Research Articles

Our Work – Articles about Friends’ research.

Advanced Technology Science Mission to Study Lake Superior Fish Launches in Ashland

Advanced Technology Science Mission to Study Lake Superior Fish Launches in Ashland

Blue skies and a stiff breeze marked the launch ceremony for an advanced technology mission designed to improve the accuracy of fish population measurement in the Apostle Islands and beyond. That breeze will be important, as the wind is what will power two uncrewed sailboat-like drones as they sail predetermined patterns across Lake Superior with solar-powered hydroacoustic equipment and nearly two dozen other scientific instruments onboard. The US Geological Survey (USGS) and and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission invited dignitaries and journalists to the launch event on the dock next to...

New Mission Details: Unmanned Research Vessels Launch in Ashland on Tuesday

New Mission Details: Unmanned Research Vessels Launch in Ashland on Tuesday

Two bright orange, solar-powered sailing vessels will launch from Ashland this week on a mission to study the changing fish populations in the Apostle Islands and across Lake Superior. One goal is to better track the sustainability of lake trout populations, by gathering more precise data about the prey fish the trout eat.Saildrones being assembled at the Great Lakes Science Center Ashland Biological Station dock – Dave Olson photoThe US Geological Survey (USGS) says the month-long fisheries science mission will involve two uncrewed saildrones from Saildrone, Inc., and two two long-range...

Unmanned Sailing Vessels to Study Fish Populations in the Apostle Islands

Unmanned Sailing Vessels to Study Fish Populations in the Apostle Islands

They might be the strangest looking sailboats that you’ve ever seen navigating the Apostles, but later this month, two bright orange saildrones, with no sailors onboard, will be traversing Lake Superior, collecting data about fish populations. Two 23-foot-long Uncrewed Surface Vehicles (USVs) are scheduled to launch from Ashland on August 8th, as part of a research project by the US Geological Survey (USGS). These scientific sailboats operate on wind power and solar power. They will use acoustic, or sound technology to gather fish distribution and density data around-the-clock, near Madeline...

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

After a hot, sweaty hike, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the lake at Julian Bay Beach on Stockton Island. If Lake Superior stays calm enough long enough, the shallowest water, warmed by the sun, can be pleasantly refreshing. Wade out farther and you’ll find the significantly colder water just a few feet below the surface. However, if you throw in some wind and waves, the water temperature can and does drop dramatically. On a much larger scale, surface water temperatures in Lake Superior are always changing, as they are in Julian Bay. In late July surface water temperatures on...

50 Years of Archeology at the Apostle Islands

50 Years of Archeology at the Apostle Islands

Archaeological investigations at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore started in earnest shortly after the Lakeshore was designated in the early 1970s. Investigations have continued in the intervening years. This talk will share the stories of human use of the islands that archaeological work has illuminated for us thus far. The archaeological record at the Apostles is diverse, including sites related to fishing, logging, farming, and occupation from 5000 years ago to the mid-20th century. The information gained through archaeological excavations helps us appreciate the many ways in which...

Fifty Years of Cultural Resource Research at Apostle Islands NL

Fifty Years of Cultural Resource Research at Apostle Islands NL

The earliest evidence of human presence on the Apostle Islands dates to approximately 5,000 years ago when seasonal fishers utilized the cluster of islands that we call the Apostles and that the Ojibwe people call the Wenabozho Islands. From these early peoples to the park visitors of today, successive generations have left their imprint on the islands, resulting in a rich tapestry of cultural resources and human experiences. This presentation will look at the Lakeshore’s half century of efforts to study, understand, and steward these resources as well as the constant interplay between the...

Lakeshore Logbook – Kayci Cook Collins

Lakeshore Logbook – Kayci Cook Collins

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the fourth in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Kayci Cook Collins is the fourth generation of her family to work for the National Park Service. She served as Chief of Interpretation...

Lakeshore Logbook – Larry Johnson

Lakeshore Logbook – Larry Johnson

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the second in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. After 37 years with the National Park Service, Larry Johnson retired as the Superintendent of Ozark National Scenic Riverways in...

Where in the park is Neil? The week 11 answer is Long Island

Where in the park is Neil? The week 11 answer is Long Island

As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, we’re going on a virtual tour with Neil Howk, a man who has spent decades exploring the islands and teaching people about what makes them special. He knows the islands like the back of his hand. At the eleventh stop on our digital tour, Neil is on Long Island, which is an extension of the sand spit off Chequamegon Point. Long Island is at 46.7269° N, 90.7849° W. Piping plovers love to nest on the open beaches found on Long Island.  For more than 30 years, Long Island is one of the only places in...