Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center successfully launched!
On December 18th, MAISRC threw open its doors to announce that it is operational. Projects on Asian carp feeding attractants and eDNA are now underway. There were nearly 70 participants including deans, legislators, funders, and agency and nonprofit partners who were thanked for their support.
Guests of the event learned about the progress the MAISRC has made since receiving its start-up funding on July 1, 2012 including:
i) Hiring a full time associate director (Becca Nash)
ii) Hiring a post doctorate researcher to address how eDNA technology can best be used to quantify the abundance of carp (Jessica Eichmiller)
iii) Renovating a holding facility and selecting engineering firm (Burns & McDonnell) to renovate MAISRC’s primary lab space to make it safe and suitable for the specialized research that is needed
iv) Collecting over 500 water samples from the Mississippi River drainage to analyze for the presence of Asian carp eDNA. This is a collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the US Geological Survey. A collaborative agreement with the USGS has been reached so they can begin using approved techniques to measure eDNA. Results are expected in March, 2012.
Guests met with scientists and saw posters of research already under way at the MAISRC. To see posters and learn more about this work, click here.
Additionally, guests learned about future work that will be possible with a proposed $8.7 million in funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. A recommendation for this funding has already been made by the Legislative- Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and awaits legislative approval in 2013. For more information on this future research, click here.
The Tonka Beer Company’s Save Our Lakes Foundation presented the MAISRC with its first check for $5,000 at this event.