SCWRS Research Program
Research at the St. Croix Watershed Research Station includes work by staff scientists, graduate students, and visiting researchers. We have the necessary scientific tools, from analytical instruments and high-powered microscopes for lab work, to boats and vehicles for fieldwork in remote regions.
Completed in 1994, the centerpiece Harmon Research Center houses five state-of-the-art laboratories, including the 1,000 square foot analytical lab, a sediment-dating lab, gamma spectrometry radioisotope tracer lab, wet lab, and microscopy lab.
Staff research focuses on scientifically and environmentally important questions on regional, national, and global scales. Studies include topics like land-water interaction, biogeochemistry, hydrology, restoration ecology, and aquatic biology. Relevant issues include eutrophication, toxic pollutants, climate change, erosion and sedimentation, and biodiversity.
Featured Research Project:
Tracking Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Minnesota Lakes
The duration, frequency, and extent of harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing worldwide. New evidence points to similar changes in some Minnesota lakes, yet little information is available on historical trends in blooms or the present-day composition of algae associated with bloom formation and toxin production. Reports of HABs in Minnesota date back more than 100 years, but complaints by citizens and incidents of human and pet exposures to toxins have increased over the last decade. Despite the importance of this issue, there are still major questions about what controls the timing and toxicity of HABs, as well as the risk to more northern lakes, not usually associated with annual algae blooms.