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UT physicists to model and analyze power output from the University’s solar panels during eclipse

Physicists at The University of Toledo plan to monitor the power output of its solar panels on Main Campus during the solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21.

The team plans to display the data in real time during UT Ritter Planetarium’s free, public viewing event from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on the campus lawn between Ritter and McMaster Hall.

Solar electricity produced by solar arrays on the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation, shown here, and at the R-1 Building along Dorr Street will be monitored during the eclipse.

“It will be an unusual day for photovoltaic systems, and there is a lot of interest nationally in how the electrical grid responds to the change in solar electricity during the eclipse,” Dr. Randy Ellingson, UT professor of physics, said. “We are forecasting the solar electricity generated by UT’s solar array systems at the R-1 Building along Dorr Street, and also on the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation. Accurately modeling and predicting solar electricity generation, which depends on weather conditions, will help power companies maintain grid reliability without major disturbance to electricity customers.”

Toledo is expecting a partial eclipse where the moon will block nearly the entire sun. According to Alex Mak, UT associate planetarium director, Toledoans should see an approximately 80 percent eclipse, weather permitting.

“As the moon moves into place, it will of course block sunlight that powers the solar panels,” Ellingson said. “In regions of the country with high penetration of solar photovoltaic arrays, grid operators will need to shift electricity locally and regionally to meet the temporary shortfall from solar arrays.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, no electricity reliability issues are expected in the United States.

During the eclipse viewing celebration, UT astronomers will have several safely filtered telescopes set up outside looking at the eclipse.

In the event of clouds, a web stream of the eclipse from other locations across the country will be playing in McMaster Hall Room 1005.

Volunteers invited to help keep Maumee Bay State Park beach barefoot friendly

To preserve the beauty, health and safety of a northwest Ohio shoreline frequently visited by families, The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center is inviting the public to help pick up litter on Maumee Bay State Park’s public beach Friday, Aug. 18, at 4 p.m. in Oregon.

The Lake Erie beach cleanup is in partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, which holds Adopt-a-Beach events throughout the region each year sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Bubbly.

Last year, 15,181 Adopt-a-Beach volunteers removed 40,211 pounds of trash as part of 1,388 cleanups throughout the Great Lakes region, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

In 2016, the majority of trash picked up by Adopt-a-Beach volunteers (87 percent) was plastic.

For additional information, contact the UT Lake Erie Center at 419.530.8360.

UT researchers explore the beauty of crystals published in Science, Science Advances

Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum definitely found her passion when it comes to crystallography. The director of the Instrumentation Center in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories and graduate student Kelly Lambright recently solved the crystal structures of huge gold nanoparticles, which were published in Science and Science Advances.

“It is an achievement and an honor for The University of Toledo in general and crystallography at UT in particular,” Kirschbaum said of the work that appeared in the top scientific journals. “Crystallography at UT has had a great reputation over many decades, under the leadership of Dr. A. Alan Pinkerton, and we are proud to have worked over the years with high school, undergraduate and graduate students. I am particularly delighted that a large part of this work was done by one of our graduate students from the chemistry department, Kelly J. Lambright.

This is the UT team’s crystallographic analysis of the nanoparticle consisting of 246 gold atoms that was published in Science. The orange, blue and pink spheres are the gold atoms, yellow is sulfur, and grey and white are the carbon and hydrogen protective organic layer.

“The support and funding of our instrumentation by the University allowed this program to develop and become a leader in the field of crystallography of nanoparticles.”

The recent article in Science focuses on crystallography solving the atomic structure of a Au246 nanoparticle revealing the three-dimensional arrangement of all 246 gold atoms and the protective organic shell. This kind of information can only be determined by crystallography.

“First, you start with beautiful crystals,” said Kirschbaum cheerfully, isolating a single crystal sample, and placing it inside a diffractometer. The Instrumentation Center is home to five of these instruments, and it’s common for the lab to receive crystals from around the world to analyze; requests from places such as Iran and India, but also national collaborators from Duke, University of Houston, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Carnegie Mellon. The Carnegie Mellon collaborator Dr. Rongchao Jin, an internationally recognized expert in nanoparticles, provided the crystal of Au246 nanoparticles.

