From Native American use to Indiana's thriving pearl button industry to the cultured pearl trade, Indiana's freshwater mussels and rivers have sustained life and livelihoods. Freshwater mussels can only survive in clean rivers while their filter feeding also cleans water.
During the early 20th century, the Wabash River was home to a vibrant community of river mussels. Due to the high population of mussels in the Wabash, a pearl fishing industry originated around 1900 and operated until 1930. Researchers determine the age of the mussels using similar techniques to tree-ring dating because mussels gain one layer per year. Scientific methods also aide researchers in examining the chemical make-up of the shells which indicates the water quality of the Wabash River. Based on current findings, a random sample of old mussel shells demonstrates that these organisms are between 27 and 50 years of age.
Learn about the functions of natural wetlands and the benefits of constructed wetlands in treating wastewater. Discover on-going undergraduate research at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as it relates to the removal of phosphates in lab-scale constructed wetlands as well as changes to the Indiana Navigable Waters Protection Rule and how isolated wetlands and seasonal streams are affected by this legislation.
The Wabash River bottomlands are home to a rich variety of bird species, including raptors, wading birds, and small migratory land birds. This program discusses the history of the bald eagles' nesting habits and their population growth in Vigo County; the use of the Wabashiki wetlands by great egrets and great blue herons in summer and fall; and the less conspicuous spring and fall migrations of 30 warbler species through the woodlands along the river.
The Wabash River played an essential role in the early development of Terre Haute. Ultimately, the river's use as a central hub of commercial activity declined as other transport means emerged; now, citizens look to the river as a source of recreation and a recent revival of interest in this neglected gem of the city has emerged.
Rivers have played a critical role in the human geography, history, and settlement of the American Midwest. They have been essential for urban locations, economies, and transportation for centuries. The beauty of rivers in the Midwest provides opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
Myaamiaki, also known as the Miami People, have lived in present-day Indiana since time immemorial. Diane Hunter, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, will explain the history of Myaamiaki since their emergence as a unique and different people, as well as discuss the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and their presence in Indiana today. This presentation will emphasize the importance of waterways to Myaamiaki throughout their history.
This presentation explains how Saint Anne became the patroness of mariners, how a small chapel decorated with sea shells appeared in an Indiana forest, and how the community of Sisters living in the woods came to have an annual procession in honor of this Saint. Photographs and explanations of the symbols and stories portrayed by the shells, stained-glass windows, tile floor, and ironwork gate within the tiny chapel will be explained.
A biosand filter is designed for use in areas without electrical power and has been shown to improve water quality when compared to a surface water source. The filter system was designed and built as a class project for the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology course Appropriate Technology for Developing Countries and inspired by an existing gravity fed system in Panama. The operation of the filter system has provided a number of lessons about component reliability and opportunities for improvements.
Discuss the trials and tribulations Kathryn Mudica and Katelynn Rosiniak experienced while collecting water samples from the Wabash River. Learn about environmental and non-environmental factors that affect water quality.