Dartmouth Events

Science Pub at Salt hill, Lebanon

What's That in the Water? How Algae and Other Unwelcome Blooms are Affecting our Waterways

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Salt hill Pub, Lebanon
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's That in the Water? How Algae and Other Unwelcome Blooms are Affecting our Waterways

Call it a boom, call it a bloom – in the ecosystem of a lake or river, a sudden increase in the population of one tiny organism can mean trouble. For example: blooms of Didymo, an algae appearing in Upper Valley rivers, has acquired the nickname of "rock snot" for its slimy appearance on the stream bottom of pristine rivers. A threat to fish - and to many aquatic organisms - there is new evidence that these blooms may not be spread, as commonly believed, by fisherman carrying the algae on felt-soled boots. Lakes in the Upper Valley are also seeing blooms of cyanobacteria, often referred to as “blue-green algae,” that can give clear water the appearance of thick, foamy pea soup. Overgrowth of the microorganism also reduces healthy oxygen levels in the water and produces toxins that may be linked to some neurological disorders. Scientists who study New England’s rivers and lakes are investigating the causes of these blooms and how they threaten invertebrates, fish, waterfowl, the water we drink, and recreational opportunities on local waterways. What conditions are causing these blooms and what is the forecast for the future? What are the long-term effects on humans, animals, our waterways? How can we keep these microorganisms in check or adapt to these changes? This is your turn to ask!

Discussion leaders: Brad Taylor, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College; Kathy Cottingham, Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College

Science Pubs at Salt hill are lively, informal conversations with local scientists about topics relevant to your world. All are welcome!


For more information, contact:
Sara Head

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.