A special seminar on biologically active compounds in Midwestern watersheds will
be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 16 at the National Great Rivers Research and Education
Center’s Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station.
NGRREC watershed scientist John Sloan will host the seminar, and Alan Kolok, director of the
Nebraska Watershed Network, will present a lecture entitled “Agrichemicals in Midwestern
Watersheds: The Hourglass.” Kolok is also a professor and the director of the Aquatic Toxicology
Laboratory at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The seminar is free and open to the public.
“A better understanding of the fate of the compounds in Midwestern watersheds enhances
efforts toward better environmental stewardship, for both water professionals as well as an
empowered citizenry,” Kolok said.
Through the use of basic research approaches, local field stations and citizen scientists, the
Nebraska Watershed Network has been tracking the movement of biologically active compounds
through rivers in eastern Nebraska. In these watersheds, biologically active compounds are
driven into surface water by rain.
“Biologically active compounds, such as steroids and pharmaceuticals, occur in alarmingly high
concentrations in surface waters throughout North America,” Kolok said. “The fate and
transport of these compounds, when released from point sources, such as wastewater treatment
plants has been fairly well described, however the release of these compounds from non-point
sources is much less well described.”
NGRREC is situated in a unique position near a significant, yet relatively unstudied, ecosystem
created by the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers. Few ecosystems are as
closely linked with the development of human civilization as great rivers, and few ecosystems
have been as greatly altered by humans.
The Field Station’s scholars and scientists study the ecology of the big rivers, the workings of the
watersheds that feed them and ties to the river communities that use them. NGRREC aspires to
be a leader in scholarly research, education and outreach related to the interconnectedness of
big rivers, their floodplains and watersheds, and their associated communities.
For more information about NGRREC visit www.ngrrec.org.