We started out this month’s camp (February 2017) with a visit from two speakers from the 1854 Treaty Authority. They educated the students on the effects of climate change on the Walleye population. The Walleye species are a good indicator for how the balance of our aquatic environment is doing. It has been proven that climate change is effecting the Walleye population in Minnesota. The 1854 Treaty Authority have developed a plan called the Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Plan, “the Climate Change plan.” The three important parts of the plan are: Exposure, Sensitivity, and Adaptive Capacity. They hope to be able to assess the changes happening with the Walleye and prepare for them.
There was another exciting adventure for the students this weekend. We were joined by two guests from the University of Minnesota department of Earth sciences. They taught the students a bit about geology and the change in our Earth from 10,000 years ago to present. The students had the opportunity of looking first hand at past through geological core sampling of Big Lake in Cloquet, MN. On Saturday we spent the morning out on the lake collecting 10 core samples, each one going further down, ending with a core sample from 10,000 years ago to present. It wasn’t all hard work though, the students were also assisted by the Fond du Lac reservation conservation officers who helped the students do a little ice fishing. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day in Northern Minnesota. We could not asked for more perfect weather.
After returning to the Forestry Center, the core samples were laid out and each sliced in half so that the students could observe what was inside each core sample. They were told to look, touch, and investigate each time period. This was a unique and special experience for all of us to be able to physically touch the Earth from under the lake that was aged from 1-10,000 years ago.