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while exploring Earth's largest freshwater reserves.
Our Most Precious Resource
Fresh water is one of the most precious and valuable resources needed by humankind.
Less than one percent of Earth's water is fresh, liquid, and accessible, and most of that is found in huge lakes scattered around the globe. The Large Lakes Observatory expands and communicates knowledge about the past, present and future of large lakes worldwide, where most of the water depended upon by human society is found.
The Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) has a unique mission: to perform scientific study of the largest lakes of Earth. It is one of the largest water-centered research units at the university and its impact has been felt all over the world. The faculty, staff, and students of course use their human eyes to observe, but their senses also are extended in fascinating ways by the use of specialized observational platforms and techniques, some of which we will encounter here. Indeed, unusual skills and uncommon equipment often are needed to explore these large, sometimes remote, lake environments. Coordinated teams of investigators may take advantage of remote or autonomous sensors that extend their vision beyond what a single human alone can take in at a given moment. They use specialized equipment to make measurements of the chemistry, biology, and physics of large lakes. Such tools of the trade are not available everywhere, but they are central to the scientists of LLO. We invite you to learn more about research, education and outreach at LLO or contact us for further information.