This image shows the data collected when an x-ray beam shines on a crystal in a diffractometer.

The crystal is then exposed to an x-ray beam, which it diffracts in a way that is unique to that particular compound. These reflections are collected and analyzed to find the 3D structure of the compound.

“The importance of these structural results lies in the fact that all of the medical, electronic and optical properties differ depending on the size and the structure of the nanoparticles. Certain nanoparticles are known to enhance cancer radiotherapy, others assist in early tumor detection or are used in solar cells and nano-electronics,” Kirschbaum explained. “The secret of why some nanoparticles have certain properties and others do not is in the 3D arrangement of the atoms. The publication in Science is based on the crystal structure analysis of a novel nanoparticle. It is the largest gold nanoparticle so far whose structure has been determined by crystallography. The foremost largest crystallographically analyzed gold nanoparticle consisted of 133 gold atoms and was also just recently structurally characterized at UT and published in 2015 in Science Advances.”

Kirschbaum went on to say how the research done at UT can have tremendous applications: “Biomedical applications include sensing of important biomolecules — for example, glucose — radio-sensitizing for cancer radiotherapy and early tumor diagnosis. Knowing the arrangement of the atoms allows understanding and predicting the properties of these nanoparticles. Scientists can then design novel nanoparticles with a certain structure and desired properties.”

Grad student selected as finalist for national fellowship from Sea Grant

A University of Toledo graduate student in biology who has been working to restore giant, ancient sturgeon to Lake Erie was recently selected as one of 61 finalists across the country by Sea Grant for the 2018 Knauss Fellowship.

As a finalist, Jessica Sherman Collier, PhD student researcher in UT’s Department of Environmental Sciences, will spend a year working in Washington, D.C., on water resource policy.

Jessica Sherman Collier, UT doctoral candidate in biology, held a 32-inch, 40-pound lake sturgeon while surveying on the Detroit River with a crew from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“I am very excited and quite honored to be selected for this fellowship,” said Sherman Collier, who was recommended to Sea Grant by her PhD adviser Dr. Jonathan Bossenbroek. “The Knauss Fellowship is an amazing opportunity, and I am so happy to represent The University of Toledo and the Great Lakes region while I am there.”

Sherman Collier will spend a week in November interviewing with up to 20 different federal agency and legislative offices, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Interior, National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. After being matched with her fellowship placement, her work will begin in February.

“This is a great launch to Jessica’s career, and I hope she finds satisfaction doing work as a public servant for the betterment of our environment,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the UT Department of Environmental Sciences, and interim director of the Lake Erie Center.

“We are excited about the talent and perspectives the 2018 Knauss Fellowship finalists will bring to their executive and legislative appointments next year,” Jonathan Pennock, director of the National Sea Grant College Program, said. “The Knauss Fellowship is a special program for Sea Grant, and we are proud of the professional development and opportunities Sea Grant has provided our alumni, the current class and now these finalists.”

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review.

Since 1979, Sea Grant has provided more than 1,200 early-career professionals with firsthand experiences transferring science to policy and management through one-year appointments with federal government offices in Washington, D.C. 

Sherman Collier, who also is president of the North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society Student Subunit, has been involved in the project to restore lake sturgeon to Lake Erie. Most recently, she helped the Toledo Zoo secure $90,000 in federal grant money to build a sturgeon rearing facility along the Maumee River, which flows into Lake Erie. Sherman Collier assisted the project by verifying that spawning and nursery habitat still exist in the Maumee River to sustain a population of the fish that can live to be 150 years old and grow up to 300 pounds and eight feet long.

“I have enjoyed working with partners at the zoo, as well as state and federal agencies to give these large and ancient fish a chance to thrive in Lake Erie once again,” Sherman Collier said. “This is an instance when scientists and natural resource managers have the opportunity to improve the state of an ecosystem by restoring a species that belongs there and to learn a good lesson about our actions in the past.”

