UMD Large Lakes Observatory

As the only institute in the United States dedicated to the scientific study of large lakes throughout the world, the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) is uniquely qualified and equipped to advance our understanding of Earth’s largest lakes. LLO is one of the largest water-focused centers of research in the entire University of Minnesota and is housed within the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. By using approaches from across limnology, environmental science, and oceanography, it supports the sustainability of well over half of the accessible freshwater on Earth. LLO performs innovative, cross-disciplinary research, education, and outreach that advances scientific understanding of Earth’s large lakes for the benefit of society. 

LLO’s extensive collection of field equipment has allowed it to conduct research in East Africa, Central Asia, Central and South America. Closer to home, LLO has two research vessels and multiple laboratories for studying the Great Lakes. LLO runs its free Science on Deck program, which allows the public to board the vessel, attend a presentation, and ask questions of graduate students and staff. LLO’s team is in the process of narrowing scientific gaps concerning how the Great Lakes are functioning and changing through the monitoring and data collection of algae blooms, convective cells, and carbon levels, among other processes. This work across the globe has helped to guide efforts in sustaining and preserving large bodies of water through interpreting climate data and studying the impacts of human activity.

Photo used with permission by UMD Large Lakes Observatory/Lisa Sundberg

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Now that you’ve learned more, the best way to create change is by getting involved! Donate your money or time, find support, and take action. Citizen climate action means a stronger, healthier, more vibrant Duluth!

Learn more at Large Lakes Observatory