereed journals are not satisfactory for the Ph.D. degree. In both the master's and the doctoral degree programs, a number of advanced speciality courses should be mandatory to give greater depth and experience to the students. Students could select a number of different

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology areas of specialization. Particularly to be encouraged are interdisciplinary areas such as wetland ecology, aquatic environmental law, and ground water pollution. In schools of limnology, however, it is essential that a uniform and rigorous undergraduate training be acquired. The weaknesses and wide disparities in undergraduate training place such a burden on graduate programs that corrections are not made well and the quality of graduate training and research is often compromised. Field experience is not only desirable at the undergraduate level, but should be mandatory. The most effective research programs couple in situ analyses with the rigor of controlled experimentation in both the laboratory and the field. In all cases, undergraduate students should be incorporated into research programs wherever possible, both to give them experience and to gain their fresh insights on problems, environmental circumstances, and management. Graduate instruction and an active research program, preferably at the interdisciplinary ecosystem level, are critical to effective professional instruction. The faculty and associated research scientists provide the essential personnel and milieu for dynamic teaching at all levels. Conversely, the fresh insights and perceptions of students are critical to advances in basic research. The collective integration of teaching and research at all levels, undergraduate through postdoctoral, is the most effective means of increasing fundamental understanding of aquatic ecosystems. Several named schools of limnology should be developed nationally to the minimal standards suggested here, and preferably some or most of them should be in the nonglaciated regions of the United States, where most of the population resides but which are least understood limnologically. Limnology is a profession, and professionally trained practitioners are needed in nearly every county of every state. Several enlightened European countries have professionally trained limnologists in every county assisting with resource decisions. In Sweden, for example, nearly every county has at least one Ph.D.-level limnologist who works with resource planners and management specialists to assist in science-based decisions. Progress in management depends upon acquiring fundamental understanding of aquatic ecosystems. Research advancement and its application are interdependent and self-reinforcing. Coordination Some coordination of limnological programs would be desirable to ensure minimal standards. Standards should be initiated and administered through an independent overseeing group, perhaps coordinated by limnological sections of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Ecological Society of America, the North American Benthological Society (containing most stream or river limnologists), the North American

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Lake Management Society, and possibly certain specialty groups such as the Society of Wetland Scientists. The freshwater resources of the United States are of such major value to the economy and human health of the country that it is simple economic prudence to collectively support training of effective diagnosticians and problem-solving managers of these critical resources. The initial phases of the development of regional schools of limnology in rigorously selected universities should be subsidized by the federal government, probably through the auspices of the National Science Foundation. Once several programs are in place and operating, they should become self-sustaining by means of direct support and other subventions. At least four regional schools of limnology should be established initially. Instructional programs should be unified at functional levels. The current clustering of limnological training in glaciated lakes regions, however, is a historical artifact that should be addressed, since there are great needs in nonglaciated regions. Further neglect is not only unrealistic but unwise economically. Training should include river and reservoir characteristics and problems of the Southeast and Southwest; surface and ground water resources of the Great Plains; and the traditional lake analyses of the alpine and northern regions of the United States. The universities that develop such schools of limnology must emphasize instructional objectives in both undergraduate and graduate programs and must recognize that teaching and research are synergistic and self-reinforcing. In some cases, specific courses must be designed for the program. For example, basic training in hydrology is essential for all limnologists. Extant courses in hydrology in many universities are taught in upper levels of engineering programs and have several years of advanced mathematics as prerequisites, thus potentially excluding biological limnologists. Yet the necessary basics of hydrology can and should be taught for the program students who are not specializing in hydrology. Other interdisciplinary courses requiring careful development include biogeochemistry, aquatic chemistry, wetland ecology, and possibly environmental economics and law. Such courses will require directed efforts and certain nontraditional faculty coordinations. In some cases, new faculty may be required to accommodate increased instructional loads. Name changes of traditional courses simply will not satisfy the demands of an innovative interdisciplinary program. The importance of problem-solving and research components within the training program and the feedback mechanisms between practitioners and researchers cannot be overemphasized. An analogous situation often occurs in the best of medical and dental schools as the problems of practitioners and the developmental advances of researchers are exchanged, applied, and used to rapidly advance the disciplines.

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Freshwater Ecosystems: Revitalizing Educational Programs in Limnology Recruiting and Placement Programs The need is acute to inform potential students about the importance of freshwater sciences. Designated limnologists should interact with potential candidates at the high school, college, and university levels to explain freshwater resources, their management, and the scientific understanding that is required to correctly shepherd fresh waters and guide their sustainable use. Public relations efforts concerning limnology as a profession are necessary. Although faculty need not necessarily perform these liaisons with potential students, their counsel to the messages being related by point persons is essential. Students of all backgrounds, including women and minorities, will probably be more attracted to limnology if they are contacted as undergraduates, when they can still meet rigorous programmatic needs. These problems must be addressed as an essential aspect of program development. Graduates at all levels from these innovative and directed programs should have no problems finding jobs. The excellence of their training and the importance of that training for subsequent employment should be used in recruitment. Concerted advertising efforts are necessary, however, for schools of limnology to promote their graduates at all levels (B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D.) as among the best-trained and qualified for positions in local, state, and federal agencies; consulting companies; industry; and even within large municipalities. An active placement office should evaluate hiring practices of agencies, private and government laboratories, and universities and should inform potential employers of graduates' directed training. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author acknowledges with appreciation the extensive discussions of this subject with many colleagues, in particular Gordon L. Godshalk, Gene E. Likens, Peter H. Rich, and Amelia K. Ward. Most helpful constructive comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript were given by Patrick L. Brezonik, Eville Gorham, Jacqueline A. MacDonald, G. W. Minshall, and Dean B. Premo. REFERENCES Benke, A. C. 1990. A perspective on America's vanishing streams. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 9:77–88. Birge, E. A., and C. Juday. 1934. Particulate and dissolved organic matter in inland lakes. Ecol. Monogr. 4:440–474. Callow, P., and G. E. Petts, eds. 1993. Rivers Handbook, Vol. 2. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications. Chapra, S. C., and K. H. Reckhow. 1983. Engineering Approaches for Lake Management, Vol. 2: Mechanistic Modeling. Woburn, Mass.: Butterworth.

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