Graduate student awarded Spitzer Fellowship in astronomy

“As a teenager, gazing at the stars on the dark canvas of the sky was like entering the most luxurious cinema,” reminisced Thomas Lai, a graduate student studying astronomy. “Soon I picked up the habit of staying in the dark whenever I could, and to recognize as many constellations as possible during my high school years.

“In retrospect, I can see this as a sparkle of the beginning of my interest in the enigmatic cosmos.”

Lai

Lai’s passion and hard work were recognized by the Department of Physics and Astronomy: He recently received the Doreen and Lyman Spitzer Graduate Fellowship.

The fellowship is named after Toledo natives. Lyman Spitzer was a world-renowned physicist and astronomer, who was an early proponent of a project that became the Hubble Space Telescope. The Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, is named after the scientist. Doreen Spitzer was a prominent archaeologist who had an affinity for all things Greek.

Lai, with assistance from Dr. Adolf Witt, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, and Dr. JD Smith, associate professor of astronomy, was able to publish a study on light emissions from nebulae in the Cassiopeia constellation.

“I was extremely pleased that we were able to offer the Spitzer Fellowship to Thomas. He was clearly qualified; he was eager to start an independent research project during his first year as a graduate student at UT, which the Spitzer Fellowship made possible,” Witt said. “The data for this project had been secured beforehand by my collaborator, Ken Crawford, and myself. This allowed Thomas to enter right at the data calibration, reduction and analysis stage of the project — the phase where scientific results and conclusions are being extracted from a collection of images and numbers.

“I enjoyed working with Thomas. The fact that the project resulted in a peer-reviewed scientific paper in a major journal within about two years speaks for itself.”

“They showed me not only the method in conducting research, but also the right attitude in finding the reasonable answer,” said Lai, regarding the aid he received from Witt and Smith.

On the results of his study, Lai said, “I am particularly interested in extended red emission, because we understood little about the exact emission process and the carrier involved in producing such light, even though it has been studied for more than 40 years. To summarize this study, we attributed the extended red emission to a fluorescent process, namely the recurrent fluorescence, which enables small and fragile particles in interstellar space to dissipate their energy efficiently after being bombarded by high-energy photons originating in an illuminating star. This mechanism prevents particles from getting destroyed in the harsh environment filled with ultraviolet radiation from stars, and it may be a crucial process for increasing the survival rate of small carbonaceous molecules, which might be the building blocks of life.”

Though great progress has been made, Witt pointed out the work of a scientist is never finished: “It is an important part of the research experience that every successfully completed project should lead to new questions, which then demand follow-up studies. This has been the case with our work as well. A new question has emerged from some of our current findings, the solution to which we are pursuing through observations with the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona and the 10-meter Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This will most likely be part of Thomas’s PhD thesis.”

Luckily, Lai’s passion for this field will surely lead to many more years of scientific discovery.

“Having this paper published means a lot to my career in astronomy,” Lai said. “It encourages me to find more intriguing phenomena provided by the universe and to reveal those profound facts hidden by wonders of the nature.”

UT tracking Lake Erie harmful algal bloom to help water treatment plant operators

During a weekly water sampling expedition in late July aboard The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center’s 28-foot research vessel, UT senior Alex Lytten holds the buoy steady as fellow senior Zach Swan sprays and scrubs it clean of algae and bird droppings.

For the third year in a row, UT’s water quality and sensor buoy floats in Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay providing live data accessible 24/7 to anyone by smart phone.

Dr. Tom Bridgeman, UT algae researcher and professor of ecology, examined a water sample aboard the UT Lake Erie Center research vessel.

It’s one piece of UT’s battle plan to track and combat the growing harmful algal bloom in order to sound the early warning for water treatment plant operators as they work to provide safe public drinking water.

“The bloom is on its way,” said Dr. Tom Bridgeman, UT algae researcher and professor of ecology, who has been focused on this problem for nearly two decades. “The blue-green algae is growing very rapidly right now. It’s growing leaps and bounds.”

