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   Click here to view a slide show of Westminster College students making a GSL field trip.      View a field trip
     slide show.


GSL Ecology Research
Students with a brine shrimp net.

Dr. Ty Harrison: My introduction to the Great Salt Lake was over 40 years ago as an undergraduate botany major at the University of Utah. There I learned about the basic research that had been done by local college professors on salt tolerant native plants... more>>

Field trips, experiments, observation  Biology professor Ty Harrison says students are involved in a variety of research projects.
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A salt-tolerant plant at the shore of the GSL.      Students collect brine fly pupal cases.      Students use transparent tape to collect brine fly pupal cases.

...growing around the lake and about other professors and students who studied the algae, micro-organisms and invertebrate animals that grew in the brine of the lake. I have been fascinated by the mechanisms of salt tolerance in organisms that "love" or tolerate high salt environments. Over the last ten years I have been taking Westminster students enrolled in Environmental Biology, Ecology, Teaching Methods in Science and special May Term Field Biology on field trips on and around Great Salt Lake to study the unique organisms that live there.

I have developed a method of growing brine shrimp, brine flies and various types of algae from Great Salt Lake in "microcosms" on window sills. We are designing growth experiements to study these organisms under sterile and controlled conditions. Undergraduate students are encouraged to help design and participate in these projects during the summer and during the academic year. Various grants to support such research are available.

You may read about some of these projects by visiting the following sites:
Ty Harrison's Home Page
Great Salt Lake Food Web
Great Salt Lake Playa Project

GSL factoid:

Brine shrimp cysts can hatch up to 40 years after being harvested.

another fact?