Mathematics is a discipline and art that is elegant and challenging, requiring ingenuity as well as logic to solve real-world problems.

Modeling Diatom Growth in Trout Lake - Part 1

Summer 2008

Students: Stephanie Schauer and Corey VorlandSummer Research 2008
Adviser: Terry Jo Leiterman

Aulacoseira is a freshwater diatom whose abundance and colony size has been measured at varying depths in Trout Lake in Northern Wisconsin. Its population growth patterns are influenced by temperature, light availability, andnutrients.

In this project, the vertical distribution of Aulacoseira was investigated through a mathematical model which incorporates natural characteristics of the lake as well as effects of the diatom's buoyancy. Predicted outcomes were compared to measured observations of growth by David Poister, an environmental chemist at St. Norbert College.  

Stephanie Schauer, a native of New Franken, Wis., began this research project at the end of her sophomore year. She attended St. Norbert as a mathematics major with secondary education emphasis. She gave her first research lecture in November 2007 at the PME Conference on work she completed through the freshman fellows program.  

Corey Vorland, a native of Neenah, Wis., also began this research project at the end of his sophomore year. Corey attended St. Norbert as a double mathematics and computer science major with a minor in history. He gave his first research lecture on the results of his research project in summer 2008 at Mathfest held in August of the same year at Madison, Wis.