Westminster's Great Salt Lake Camp
This week, our family and outdoor specialist, Jodi Saeland, travels out to the Great Salt Lake as students learn about the impacts, importance and fun to be had on Atenlope Island. She joined teachers and college students from the Great Salt Lake Institutite at Westminster College.
“There’s a lot of brine shrimp in there plus a little jumping worm that I don’t’ quite know what that is yet.”
These students are spending the afternoon on Antelope Island learning about the Great Salt Lake. “Have you ever wondered what a turbitity tube is? Or why are there so many bring shrimp in the Great Salt Lake? Well Camp Great Salt Lake is a place you want to check out.
“Great Salt Lake is a campf or high school students ages15-18. It’s a residential camp where they stay on campus and experience the life of a Great Salt Lake scientest for the week.”
The students learn about all those pesky flies.
“Their larva stage is in the water of the Great Salt Lake and just like a butterfly they go through metamorphosis, but their larval stage is in the water, they pupate in the water and then hatch out and that’s what you see rolling along the shoreline. What is out here is vital for birds and the timing of the ecosystem and how the birds com here with the shrimp hatch, when the flies hatch, when the midge hatches.”
The brine shrimp cysts that are harvested off the water surfaces are sent around the world.
“Great Salt Lake has the potential to harvest 90% of the worlds need or brine shrimp. Its primarily used as table shrimp baby food, so a lot of those shrimp that you eat that you get at the marketplace and you get at restaurants, a lot of those are raised on brine shrimp larva.”
And here’s something you don’t know.
“We have one of the world’s largest populations of American white pelicans that nest right in the middle of the north arm of Great Salt Lake. And if something were to happen to that island and predators got out there or disease got out there, that population could be wiped out.”
The Great Salt Lake Institute is also doing an interesting study on spiders.
“These spiders turn out if you come out in July and August. There very large spiders just take over the island. We started wondering hey, what’s going on with these spiders, who’s eating them, how many are there, what’s their biomass, what’s going on?”
Jaimi hopes opinions of the Great Salt Lake can be changed from these students.
“They go home and they tell their parents about it and give their friends a little bit different idea of what Great Salt Lake is and what it has to offer.”
Just ask Alexei.
“Actually this is my first time and I gotta tell you, I’m enjoying it.”
The camp is offered July 15th through the 21st. There are still spaces available for high school students.