Join the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center to Circumnavigate Lake Tahoe for Science

Submitted to the Tribune
The rocky shore of Lake Tahoe.
Provided / Tahoe Environmental Research Center

INCLINE VILLAGE. Nev. – To celebrate the summer beauty of Lake Tahoe and raise awareness of the work of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, also known as TERC, in its research into the lake, the Center is sponsoring its third annual Circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe for Science, a seven-day kayaking journey dubbed TERC CIRC 3.

The event, which combines science education by UCD faculty and TERC staff with fundraising for the Center, will run from June 19 to June 25. Paddlers see the lake from a unique point of view as they travel and learn about Lake Tahoe’s ecology, biology, geology, limnology (lake motions and clarity), and emerging challenges. It’s a wonderful medley of fun, adventure, science, and sociability.

TERC CIRC 3 will showcase TERC’s ongoing research in the Lake Tahoe basin and at the same time provide a water-level experience of the lake. The event offers a unique opportunity to connect with the lake and feel the spirit of camaraderie with like-minded paddlers.

“The best way to truly understand the fragile beauty of Lake Tahoe is to be on the water in a kayak and slowly progress around the shore. Every part of the lake is unique, and each part has different ecological challenges,” according to Dr. Geoffrey Schladow, UCD professor of limnology and director of TERC.

All paddlers who are interested in the event have the option to choose from seven separate day trip segments—including the full tour. Each day will feature 6-13 miles of spectacular shoreline paddling through the crystal blue waters of the lake, and each day will provide an illuminating scientific presentation.

Against the backdrop of this pristine landscape, paddlers will hear from TERC scientists and learn how a range of different measurements are made.

“This third year it’s a more structured event with thematic presentations. We will show our paddlers what TERC is doing in the Tahoe Basin, the research and the science that has been ongoing for many years,” said Scott Fitzgerrell, one of the leaders of last year’s event. “Paddlers will also have a chance to interact with scientists regarding invasive species, algae, microplastics, and more.”

Research topics covered in the event include limnology, including the lake’s gyres, currents, and other features; the lake food web; invasive species; forest health; and pollutants such as microplastics, silt, and wildfire smoke. The research at TERC highlights how natural variability, long term change, and human activity have affected the lake’s clarity, physics, chemistry, and biology.

Your Chance to Help Preserve the Tahoe Basin

This event is an important fundraiser for TERC, making possible all that the Center does at Lake Tahoe and beyond, as this research now has a global reach. A portion of the registration fees will go toward supporting the Center, and at the closing party, paddlers will be encouraged to make individual donations. Opportunities for donations are also found on the TERC website. Even if you don’t choose to paddle, you can contribute to the work of the Center: just follow the links to donate and help preserve and protect this priceless natural treasure.

Providing Research Solutions

The solutions developed by TERC are used here at home and shared and used around the world to understand and ensure water as a vital resource for life. Through its science education and outreach programs TERC interacts with more than 14,000 people annually, including providing more than 6,000 local students with the opportunity to learn about the unique and fragile ecosystem of Lake Tahoe and how they can protect the Tahoe basin.

TERC scientists are taking the lessons being learned at Tahoe and helping lakes around the world. One example is the pristine Lake Llanquihue in Chile, almost the identical twin of Lake Tahoe in the southern hemisphere. Economic development, populations shifts, and climate change are leading to pollution, over-visitation, and unregulated development around this Chilean lake. TERC students and researchers are sharing the technology and the experience gained at Tahoe with fellow researchers, government authorities and local nonprofits to better manage their environmental resources.

Learn more here.

Event Details

For more information and register here.

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