This summer, I’m going to be working on developing mathematical models for the lake. First we’re going to develop a hydrodynamic model to tell us about the temperature and turbulence of the lake and then use that information to see how that affects the growth of the algae blooms on the lake. Math modeling is really exciting because it lets us change inputs in the model and run experiments varying temperature and turbulence so scientists don’t have to run costly and time consuming experiments. Then once we know how much algae is predicted we can use that information to see how much chlorophyll and pollution is in the water. In addition, we can see how much phosphorus contributes to algae growth.
I’m excited to learn more about the biology in this process and to see how sustainability efforts are affecting the algae growth. I’m also excited to see the differences in the predictions of algae blooms during several hot summers or several cooler summers in addition to decreased pollution of the lakes. Hopefully, by understanding the biology and physics behind algae growth we’ll be able to suggest other policies to implement to help make the lakes cleaner.