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Students explore new modeling and computing tools while learning fundamental concepts about how lake phytoplankton blooms occur through cross-scale interactions.
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Environmental phenomena are often driven by multiple factors that interact across different spatial and temporal scales. In freshwater lakes and reservoirs worldwide, phytoplankton blooms are increasing in frequency and severity due to cross-scale interactions between local, regional, and continental drivers, including land use (local) and climate change (regional) drivers. Because it is difficult to predict how lakes will respond to interacting processes operating at multiple scales, many researchers are using models to manipulate climate and land use scenarios and see how lakes respond. Lake simulation models provide a powerful tool for exploring how phytoplankton blooms respond to multiple drivers via cross-scale interactions.
In this module, students will learn how to set up a lake model and "force" the model with climate and land use scenarios to test hypotheses about how local and regional drivers interact to promote or suppress phytoplankton blooms in different lakes.
The overarching goal of this module is for students to explore new modeling and computing tools while learning fundamental concepts about how lake phytoplankton blooms occur through cross-scale interactions. The A-B-C structure of this module makes it flexible and adaptable to a range of student levels and course structures.
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