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> Nature

Freshwater Jellyfish in Michigan   

In-Person Class:  This class will be taught in person, in the classroom at the Vineyard Church.
    Enrollment:  Pandemic protocols may limit the enrollment for this class.
    Registrants will be informed in advance, and a waitlist will be available.

In the early 20th century, a species of translucent, nickel-sized freshwater jellyfish was introduced into North America. By the 1930s it had been identified in Michigan in the waters of the Huron River. Since then, these creatures have been found in numerous Michigan lakes and waterways. Although they are thought to be very common, these small jellyfish usually go unnoticed; however, blooms of hundreds to thousands can sometimes be seen in August and September. Eastern Michigan University faculty and students started a long-term monitoring program in the fall of 2022. In this presentation, Cara Shillington will talk about the jellies in general, and will report on some of the initial findings and ideas generated by the fall student survey.

Cara Shillington is a faculty member at Eastern Michigan University in the Department of Biology. She teaches both introductory and upper division classes, with a focus on invertebrates. Although her primary expertise is tarantulas, Dr. Shillington has spent quite a bit of time with aquatic marine environments. In the fall 2022, she launched a jellyfish research class as an opportunity for students to get out into the field and use the outdoors as their classroom.


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