Nearby at the city of Toledo water intake that pumps raw lake water to the plant, Bridgeman uses a pulley to draw a water sample and concentrates it into a jar.

It holds a mix of bright green and olive green algae. The olive green algae — “the good algae called diatoms,” according to Bridgeman — sinks to the bottom of the bottle. The bright blue-green algae — “the bad algae responsible for producing toxins such as microcystin” — stays at the top.

Eva Kramer, UT graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in ecology, lowered the YSI EXO sonde into the water. The instrument is comprised of several probes to measure various water quality parameters, including the amount of blue-green algae present, oxygen levels, water temperature and pH.

“Looks like more blue-green algae than we had yesterday,” Swan said.

“It’s growing exponentially,” Bridgeman said.

The researchers also spot a spiny water flea, an invasive species from the Caspian Sea, in the water sample. It’s eating the other zooplankton moving in the jar.

Eva Kramer, a UT graduate student researcher who is pursuing a master’s degree in ecology, mans the big blue wand called a YSI EXO sonde, which is comprised of several probes to measure various water quality parameters, including the amount of blue-green algae present, oxygen levels, water temperature and pH. It’s the same instrument mounted inside UT’s buoy.

Kramer first lowers the sonde for a surface reading and then even lower for a deeper reading.

Alex Lytten, UT senior, drew a water column sample using a long, white tube.

“Here it’s about six meters deep,” Kramer said.

Swan submerges the black-and-white Secchi disk to measure how far below surface it disappears from view.

“It’s 160 centimeters,” Swan said.

“That’s higher than I thought,” Kramer said.

Lytten, who also serves as boat captain, uses a long tube that reaches the bottom of the lake to draw a water column sample.

“We’re collecting a plug of water, instead of just on the surface,” Bridgeman said.

The research team takes the samples collected throughout Maumee Bay and the open waters of the western basin back to the Lake Erie Center lab to process and analyze for algal toxins and chemical signals that will provide clues to help predict future blooms.

“We are watching very closely and prepared,” Bridgeman said. “We expect to get a big bloom this year, but it’s not necessarily going to cause a problem. It’s usual, but it’s not acceptable.”

Bridgeman and his team will continue these sampling trips throughout the summer as one part of the University’s efforts to address harmful algal blooms.

In addition to the environmental scientists, UT has experts conducting water quality research in a diverse breadth of areas, including economics, engineering, business, pharmacy, law, chemistry and biochemistry, geography and planning, and medical microbiology and immunology.

Students to share water quality research July 26 at Lake Erie Center

Eleven undergraduate students from universities across the country spent the last nine weeks researching a variety of environmental issues at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center and will share their findings during a poster gala Wednesday, July 27.

The students enrolled in UT’s National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program have been studying harmful algal blooms, climate change, invasive species and other water quality concerns in an effort to help combat these problems. Their work will be on display from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lake Erie Center, located at 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

The scientific research program is open to undergraduate students in the fields of environmental sciences, biology, engineering, chemistry, geography or geographic information systems from across the United States. Students are partnered with scientists, engineers, graduate students and agency professionals to conduct cutting-edge research on important land-lake environmental challenges.

In addition to visiting wetlands and lake sampling, students learn to use and apply top technology, including sensor networks, water quality, environmental DNA, next-gen sequencing and drones to their research.

Engineering student wins big on ‘The Price Is Right’

Since 1972, contestants on “The Price Is Right” have “come on down” for the chance to appear on television and win prizes. Jacob Mattoni, a UT student majoring in electrical engineering, never thought one day he would be among them.

Mattoni was on a trip to California with his girlfriend and fellow UT student, Kendall Bialecki, who is majoring in biology/pre-med, during spring break while taping of the show took place.

Jacob Mattoni celebrated as “The Price Is Right” host Drew Carey announced his 95 cents qualified him to advance to the Showcase Showdown.

