The Origins of Maine Lakes-Characteristics, Function, Evolution & Their Future
Maine's 5,000+ lakes are "young", all less than 16,000 years old. Since they were formed, largely by glacial processes, they have evolved chemically, biologically, and physically.
What we see now is a snapshot in a 16,000 year film, recorded in accumulating lake sediments. We will develop an understanding of how lakes function in their initial physical setting, how they and their respective terrestrial watersheds evolve in their functioning, how humans have impacted lakes, and what we can expect as a consequence of climate change, (also human-driven) over the next few decades.
Classes will be held for six weeks, at UMaine-Orono, 219 Little Hall starting Wednesday, March 25, with a two week break (April 13 and 20) and will continue through May 11. If there is sufficient interest, we will take a field trip to a lovely nearby lake, and see some of the things we talked about in class.
Instructor Stephen A. Norton
Stephen is a retired University of Maine Professor Emeritus, in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences. His career (1968-present) has evolved from being a student of the solid earth to the field of environmental geochemistry. His current research focuses on the interaction of water, geological material, and humans, under near-Earth surface conditions, including Maine lakes. Stephen's teaching style involves students in the topics dealt with in the class, and not just lecture. Student participation is an important feedback during the class to assess how well the material presented is understood.