Science Café College of Science and Mathematics
North Dakota State University

Our Next Science Café:

April 10, 2018, 7pm at Stoker’s Basement, Hotel Donaldson

Jon Sweetman

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University

Mud and Bugs - Understanding past environmental changes in the Prairie Potholes

Abstract: One of the big challenges faced by environmental managers and ecologists is understanding how ecosystems have changed over time. Often there is a lack of long-term monitoring data, and it is difficult to determine how the environment might respond to ecological changes. I will talk about paleolimnology, a science used to reconstruct past changes using lake mud. Within the Prairie Pothole Region, there are millions of small ponds that dot the landscape, which can provide important information on both human impacts to the region, and understanding natural variability. In this presentation, I'll talk about how we use mud to understand the past, and summarizes a few recent examples that have looked at past changes in the prairies - from understanding past floods and droughts, to examining the potential impacts of agriculture on aquatic habitats.

General Information

Our Science Cafés feature

  • A presentation by a scientist
  • Discussion
    • have a conversation with the scientist
    • talk among yourselves

Free and open to the public.

Attendees must be 21 or older, or accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, contact Diane Goede at or (701) 231-7411.

Science Café presentations are about one hour long; there is some extra time for discussions. The location is:

Stoker’s Basement
Hotel Donaldson
101 N Broadway
North Dakota