Student Work

Lake Stechlin Education


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Freshwater bodies such as rivers, lakes, streams and ponds play a significant role in human and ecological health in various ways. They provide drinking water, food, and they contribute to social well being through fishing, recreation and tourism. Moreover, they help sustain aquatic food chains, and organisms in lakes and other water bodies break down damaging toxins and organic matter that humans flush into sewage systems in the long run. Freshwater bodies also help avert floods, and maintain nutrients and biodiversity which sustains the overall ecosystem. Nonetheless, freshwaters can be vulnerable to effects from climate change since weather patterns heavily influence water temperatures which can affect the population of aquatic organisms. With that, species in different water bodies cannot disperse easily to other aquatic environments as a result of higher water temperatures. Issues related to freshwaters do not receive as much attention as other first order impacts such as rise of atmospheric temperature, so education about this topic becomes important since these water bodies influence the health of other environments which affect people’s health as a whole. Lake Stechlin, in Landkreis Oberhavel, Brandenburg, is a freshwater body of special significance in Germany. It is known for its depth and water quality. Due to subtle changes in its environment, the lake has become an important area for research into issues of water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentrations, and the health of its ecosystems. This project, in collaboration with the IGB-Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, used research conducted by scientists and data analyzed by staff members from LakeLab to create educational material regarding lake processes. The team implemented crucial elements regarding graphic design such as scale, proportion, unity, variety, rhythm, balance, emphasis, gradation, pattern and movement to create educational posters on processes in Lake Stechlin. Ways of integrating data, and cause and effects through environmental education helped the team make complicated processes easier for the audience to understand. Drawing on the data collected by IGB researchers, the team used a programming language to show the changing pattern of temperature, oxygen and chlorophyll throughout the year in a video graphic. These patterns correlate to the educational posters as they portray stratification in the four seasons through time, and the concentration of dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll at different depths. We conclude that the educational material not only expands on the scientific aspects of lake ecosystems, but it integrates the effects of long-term issues such as global warming on the health of Lake Stechlin and other freshwater bodies as a whole.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
  • E-project-050222-052122
  • 66861
  • 2022
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Date created
  • 2022-05-02
Resource type
Rights statement




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