Category: Recreation & Tourism

Failing Septic Systems as a Source of Human Pathogens to Beach Sand

This project will address an emerging issue along the coast of Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana: microbiological pollution of beach sands due to failing septic systems. We will sample beaches in areas of known septic system failures and the sand for E. coli, human fecal bacterial DNA markers, and common pathogens. Successful execution of this project will result in data that can be used for a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) for beachgoers in the area and an experimental framework that can be expanded to examine beach sands in other Indiana coastal communities with high densities of shoreline septic systems.

Outdoor Recreation and the NSRE: An Examination of Nature Based Learning Activities with a Focus on Water

  • Provide and enhance the description of recreation participants in the nature based and specfiically water related learning activities
  • Segment recreation participants by applying the Three-step Procedural Model (activity packages, sociodemographic background, trip-related characteristics, environmental attitudes; and expenditure information)
  • Determine how the activity segments differ in terms of geographic, sociodemographic, travel trip, expenditure, attitudes and other characteristics
  • Provide recommendations for public and private recreation organizations interested in the outdoor recreation market

Pilot field observations of Lake Michigan atmospheric boundary layers

  • Test the ability of a mobile atmospheric sounding system, and best deployment methods, to observe marine boundary layer (MBL) structure and evolution across Lake Michigan
  • Compare observations from this sounding system to nearby standard NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) sounding data in the Great Lakes region
  • Conduct initial tests of theories by Workoff (2010) on cross-lake changes in marine boundary layer vertical stability and wind structure
  • Use pilot data gathered during these field tests to develop a more complete observational field study of interactions between Lake Michigan marine boundary layers and deep convective storm systems

Recreational Valuation and Management Implications for the Southern Lake Michigan Fishery

This project first collated more than 50,000 data records from creel surveys conducted in Illinois and Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. Linear models were used to explore relationships between fisheries data and ancillary data such as fish abundance, fish stocking, prey densities and environmental parameters. The project then estimated an economic valuation of the Lake Michigan shoreline and boat fishing activity to anglers.

Simulating the implications of recreational disturbance on Karner Blue Butterflies (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

  • Assess how recreation influences the behavior of the endangered Karner blue butterfly at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Identify and predict the implications of such disturbance-related behavior on oviposition rate and larval host plant selection by the Karner blue butterfly
  • Identify and devise active management strategies and site designs minimizing recreational disturbance to the Karner blue butterfly at sites with existing populations and restored sites proposed for the species re-introduction