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>>
trips, experiments, observation
Biology professor Ty Harrison says students
are involved in a variety of research projects.
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...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.