Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on May 9, 1974 · Page 14
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 14

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 9, 1974
Page 14
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14 NorttiWMt ArVonw. TIMES, Thun., May 9, 1974 . AUKAMIAt A. !· Shepherd Area Scientists, Students Working On Lake Projects With the Lake Faycltcullc Nature Center to open this summer, it is interesting to note that area scientists and school groups are not waiting to get started on projects utilizing the lake. Don Jackson, graduate student in zoology at the University of Arkansas, is doing a long-term study which takes him to Lake Fayelteville every two weeks. The purpose is to find out the amount of food available to fish in the lake's weed beds. Microscopic organisms -the smallest creatures in the food chain on which game [ish depend -- need certain conditions in which (o survive. Don hopes to determine : the special qualities of the weed beds which allow the micro-organisins to inhabit them. T:ic 70ologisfs technique is relatively new. having been developed within the last 15 years. It allows the taking of water samples in weed beds without disturbing the habitat -- things on the plants are ' not knocked loose. Jackson is trying to f i n d Uie micro-organisms living in the water between the plants -- free- swimming tiny creatures on which tiny fish and minnows feed. A lube allows collection 01 water samples with a minimum of disturbance. For comparison, samples are taken within the weed bed and then immediately outside the weed bed in open water- The micro-organisms within the weed beds are far different from those on the outside. SAME EQUIPMENT Scientific fishermen these days use some ol the same »oft of equipment that Don uses in his research. On each trip Don must precisely determine water depth in each of six sampling locations, use a large hose to sample the water, precisely determine water temperature, determine the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, determine the PH (degree of acidity), and measure the carbon dioxide in the water. R o l a n d Martin. Ricky Green, and other professional fishermen use information such as water depth, temperature, and oxygen content to help them select fishing spots. Don Jackson's research part of a much broader research program -- may eventually help fishermen learn how to use the PII Fac - tor and the C02 level in pre- dieting the presence of fish in a given area. More important,^Ulis sort of research will help biologists better to manage public waters for maximum production of useable fish. Certain degrees of acidity (PH) correlate with certain tvpes of plant life. The PH can be correlated with amounts of food available to the food chain. The amount of CO2 in the water tells the biologist how much possibility exists of the plants photosynthesizing and thus producing oxygen for fish. At one spot Don found no C02, indicating that the lush plant life along the north shore of Lake Fayetteville was probably utili/ing nearly all the available C02 and producing plenty of oxygen for the lake's animal life. SCIENTIST RIGHT Because I was able to catch a couple of small bass in this very spot, and was able to ·ee other small fish feeding in this area, 1 was impressed with the correlation of the scientist's f i n d i n g s and my own observations. While on Lake Fayctleville. we observed a single Canada goose swimming about, dignified, if lonely. A while later, two snow geese flew over, exciting the fishermen on the lake banks. Finally, the two snows set down on the water, isolating themselves from the people. Geese impress with their majesty when they fly over in formations, but when they sail in close they appear graceful and as light as any bird. Last Friday, biology classes from Fayetleville High School visited Lake Fayetleville on a field trip. Each class spent about two hours at Lake Fayetteville running tests for the presence of coloform bacteria, taking plankton samples, and trying to get an overall picture of the eco system. Each class did a different part of the experiment, in one case getting samples of water from different depths. Back at school, the results were tabulated later and combined into a meaningful whole. This process is a sort of miniature of research as it is done on a professional scale. GETTING HANDS DIRTY Tom Jenkins, Hans Doege, and Bob Nelson -- all biology instructors -- were in charge of the field trip. They are collectively supervising about 10 field projects. Mr. Nelson pointed out that the field experience supplements classroom work, letting students "get their hands dirty" in the application of techniques ol research studied in school. Other projects include a forest study on the upper end of Lake Fayetteville and a visit to the Sewage Treatment Plant. Assisting the regular instructors was Larry Robbins, who is practice teaching in biology. Everett Baker. Lake Fay- eUeville concession operator, cooperates with the high school by providing boats and other equipment, Mr- Baker also insures t h a t safe boating practices are followed by everyone on the lake. Students participating in the project expressed enthusiasm, and their cooperation arid good conduct seemed to prove their sincerity. T h e Lake Fayetteville Nature Center, which is sche- . riuled for completion hy July 1. will, be the site of such school projects next year. Everyone who contributes to the Lake Fayelteville Fund can be proud of this community endeavor. Mr. Jenkins pointed out that such practical field work has been very effective in getting students interested in f u r - ther work in science. Chuck Dixon, now a senior, began doing water quality studies as a sophomote biology s t u dent and now is one of three Fayelleville High students who will be going to Boston May 15 for the national Science and Humanities Symposium sponsored by the Department of Research for the U-S. Army. Chuck was picked as the Arkansas representative through a statewide competition. Charlene Morrow and Chris Bashor also finished high in the Arkansas competition and will be delegates to the Boston symposium. Their papers also were related to ecology topics. Team To Study Buffalo River Arkansas' Buffalo River and the people who have made history and left their traces along Its banks have taken on a special interest for team of Texas Tech University researchers. The? t e a m has a contract with the National Park Service to conduct a study of the Buffalo River on the Ozark Plateau to evaluate its historical, archco- l o g i c a l a n d architectural resources within a large recreational area which eventually w i l l be opened to the public. William E. Brown. NFS regional h i s t o r i a n , was at Texas Tech w i t h other N'ational Park Service personnel May 6 to conduct a fin?.! briefing with the Tech team. "The B u f f a l o is one of the few r e m a i n i n g undammc-d and untrammpled rivers in the United States." he said. "The country has the eastern hardwoods which blaze in fall colors and there are small enclaves of evergreen. "It is a b e a u t i f u l country inhabited by farmers in one of the phases of the westward movement out of the o!d South. These people were isolated on tht-ir small farms from the mainstream of the westward movement." At the present time. Brown said, the National Park Service bas purchased a "checkerboard" of small parcels of land, and. the NPS staff in the area is small. EMPHASIS INDICATE!) In order for these people to know where to put the emphasis of tb«ir effort, the Texas Tech study will indicate what structures have historic significance, what areas are archeological sites of promise --- what should :e preserved and what can be done without. On the Texas Tech team are: Dr. J. William Kitchen of the 3ark administration faculty who is serving as coordinator for the study; Dr. William Mayer- Oakes, chairman of the Department of Anthropology who will be charged with the archeologi- ca! phases of the research; his- .ory Prof. Seymour Connor and architecture Profs. Will Robinson and James White. Dr. Connor has a special interest in American history of the mici-nine-tccnth century when, the B u f f a l o watershed area was gaining its first permanent settlers.'Robinson has been in charge of architectural restoration at Texas Tech's Ranch Headquarters, an authentic outdoor exhibit depicting -America's ranching history. White was engageid in a Guadalupe National Park s t u d y similar to the one being undertaken in A r k a n s a s . On campus for the briefing session where Brown and three others from the NTS Southwest Regional O f f i c e in Santa Fe: David Battle, regional preservation architect; Dr. .Richard Sellars, survey historian; and Ronald Ice. park archeologist. This kind of study, which is part of a program to preserve the best of America's cultural resources, is required by law. PRICES GOOD MAY 9th thru 111 OPEN 9 A.M. 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