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Students in Tom Mozdzer's Ecology Class Conduct Research on Lake Vickers

September 28, 2021
From left: Sophia Vines '23, Ceanne Lyon (HC '23), and Faith Mayhew '24.

Students in Associate Professor of Biology Tom Mozdzer's ecology class learn that you don't have to travel far to do research.

Mozdzer's students earned their sea legs recently as they collected samples from Lake Vickers, the water retention pond behind Rhoads residence hall. Each year, students in the ecology class use boats and state-of-the-art limnological equipment to measure water quality and dissolved oxygen to assess the health of the pond. 

"It's crazy that there's so much happening in a pond behind a dorm," says Sophia Vines '23, who was among the students to go out on the boat.

Throughout the course of the semester, students study the interactions between organisms and their environments. As part of the lab, Mozdzer takes students into the multitudes of ecosystems on campus including Lake Vickers (limnology), Mill Creek (stream ecology), and Morris Woods (forest ecology). In addition, the class visits the largest remaining tidal wetland in Pennsylvania—the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia—to study wetland ecology.

Data collected by students each fall is compared to previous classes allowing students to evaluate how environmental variation and global change is influencing these various ecosystems on campus.

See below for more images of Mozdzer and his students.


From left: Faith Mayhew '24, Sophia Vines '23, Ceanne Lyon (HC '23), and Tom Mozdzer, associate professor of biology.
Associate Professor Tom Mozdzer's Ecology class.

The Department of Biology is an interactive community of undergraduates, faculty, and staff who work together to better understand the nature and significance of living systems. We share a common commitment both to biology as a scientific discipline and to the importance of biology in broader social and cultural contexts. Like all biological systems, the richness of the biology community at the College reflects and depends on the diversity of its members, and the continual exploration of new directions.

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