Bemidji State University Dedicates New Aquatic Biology Hardwater Lab
“It’s got both solar heat and propane heat, and so they’re in a very comfortable environment and they’re able to focus more on their research more rather than to be focusing on the elements,” says Dr. Faith Hensrud, president of Bemidji State University.
Friday was the dedication for Bemidji State University’s new Aquatic Biology Hardwater Lab. The glacier fish house was costumed designed by the school’s biology department. It comes with a hydraulic lift, monitors, different spearing holes, and much more. Up to 24 students can fit inside at a time.
“They can collect the samples right there – process them while they’re right there, and it’s just a really safe place for them to conduct some really good research, so I’m really excited about that aspect of it,” says Andy Hafs, associate professor of Biology at BSU.
BSU has already been putting the new lab to good use. So far, more than 300 freshman have used it, along with around 50 to 60 upperclassmen. Many graduate students have also already used the lab.
“It’s much more than just a fish house. This hardwater research lab has generated a lot of excitement and as a result of that we’ve had Ion – we’ve had two Ion augers donated. A bunch of top of the line MarCum fish finders and pen cams from that company. So there are a lot of people that want to get involved with this,” says Hafs.
The lab is portable, and that’s another reason why everyone is so excited. For donors, they’re looking forward to see what BSU’s budding researchers will discover.
Jeri and Darby Nelson were big donators of the lab. Jeri says, “Darby is an aquatic ecologist, so he has an interest in this and this whole hardwater lab was just a – we could really see need for it and we’re excited about what could happen out there on the lake.”
A big research project using the lab is already being planned for March.