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PRIME EXAMPLE (CONTINUED) part of ISU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE), a 10-week intensive research experience for students, mentored by ISU faculty. Over the last nine years of involvement with SURE, Stone has guided 20 students in research which has taken them to various sites in the U.S. and abroad.

“I think experiential learning is critical for students to have,” Stone said. “Having real-world experience actually makes a huge difference for them in the job market. … Experiential learning provides them with an advantage.” Stone is co-author of a new study with doctoral student Hung H. Quang that reveals the impact of climate change in Sierra Nevada and calls for action to protect water resources. The research article, “Anthropogenic climate change has altered lake state in the Sierra Nevada,” was published Sept. 8 in Global Change Biology.

Photo by John Walton/PA Wire.

Stone’s classes are filled with hands-on learning opportunities for students — from miniature science experiments and real-world laboratory experiences to weekend field trips to collect samples and independent research in various parts of the world.

Stone and Quang joined other researchers in the study led by Michael McGlue of the University of Kentucky. The team conducted the study at June Lake, a small glacial lake in Mono County, California, on the eastern side of the Sierras. The team obtained sediment core samples from the bottom of the lake and were able to learn about the aquatic ecosystem’s response to climate change in the Sierra Nevada. “June Lake is a clear example of how sensitive lakes in the Sierras can be to changing climate,” Stone said. “Sediment archives like these are one of the few tools we have for recording long-term natural variability and without them, we would not be able to clearly observe the profound nature of changes in the lake ecosystem in response to a warming climate.” Said McGlue: “Climate change is disrupting the water cycle in the Sierra Nevada in ways that are challenging to predict, which lowers society’s resilience by limiting water resources. As a consequence, major hazards like droughts, floods, and wildfires threaten California more than ever before.”

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STATE MAGAZINE

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