Life Under the Ice and Snow, presentation and winter hike

Map Unavailable

Date(s) - 03/26/2021
10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Categories No Categories

Course Title:  Life Under the Ice and Snow, presentation and winter hike

Dates:  Zoom: 3/25, Hike: 3/26

Time:  zoom: 3pm, hike: 10-12:30pm

Location:  zoom and hike at a location to be determined

Fee: Zoom session only, $10. Zoom and hike, $15


Ice forming over a lake is like sealing the lid on a jar – but winter life remains more active than you may think!  Join us to learn survival strategies and activities of lake dwellers during the winter months. Students will learn how winter, iced-over, conditions vary from ice-free conditions, and how the plants and animals within the lake adapt to those environments.  We will also discuss some interesting research exploring the subnivean zone, and the populations of plants and animals that depend on the world under our snowshoes.

Then join Naturalist, Annie McDonnell, for a hike along the lakeshore.  We will explore the topics discussed during the program and search for wildlife sign, invertebrates, birds, small mammals, and the phenology of the upcoming spring season. 

Course structure:  The course will be given in __2_ sessions, each __(the zoom lecture will be 1-1/2 hours, and the following hike will be 2.5 hours)_ long, covering the following topics:

In the online presentation, students will learn how oxygen and light change within the lake during ice cover, and how this creates a drastically different environment compared to the ice-free season. We will cover the basics of dissolved oxygen. We will discuss the differences of lake dwellers vs land dwellers, especially covering algae, plankton, fish, plants, frogs, bugs, turtles and more. Time will also be devoted to survival of small mammals and plants under the snow.


There are no prerequisites for this course, we will cover all of the basics! The hike will be approximately 2 miles on easy terrain,


Emily Heald has a B.S. from Northland College in Natural Resource Management. She also has an M.S. from the University of Minnesota Duluth in Integrated Biosciences, where she worked on a whole-lake manipulation project in Vilas County. It was during this time that Emily found her love for living in an area surrounded by lakes. Emily is inspired to work at the NLDC where all staff members and volunteers have immense passion for their work.

Annie McDonnell is the Naturalist, Citizen Science & Volunteer Coordinator at North Lakeland Discovery Center since 2016.  She earned degrees in Biology and Wildlife Ecology and has spent 5 years researching grassland songbirds, waterfowl, and owls throughout Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.