Dr. Bruce Gilman is Professor of Environmental Conservation, Director of the Muller Field Station, and Curator of the Finger Lakes Herbarium at Finger Lakes Community College.
What is your role in the Finger Lakes Hg Project?
I participated in the planning process for the study of mercury (Hg) dynamics in the Finger Lakes, meeting at the Finger Lakes Institute several times to work on grant application details. I provided detailed land use-land cover maps for the watersheds of Canandaigua Lake and Honeoye Lake that aided the tributary stream selection process for the lakes. Working together with Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) students, Finger Lakes Institute staff and Hobart and William Smith Colleges interns, we collected replicate samples of several fish species by boat electro-shocking and gill net capture, as well as coordinating with NYSDEC fish surveys. Collected fish species represented different trophic levels within the lake communities and may be relevant to biomagnification of Hg.
How does this project fit into your current research program?
At FLCC, collection of water quality data, participating in writing watershed plans, and implementation of water resource management activities has long been an aspect of our environmental conservation academic programs. Working on this collaborative project builds on our legacy of lake research.
What has most interested or surprised you so far?
I am intrigued to learn more about comparative Hg dynamics among the sampled lakes, and hypotheses that could be tested in the future to explain lake to lake differences especially where they involve the same fish species or same functional group.