- This was a bittersweet day as we said goodbye to Tom, Charlie and Cord from Fond du Lac Resource Management and prepared for our trip to Minneapolis. Our morning consisted of driving out to the lakes we have been researching and seeing for ourselves the transformation the lakes have undergone with the wild rice growth. They really do look like hay fields instead of lakes. After lunch we sat down with Tom Howes and he answered any remaining questions we had. After saying our goodbyes we headed back to Forestry for some more writing and packing up the cabin.
Friday we were able to visit the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth. NRRI is working on all sorts of issues ranging from ballast water filtration on ocean going vessels to Taconite and timber production techniques. Dr.Ewan Reavie gave us a tour of the diatom lab at where we witnessed research techniques used by NRRI staff to assess water quality. Public Relations Manager June Kallestad showed us around the Applied Research and Technology Development section of NRRI where research and development of various projects is conducted. After a great lunch at Farley’s Family Restaurant the Team traveled to Leif Erickson Park where Emily ended the field trip by falling in Lake Superior.
Today was field trip day for Team Zaagi’igan, Nancy from Resource Management took us out in canoes on Twin Lakes where we saw first hand the techniques used by Resource Management to measure and document water levels and water quality. After lunch Nancy took us to Fond-Du-Lac Creek where we got to sample various invertebrate. It was a beautiful day to be outside and we got to see lots of cool aquatic life. A great end to busy week!
Friday morning Team Zaagi’igan was able to spend some time closely examining the flora and fauna of Big Lake on the Fond-Du-Lac reservation from the reservations very own Air Boat. This beast has a 560 horsepower, supercharged, GM LS 2 from a Corvette.
Cord from Resource Management took us out on the boat and gave us a tour of the lake where we were able to see the Minnesota State Bird the Common Loon and it’s baby. For Lunch Charlie also from Resource Management came by and cooked us his version of a wild rice supper using blueberries and bacon, Delicious! After lunch Charlie instructed us on how to make conventional rice knockers using the traditional material, Cedar. We did end up making some decent knocking sticks but not before leaving a big mess in the cabin. I can’t wait to see what next week brings!
It feels great to be home after a busy week in Minneapolis. This last week our team got some hands on experience with core handling, sampling, analyzing and documenting at Lac Cores but also phytolith recovery in the chemical lab. The week was a whirlwind of meetings, lab time and tours. We were able to visit the various Team Stream sites as well as take a brief tour of the Saint Anthony Falls Research Lab. The highlight of the week for me was going to the Minnesota Twins baseball game on Tuesday at Target Field. The Twins played the Kansas City Royals and won 10-2.
Today was field trip day for Team Zaagi’gan. Tom Howes from Fond-du-Lac Resource Management and his employees Charlie and Cord took us out to McGregor, MN. Our first stop was at the the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge near McGregor where we toured the National Fish and Wildlife Service Visitors Center before entering the refuge and visiting the lake itself. After lunch, Tom took us to Big Sandy Lake Flowage outside of McGregor, where we saw river rice just starting to stand up in the water. We also got up close and personal with several animal species including a bald eagle and frogs. On the way back to Forestry Center we stopped for a quick view of Kettle Lake and viewed swans and a huron. Another busy day but it was worth the drive!
Ricky looking through a telescope at Rice Lake.
Today was another busy day as Team Zaaga’igan met with UMD Professor John Pastor at NRRI north of Duluth. Professor Pastor gave us a tour and explained his research on water quality and its effect on wild rice. Next we braved the fog and crowds in Duluth to eat at Burrito Union. The afternoon was spent at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve across the bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. On the way back to the Forestry Center Tom Howes of Fond-Du-Lac Resource Management gave us a brief tour of the old Fond-Du-Lac village site on the Saint Louis River. A busy but informative day!