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About Aquatic Biology

Students standing in a streamAquatic biology involves the study of physical, geological, chemical, and biological factors that influence the productivity and integrity of freshwater systems.

Aquatic biology includes the study of lentic (still) and lotic (moving) water. Students and faculty in our program are currently using knowledge gained from the study of aquatic biology to investigate topics such as:

  • Telemetry to monitor fish movement
  • Net selectivity and by catch in a sport cisco and whitefish fishery
  • Benthic invertebrate populations
  • Cultural eutrophication (human-caused nutrient enrichment of lakes)
  • Wetland insects
  • Fish assemblages in bog streams and ditches
  • Effects of acid precipitation on aquatic systems
  • Energy and carbon flow in wetlands
  • Parasitology of fish and crayfish
  • Fish health related to watershed development
  • Degradation of water quality by urban
  • storm-sewer run-off
  • Aquatic plant growth dynamics
  • Restoration of shoreline vegetation
  • Invasions of exotic species such as the zebra
  • mussel and spiny water flea

Our Aquatic Biology major prepares students for careers as field or laboratory scientists with local, state, and federal agencies and also provides a solid foundation for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in limnology, aquatic biology and fisheries biology or management. We have graduates working with the DNR, Pollution Control Agency, the USGS and currently pursuing graduate degrees at Colorado State University, Cornell, and Ball State, to name a few. Additional Aquatic Sciences Career Information is available through the American Society of Limnologists and Oceanographers, the American Fisheries Society, the Society of Wetland Scientists, and the North American Benthological Society.

Competency in aquatic biology requires a broad science background, mathematical ability, knowledge of analytical techniques, experience with data acquisition and computerized statistical analysis. In addition, aquatic biologists must be able to present findings clearly and effectively in both oral and written form. Our curriculum is designed to assure competency across these areas.