The Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network (GLKN) National Park units have utilized diatoms for lake monitoring and paleoecological reconstruction since 2005. GLKN monitoring uses surface sediment diatom assemblages as biotic indicators of change in concert with regular water quality visits in a program that began in 2006 as an early warning system for detecting change in lakes. Sediment core analysis has provided context on historical and recent environmental changes impacting some of our most protected lakes. This project is documenting the taxonomy and ecology of the over 500 diatom species that have been found at >1 percent abundance in lakes from Indiana Dunes, Isle Royale, and Voyageurs national parks, Apostle Islands, Pictured Rocks, and Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshores, Grand Portage National Monument, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and St Croix National Scenic Riverway.


  • National Park Service

    Diatoms and water quality in Great Lakes National Parks - Mark Edlund, Joy Ramstack Hobbs, David Burge


Mark Edlund

Content Editor, Centric Diatoms Diatoms of North America, Editoral Review Board

Senior Scientist Science Museum of Minnesota

David R.L. Burge

Assistant Scientist St. Croix Watershed Research Station

Phytoplankton Scientist Natural Resources Research Institute

Joy Ramstack Hobbs

Associate Scientist St. Croix Watershed Research Station, Science Museum of Minnesota

Joe Mohan

Post Doctoral Fellow University of California Irvine

David VanderMeulen

Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network

Isle Royale GLKN sediment core
Image Credit: Mark Edlund
Short sediment cores are used to monitor lakes in the GLKN national parks
Isleroyale l7 2001268 lrg
Image Credit: NASA Earth Image
Satellite image of Isle Royale National Park, located within Lake Superior.