The Plymouth State College natural science and education departments, in partnership with New Hampshire Fish and Game, hosted the first Central New Hampshire Freshwater Biology Symposium on Saturday, December 15.
The symposium featured 17 different presentations on subjects ranging from aquaculture to salamanders. According to Dr. Richard Fralick, professor of biology, “The idea for this symposium came from students in my freshwater ecology class. Groups of students study a local lake or pond for a period of six weeks and then make a presentation on their findings. At the same time, Beth Reinhart from New Hampshire Fish and Game offered to demonstrate her electroshocking of river fish for population and diversity studies. One thing led to another and we decided to have a more sophisticated program and invite local teachers and their students.”
The symposium included five PSC student presentations on freshwater lake/pond profiles. They were preceded by presentations from New Hampshire Fish and Game, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services/Americorp, Squam Lake Association, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire Fish Hatcheries, Plymouth Regional High School, Ashland School, and the Rumney Conservation Commission. Subject matter ranged from malformed frogs, vernal pools, mercury cycling, trace metal bioaccumulation and water quality of Squam Lake.
Fralick hopes, “the symposium will stimulate a lot of interest in science and can be a focal point for further outreach. New Hampshire has put a lot of emphasis on our lakes as a tourist attraction, but as residents we want to keep them clean, in good health and protected. This program offers the opportunity for science, education and the community to come together and share information.”