For decades, research scientists have been collecting detailed information about the water quality of Lake George for universities, state and local governments and agencies and not-for-profit organizations.
But, said Dave Wick, executive director of the Lake George Park Commission, “Scientists tend to write for scientific audiences.” It would be helpful
if the scientists’ research was available to policy makers and program directors in an accessible, visually appealing form, he said.
With that goal in mind, the Lake George Park Commission has contracted with Darrin Freshwater Institute, RPI’s research center in Bolton Landing, to synthesize and summarize current and past research in a format appropriate for a general audience.
According to the proposal solicited by the Lake George Park Commission and drafted by Dr. Jeremy Farrell, a lecturer in biology at RPI and a former post-doctoral fellow at Darrin Freshwater Institute, the project, to be known as ASSEMBLE (Amalgamating Scientific Lake George to Ensure the Management and Beauty of the Lake Environment) will provide scientific ballast to any policy and management decision affecting long‐term preservation of the lake.
“This initiative will help bridge the gaps between science, policy and management, leading to better informed decision making and better utilization of state resources in the protection and improvement of Lake George for future generations,” Farrell wrote in the proposal.
As outlined in the proposal, “The Darrin Freshwater Institute will synthesize the historical studies, apprise the Commission about trends in lake chemistry and biology, provide an update on current activities and identify resulting future needs for the continued protection of the lake.”
The Lake George Park Commission unanimously approved the proposal and a budget of $48,691 at its July 25 meeting.
The project, which Farrell expects to be completed in early 2024, will produce a permanent document and a public presentation.
According to Dave Wick, the material will be separated into categories such as emerging threats, water quality and invasive species.
It will also include a series of recommendations for future research, he said.
“If there are areas where the research is inadequate, or where more research could be done that would be of benefit to us both, we could discuss projects to be undertaken in the future, should funding become available,” said Wick.
Among the advantages of this particular project, Wick told the Commissioners, is that it will enable the Lake George Park Commission to start building its own cooperative relationship with the Darrin Freshwater Institute and its team of scientists.
“They have decades of experience on Lake George,” said Wick. “We hope to be able to take advantage of that.”