Sydney Crockett’21 Explores Links between Wild Rice and Sulfate in Minnesota Lakes

Sydney Crockett’21 is an environmental geology and pre-engineering major. Sue Swanson is her thesis advisor. Sydney’s research shows how the decline and recovery of wild rice biomass is linked to sulfate concentrations in lakes.

Wild rice, also known as Manooman, is important to the Anishinaabe people in their stories, ceremonies, and diet. It also positively affects the ecology of the area. High sulfate levels in lakes can be damaging to wild rice and have an impact on the Anishinaabe people.

I am comparing sulfate concentrations in three water bodies within the 1854 Ceded Treaty Territory to mesocosm experimental data. Comparing lake sulfate concentrations to mesocosm sulfate concentrations will allow me to better understand the effects on wild rice growth within each water body. I am also using ArcGIS Pro to create maps of the areas within each water body that are most suitable for wild rice growth.

March 30, 2021

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