Water Research Field Station
The Water Research Field Station (WRFS) is one of the only facilites in the southwest designed to assess,under controlled field conditions, the effects of pesticides on aquatic ecosystems prior to their general use in the environment. Field station research is supported on campus by a biological and residue analysis laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment such as computer-interfaced gas chromatography.
Our research includes both basic and applied ecology projects and focuses on five areas: stream ecology, aquatic insect biology, biodiversity studies, the use of microinvertebrates in the ecological risk assessment process and environmental education. This research is conducted in a diverse range of aquatic ecosystems that include springs, wetlands,streams, rivers and impoundments. The laboratory has hosted workshops, and routinely provides support to the UNT Elm Fork Education Program, and the Lake Lewisville Education Learning Area (LLELA).
A Corp of Engineers facility that supports studies on biology, ecology, and managment of aquatic plants, LAERF provides an intermediate scale research environment to bridge the gap between small scale laboratory studies and large-scale field tests. In addition to 53 earthen and 21 lined ponds, LAERF utilizes 18 flowing water raceways, 3 large outdoor mesocosm facilities, a research greenhouse, and several laboratories to conduct research activities.
The Aquatic Toxicology laboratory (ATL) and its associated facilities are designed and equipped for carrying out modern toxicological research from the genetic and molecular level through field and mesocosm assessments. The ATL is located on the first floor of UNT's Environmental Education, Science, and Technology (EESAT) building.
The mission of the Center for Watershed and Reservoir Assessment and Management (CWRAM) is to conduct problem-solving research addressing water/land issues, to be an information resource on best management practices for addressing watershed and reservoir problems, and to provide educational programs about water and reservoir assessment and management.
Ecological Risk Assessment and the Experimental Stream
Primary research interests include contaminant effects on freshwater aquatic communities. Specifically, understanding linkages among fisheries and benthic population dynamics and how these are influenced by anthropogenic perturbations are studied by examining how chemical pollutants are distributed through biological communities and how they affect community structure and function. The Experimental Research Stream, recently constructed, is located at the City of Denton Wastewater Treatment Facility on Pecan Creek and is used to examine the effects of pollutants on benthic ecosystems.
Science Education Research
This area of research deals with both the learning and teaching of science. We qualitively and quantitively examine the barriers that affect each side of this paradigm, introduce intervention strategies to address them, and quantify and communicate the results. Furthermore, we examine the various aspects of scientific communication; how science is communicated to learners, the public, policy makers, etc; and how these individuals use science knowledge/ information in their decision making processes. Our UNT biological science education team also conducts a variety of public outreach programs throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. These programs include the Dallas Environment Education Initiative, which provides conservation education to more than 10,000 Dallas participants per year and the new Bear Creek Ranch Research Center, which provides environmental science education to a wide audience throughout the Aledo, Fort Worth area.