Great Salt Lake Food Web
This class project at Westminster College was created by the Fall 1998 class in General Ecology (BIO 351) taught by
Dr. Ty Harrison. The students were:
Ever since the 1850 federal survey of Great Salt Lake by Howard Stansbury, the lake has been
one of the most famous of Utah's many natural attractions. Great Salt Lake is a prominent
feature of the northern Utah landscape.
|This is a satellite picture of Great Salt Lake from the
U.S. Geological Survey home page was taken when Great Salt Lake reached
its historic high level in 1987 and spilled, with the aid of giant pumps,
into the salt flats of the west desert.
Great Salt Lake moderates the local weather creating what is known as the " lake effect",
helping create large snowfalls in the local mountains as well as the "greatest snow on earth" for
the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is one of the most important areas in the western hemisphere for
migratory shorebirds . It is a major industrial source of salts and magnesium manufacture and
consequent industrial pollution. It is the source of a multimillion dollar brine shrimp industry.
(See the U.S. Geological Survey page on brine shrimp, or the Utah Department of Wildlife
page on brine shimp)
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT
GREAT SALT LAKE?
Great Salt Lake's basic biology and ecology is poorly understood or appreciated but important
research and educational projects are currently underway to help predict human and natural
effects on the lake's ecosystem. New groups like the Friends of Great Salt Lake and the
Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network have been organized to celebrate the lake's
local and national significance. Hawkwatch International provides information about raptors
which use the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.
Several books on the lake's natural history have recently been
Refuge by T. Tempest
2. Seductive Beauty of Great Salt Lake: Images of a Lake Unknown by Ella Sorensen and John P. George, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1997
3. Sagebrush Ocean by Steven Trimble.
4. The Great Salt Lake Story curriculum published in 199_? by the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Robert Ford of Westminster College has recently created a Virtual Field Trip to Great Salt
to help visitors better understand
the importance of this national treasure.
This project will describe
the simplified food web of Great Salt Lake shown diagramatically in the
Click on the appropriate organism's name to discover more about the biology of each major
inhabitant of the lake ecosystem. Organisms which have hot links currently include:
More links and information
will be added to this page in the future.
For additional information about this page contact: Dr. Ty Harrison at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Telephone: 801-488-4232 or E-mail: email@example.com