Background Image

Great Rivers Center

In this Section

The St. Lawrence River is the conduit through which the Laurentian Great Lakes flow to the ocean. The explicit mission of the Great Rivers Center (GRC) is to ensure that the quality of this freshwater resource is the highest possible. Water quality is defined by chemical purity, ecosystem health, and water ethics. To meet this task the GRC will be a focal point for creative multidisciplinary research, scholarly activity and community outreach.

Interim Director, M.R. Twiss, Department of Biology

The Great Rivers Center is the vanguard of a larger initiative to establish a permanent research and educational outreach facility on the US shore of the St. Lawrence River. Funding received from the New York Power Authority has provided for an array of technologically advanced equipment with which to begin an in-depth study of the limnology of this major river system.

Current equipment and facilities:

  • R/V Lavinia (25 foot, 300 hp Boston Whaler, with Raytheon DGPS and 25 mile radius radar, marine radio, davit and winch, 141 gallon gas tank).
  • Heavy duty ¾ ton tow vehicle and 30 foot boat trailer
  • Field fluorometer (Turner Designs AU-10) (with flow through cell and capability to measure chlorophyll-a, extracted phycocyanin, CDOM, and ammonium)
  • Fluoroprobe (bbe Moldaenke) pigment specific submersible fluorometer (to quantify in situ the mass of phytoplankton pigments: Chlorophyta, Cyanophyta, Heterokontophyta, Cryptophyta; in addition to depth and temperature)
  • Particle counter and sizer (Coulter Multisizer 3, with IBM ThinkPad computer)
  • Temperature (2-40°C) and light-controlled incubators (two; Percival)
  • Range finder (Bushnell; IR)
  • Geographic Information System software (ArcGIS, Arc Hydro, Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst)
  • Field computer (CF-29 Panasonic; ruggedized, waterproof/shockproof, with GPS and wireless communication with Offshore navigator and digital maps of lakes Huron, Erie, Ontario and St. Lawrence River, including Lake Champlain)
  • Storage facility (70'x30'x15') on 25 year leased land at Lake Norwood (Raquette River)
  • R/V Raquette II (18 foot aluminum hull jon boat)
  • R/V Raquette (16 foot aluminum hull, with 25 hp outboard)
  • R/V Santa Clara (14 foot aluminum hull jon boat)
  • Fast Repetition Rate Fluorimeter (FRRF; FastTracka, Mark I; Chelsea Instruments) for measuring photosynthesis, with IBM ThinkPad computer interface to FRRF
  • Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen analyzer (Shimadzu)
  • 1000 W gasoline electric generator (Yamaha)
  • Personal floatation devices (3-immersion suits, Stearns; 3-automatic inflatable vests; Stearns; 8-standard pfd, various manufacturers)
  • SARSAT Beacon (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon; ACR Electronics)
  • Various water sampling bottles, sediment corers, plankton net, flow current meter

Michael Twiss
Phone: 315-268-2359
FAX: 315-268-7118