“Her sister-in-law was looking into getting tickets for a show in Los Angeles because we would be traveling there for a few days to visit. The day of the taping, we showed up and stood in line waiting to get into the registration area. The registration process took about three hours,” Mattoni explained. “Part of this process was the interview, which is when they take about 20 people at a time and ask them a simple question just to see how they respond.”

When asked by the interviewer what he does, Mattoni responded enthusiastically, telling him about going to The University of Toledo and studying electrical engineering.

Drew Carey reached out to shake hands with Jacob Mattoni who won the Showcase Showdown.

“He then responded with, ‘I bet you could use a new computer,’ which is when I said, ‘I could, but I’d rather win a new car,’” Mattoni said.

Luck appeared to be on Mattoni’s side when he was called on to participate in the game show, after putting on a performance in the audience to act “as obnoxious as possible” in an attempt to gain the attention of those running the program.

“I thought I heard my last name, but with everyone cheering in the audience, I couldn’t hear a thing. I then look on stage and see a man holding up a poster board with my name on it. At that point, I basically blacked out and couldn’t remember anything,” Mattoni recalled. “Out of 300 people in the audience, I never would have imagined getting my name called.

Jacob Mattoni, second from right, posed for a photo with the Bialecki family, from left, Ken, Dawn, Jayne and Kendall.

“Participating in the show is all a blur, to be honest. With dozens of cameras in your face and people screaming and cheering for you, there wasn’t much focus on the actual objective of the show,” he continued.

Mattoni did express thanks to his girlfriend and her family for their help from the audience throughout the show, which aired May 25.

After a brief setback during one of his prize games, Mattoni won a chance to compete for a showcase prize after spinning 95 cents on “the Big Wheel,” the closest amount to $1 that was spun without going over.

He then bested his opponent with his bid on a showcase prize that included a roundtrip to Yosemite National Park, a Mongoose ATV and a 2017 Honda Fit, which he said he traded for a more “age appropriate” 2017 Honda Civic, which has plenty of room for his golf clubs.

2017 report for Ohio’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative highlights UT water quality research

Ohio Sea Grant released today its 2017 update on the statewide Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative documenting two years of progress seeking solutions for harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

The University of Toledo, situated on the western basin of Lake Erie, is one of the lead universities in the initiative, which consists of 10 Ohio universities and five state agencies and is funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and matching funds from participating universities.

The city of Toledo’s water intake is regularly monitored by UT researchers and students during the summer algal bloom season to check for toxins.

The 54-page report features a variety of important research activity underway by members of the UT Water Task Force to protect the public water supply and public health, including:

• Early warning system for toxic algae in Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay by Dr. Tom Bridgeman, professor in the UT Department of Environmental Sciences, and Dr. Ricky Becker, associate professor in the UT Department of Environmental Sciences;

• Developing methods to help water treatment plant operators make decisions on lake water pumping rates according to time of day and weather conditions in order to reduce exposure to algal toxins at the Lake Erie water intake, also by Bridgeman and Becker;

• Transport and fate of cyanotoxins in drinking water distribution systems, such as pipes and storage tanks, by Dr. Youngwoo Seo, associate professor in the UT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;

• Investigating alternative biological filtration for algal toxin removal in water treatment through better understanding of microcystin-degrading bacteria, also by Seo;

• Examining the influence of potassium permanganate treatment on algal cell integrity and toxin degradation, also by Seo;

• Developing microcystin-detoxifying water biofilters to upgrade water treatment filters with friendly bacteria through the discovery of enzymes and pathways responsible for microcystin degradation by Dr. Jason Huntley, associate professor in the UT Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology;

• Studying the accuracy of ELISA, the standard test measuring harmful algal toxins, in comparison to a more time-consuming but reliable method, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry by Dr. Dragan Isailovic, associate professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;

• Developing lab tests for detecting microcystin exposure through biological samples and measuring how much remains inside the body, also by Isailovic;

• Evaluating the ability of commercially available home purification systems to remove algal toxins from tap water by Dr. Glenn Lipscomb, professor and chair of the UT Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering;

• Reconsidering recommended healthy exposure limits by studying the impact of algal toxins in experimental models of pre-existing liver disease by Dr. David Kennedy and Dr. Steven Haller, assistant professors in the UT Division of Cardiovascular Medicine;

• Studying health effects of recreational and work exposure to harmful algal blooms through fishing, swimming or boating by Dr. April Ames and Dr. Michael Valigosky, assistant professors in the UT Department of Occupational and Public Health; and

• Creating an online database to help inform the public about harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie by Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT geography professor and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

Ohio Sea Grant, which manages the statewide Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, is soliciting proposals for a third round of funding to continue the efforts underway to address toxic algae in Ohio’s Great Lake.

