Gibraltar Island, OH The 15th Annual Stone Lab Open House on September 8 introduced more than 900 visitors and volunteers to Ohio Sea Grant’s teaching, research and outreach facilities on Lake Erie. The event, run with assistance from the Friends of Stone Laboratory and other volunteers, was spread among three locations: the South Bass Island Lighthouse, Stone Lab research and outreach facilities at Peach Point on South Bass, and Stone Lab’s main campus on Gibraltar Island across from Put-in-Bay.
“I can’t thank the Friends of Stone Lab enough for their help in organizing and conducting this event”? says Dr. Jeff Reutter, Director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab. “With 900 visitors and volunteers, the energy level and enthusiasm are incredible. It seems to get better every year! I wish more people would join the Friends of Stone Lab to help Lake Erie and science education.”?
“The Friends of Stone Laboratory (FOSL) is a volunteer organization that supports Stone Laboratory through fundraising, service, and promotion”? explains Tracey Meilander, FOSL Past-President. “FOSL members enjoy volunteering at the Open House because it’s a great way to share our enthusiasm for and commitment to Stone Lab with others. We hope that visitors will learn more about the excellent courses and workshops available to students, and we are always interested in recruiting new members who want to support the research, education, and outreach initiatives at Stone Lab.”?
Activities included tours of the lighthouse, the Aquatic Visitors Center (AVC) at Put-in-Bay, and Gibraltar Island, Stone Lab’s home since the land was donated to Ohio State by Julius Stone in 1925. Volunteers provided information on the history of the lighthouse and the AVC, a historic state fish hatchery, as well as on Gibraltar sights like Cooke Castle, a National Historic Landmark.
Open classroom presentations, individual discussions and hands-on displays covered Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab’s education and outreach programs, along with current research on water snakes, Lake Erie sport fishing, Asian carp and other invasive species, and harmful algal blooms. Microscope set-ups also allowed visitors to get an up-close look at plankton, Lake Erie’s tiniest plant and animal inhabitants. Photos from the event are available at flic.kr/s/aHsjC6iG3z.
“Our Open House allows us to combine history and science for visitors in an exciting way. Many have never been on Gibraltar Island, handled a water snake, been in Cooke Castle, observed Lake Erie plankton through a microscope, or seen a live round goby. Hopefully they leave with a better understanding of the importance of our research, education, and outreach programs and the value of Lake Erie as an economic engine to Ohio and the region”? says Reutter.
Located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor, Stone Laboratory is Ohio State University’s Island Campus on Lake Erie and the education and research facility of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Established in 1895, Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University’s teaching and research on Lake Erie. For information on Stone Laboratory, visit stonelab.osu.edu.
The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.
Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant Outreach Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org.