with skills in basic systematics and the organismal biology of aquatic ecosystems. Overall, the dispersion of limnology into so many different academic programs in universities has led to severe fragmentation of the field. Few universities are producing limnologists with truly interdisciplinary backgrounds, an ecosystem perspective, and an ability to integrate across the sciences and major categories of aquatic ecosystems. In addition, most universities do not provide adequate course offerings in limnology at the general education level.
The fragmentation of limnologists during their education continues at the professional level. There is no limnological society or organization that represents the field and its practitioners as a whole. Although most, if not all, of the traditional journals publish occasional articles on streams and wetlands, their focus generally is on lake science. There is no journal that covers both the fundamental and applied aspects of limnology and all major categories of water bodies within the domain of limnology. Lake, stream, and wetland limnologists and fisheries scientists largely go their separate ways when joining professional societies, attending conferences, and publishing scientific papers. Although the Ecological Society of America includes theoretical and applied ecologists in its membership and has a special applied ecology section, fundamental and more practical, management-oriented aspects of limnological science are covered by separate societies (ASLO and NALMS). Both aspects of limnology have much to gain from closer interactions. Limnologists involved in research on the Great Lakes also have their own society and journal, a situation that is particularly ironic given that ASLO combines limnologists and oceanographers. As noted earlier, Great Lakes research combines elements of both limnology and oceanography (the latter particularly in terms of the scale of research vessels and equipment needed to conduct the research). The American Fisheries Society combines interests in fundamental science (fish physiology and genetics) with fisheries management, and it formulates and publicizes positions on the application of science to resource management issues. Nonetheless, fisheries science is not well integrated into limnology at the professional level (or for that matter in academic programs), in spite of the fact that fish are obviously integral components of aquatic food webs.
Although limnology is a diverse field, it is no more so than many other fields that have managed to bring their varied elements under the umbrella of one professional society that provides a sense of identity and public visibility to the field. Civil engineering, for example, sometimes is referred to as a "holding company" rather than a discipline because of the breadth and diversity of activities in which civil engineers are engaged. Nonetheless, one society, the American Society of Civil Engineers, represents the entire field. Similar situations prevail in chemistry, where the American Chemical Society includes theoretical and applied chemists working in