The 2018 Winter Program, held at the Longaberger Alumni House on The Ohio State University’s main campus, allowed members of the Friends of Stone Lab (FOSL) to share their Stone Lab stories with potential donors, while representatives from Ohio State’s Office of Research and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences shared past successes and future plans for researchers and students alike.
Former Stone Lab student Andrew Oppliger presented the findings of his Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Scholarship Program project on how fish see underwater during algal blooms, an important consideration for predator fish that hunt by sight, as well as for anglers who participate in Lake Erie’s billion-dollar sport fishing industry. REU students receive free tuition and room and meals at Stone Lab, in large part thanks to donations.
And Dr. Mažeika Sullivan, assistant director of Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, taught guests about the importance of protecting aquatic ecosystems, including the ditches and temporary wetlands that connect larger, more permanent bodies of water and can pass pollution between those water bodies even if they’re dried out for most of the year.
The program raised a combined $900 for Stone Lab scholarships, which will help more interested students attend college-level courses at the lab this summer.
But the team at Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab wasn’t done. The very next day marked the second time they partnered with Columbus-based Land-Grant Brewing Company for an evening of education and Great Lakes trivia at their tap room on Town Street. The brewery also offered its seasonal Sea-Grant-themed beer releases, along with a behind-the-scenes look at their operations. A percentage of sales from the evening will be donated to support Stone Lab scholarships.
“The partnership with Land-Grant really helps us expand our audience to people who otherwise may not hear about Stone Lab,” said Erin Monaco, Ohio Sea Grant’s program administrator and FOSL liaison. “We’re grateful to the brewery for hosting us and for supporting our scholarship program.”
As the seasons slowly shift toward spring and summer, upcoming events will be held at Stone Lab on Lake Erie. The next opportunity to spend time helping out the lab is the Spring Work Weekend on April 20-22, when volunteers assist staff with getting Gibraltar Island ready for students. Information on future Stone Lab and Ohio Sea Grant events is available at ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news.
Stone Lab donations are always accepted at ohioseagrant.osu.edu/giving.