With more than 1,400, Oakland County has more inland lakes than any other county in Michigan. Each lake has unique ecological properties which people influence by their activities on the land and in the water. In this hands-on workshop, participants will investigate lakes, common aquatic vegetation and their role in keeping lakes healthy, aquatic invasive species that threaten lakes, the effects of seasonal changes on lakes, as well as the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water. The workshop will be led by Michigan State University’s Dr. Lois Wolfson, Oakland County Park’s Melissa Nawrocki and Kegan Schildberg, and Michigan State University Extension’s Bindu Bhakta and Erick Elgin. Participants will have the opportunity to explore Independence Oaks County Park’s Crooked Lake via pontoon boat. Activities will also take place inside the Wint Nature Center, inside the Park.

Date, Place of the Event:

Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Independence Oaks County Park in the Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston, Michigan 48348.

Workshop Agenda:

8:30- 9:00 AM           Registration/check-in, light refreshments, educational displays

9:00- 1:00 PM           Workshop

 Location Details:


 Workshop Objectives:

  • Investigate components of ecology and seasonal changes that can impact a lake ecosystem
  • Explore water chemistry and other physical/biological tests to gauge lake health
  • Explore aquatic life in the lake’s transition zone (area between land and water) that helps promote a healthy ecosystem
  • Collect and identify native aquatic plant species
  • Collect and identify aquatic invasive species, and how to prevent their spread

About the Instructors/Organizers:

This workshop is sponsored by Michigan State University Extension and Oakland County Parks.

Dr. Lois Wolfson is a senior specialist with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University. She also represents MSU Extension for the North Central Region Water Network. Her work focuses on educational and outreach programming in aquatic ecology, invasive species, and watershed management and in utilizing computerized information systems as tools for understanding water related issues. Dr. Wolfson teaches an upper level undergraduate field and laboratory course which offers experiential learning for students interested in lake and stream processes and biotic interactions, and is also an instructor for MSU Extension’s online Introduction to Lakes course. She received her masters of sciences degree in botany and doctoral degree in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University.

Erick Elgin is a Water Resources Educator for Michigan State University Extension. His job responsibilities include providing expertise in aquatic ecology to the state of Michigan and delivering educational programs that promote our understanding about water resources. Erick grew up on a small farm in Minnesota and went on to study water resources management and work with multiple habitat restoration companies and organizations. He has a master’s degree in aquatic ecology from the University of Calgary where he studied prairie pothole lakes in Alberta, Canada. He has extensive experience working with lakes, wetlands, and aquatic plants.

Melissa Nawrocki is the Recreation Program Supervisor and supports conservation education at Oakland County Parks. She also coordinates Parks’ citizen science programs and nature-based programs for the public.

Kegan Schildberg is the Natural Areas Stewardship Program Manager at Oakland County Parks, where he works on invasive species removal, prescribed burns, and habitat restoration. He also helps coordinate natural resource programs and events.

Bindu Bhakta is a Natural Resources Educator for Michigan State University Extension. She develops/delivers natural resources programs such as inland lake management, landscaping for water quality, and septic system education. She also helps coordinate the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program, which gives individuals the tools they need to conduct conservation-oriented volunteer service in Southeast Michigan and across the state.

Pre-registration is required. Registration cost is $40/person on or before July 14, 2017. The cost is $50/person on or after July 15, 2017. Workshop registration fee includes park entry, light morning refreshments, and educational resources.

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pesticide applicator recertification credits have been submitted for approval for this workshop.

Deadline to register is July 21, 2017. After this date, please call (248) 858-1639 to see if space is still available.

A $25/person cancellation fee will be assessed for those requesting a refund by July 21st. No refunds will be given after July 21st.

Register online: https://events.anr.msu.edu/lakeecology2017/
If you are have trouble registering online, call (248) 858-1639.

Contact person(s), phone and email:

Workshop questions— Bindu Bhakta: (248) 858-5198 or bhaktabi@anr.msu.edu

Registration questions— Cathy Morris: (248) 858-1639 or morrisc@oakgov.com

For more information about MSU Extension Oakland County:


 For more information about Oakland County Parks:


 MSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.

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