Participating universities include UT, Ohio State University, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, Defiance College, Heidelberg University, Kent State University, Sinclair Community College, the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati. UT and OSU serve as leaders of the university consortium.

To view the full report, go to http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/p/ib57m/view.

For Ohio Sea Grant’s news release, go to http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/2017/gz884/habri-report-year-2.

The UT Water Task Force, which is comprised of faculty and researchers in diverse fields spanning the University, serves as a resource for government officials and the public looking for expertise on investigating the causes and effects of algal blooms, the health of Lake Erie, and the health of the communities depending on its water. The task force includes experts in economics; engineering; environmental sciences; business; pharmacy; law; chemistry and biochemistry; geography and planning; and medical microbiology and immunology.

Water quality is a major research focus at UT. With $12.5 million in active grants underway, UT experts are studying algal blooms, invasive species such as Asian carp, and pollutants. Researchers are looking for pathways to restore our greatest natural resource for future generations to ensure communities continue to have access to safe drinking water.

Researchers and students help to protect the public drinking water supply for the greater Toledo area throughout summer algal bloom season by conducting water sampling to alert water treatment plant operators of any toxins heading toward the water intake. UT’s 28-foot research vessel and early warning buoy enable UT to partner with the city of Toledo and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor the health of Lake Erie and provide real-time data.

Public invited to CDC chemist’s talk at UT on exposure to algal bloom toxins

The University of Toledo Water Task Force is hosting a free, public event about algal bloom toxins and the impact they can have on people.

Elizabeth Hamelin, analytical chemist for the Division of Laboratory Sciences in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta, will give a talk titled “Monitoring and Measuring Human Exposure to Algal Toxins” Thursday, June 29, from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Center for Creative Instruction Room 1200 on Health Science Campus.

Hamelin

Hamelin develops analytical methods to detect human exposure to toxins and poisons.

“Elizabeth Hamelin is a collaborator on microcystin research projects at UT, and her visit to campus is a great opportunity for the community to learn how scientists are examining what safe limits are for the public,” Dr. David Kennedy, assistant professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said.

Kennedy’s UT team is studying effects of algal bloom toxins on the liver using mice as a model.

“Microcystin is a toxin that specifically targets the liver, a vital organ that needs to be healthy in order to process the food you eat,” Kennedy said. “We are re-evaluating the level of microcystin exposure being called safe, whether it’s swallowed while swimming at the beach or through the tap should toxic algae contaminate the public water supply.”

The UT Water Task Force, which is comprised of faculty and researchers in diverse fields spanning the University’s colleges, UT Medical Center and UT Lake Erie Center, serves as a resource for government officials and the public looking for expertise on investigating the causes and effects of algal blooms, the health of Lake Erie, and the health of the communities depending on its water. The task force includes experts in economics, engineering, environmental sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, geography and planning, and medical microbiology and immunology.

Water quality is a major research focus at UT. With $12.5 million in active grants underway, UT experts are studying algal blooms, invasive species such as Asian carp, and pollutants. Researchers are looking for pathways to restore our greatest natural resource for future generations to ensure communities continue to have access to safe drinking water.

Researchers and students help to protect the public drinking water supply for the greater Toledo area throughout summer algal bloom season by conducting water sampling to alert water treatment plant operators of any toxins heading toward the water intake. UT’s 28-foot research vessel and early warning buoy enable the University to partner with the city of Toledo and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor the health of the lake and provide real-time data.