b'Celebrating 50 years of The National Center for Water Quality ResearchBy Angela GilesThen, in 1968, Dave received the first of many significant grants for a In over 70 interviews with a diversity of researchers, formerstudy of contaminants in the Sandusky River. Among other things, the students, agriculturalists andgrant allowed for the purchase of equipment and the hiring of what others familiar with the Nationalwas to be the labs first full-time employee, Jack Kramer, 69. Contrary Center for Water Quality Research, the most commonly voicedto initial expectations, Bakers team discovered that storm events, sentiment I heard was admirationsometimes tinged with amazementrather than diluting concentrations of pollutants in the river, commonlyfor the Water Laboratorys staff and the invaluable data it hasresulted in runoff from agricultural fields that produced spikes in their amassed over the past 50 years. concentrations.That is the assessment of Dr. Ken Baker, professor emeritus of biology,That study during the summer of 1969 really drove a lot of the labs who has chronicled the work of the NCWQR in a soon-to-be-publishedresearch going forward and was one of the major first findings to draw book about its remarkable history. Baker compiled the story of itsattention to its work, said Ken. It laid the foundation for the creation staff and activities in anticipation of Heidelbergs celebration of theof the incredible amount of water quality data that has become one of NCWQRs golden anniversary during Homecoming, October 19. the NCWQRs most valuable contributions to science. You will not find The driving force behind the book is Peg (Swinehart) Baker, 60, wifea dataset of similar quantity and quality anywhere else in the world. of the labs founder and long-time director, Dr. David Baker, 58.As heBakers history continues through the decades, writing, for example, prepared for the task, however, Ken realized he needed to go back toof the labs early two-year study of Lake Erie, its discovery of the school. I needed to do two things: I needed to talk to a lot of peopleimportance of dissolved phosphorus compounds as a trigger for and I needed to read up on water science and familiarize myself withhazardous algal blooms in Lake Erie, its expanding investigations of the labs publications. Im a biologist, not a water chemist, so this is notnutrients, pesticides and metals in surface and groundwater, Dr. Ken my native milieu, he said. Kriegers studies on the remarkable recovery of Lake Eries mayfly Kens central focus has been addressing the question, How is it thatpopulations, and the NCWQRs collaborations with other research an internationally respected, state-of-the-art environmental researchgroups in developing and testing mathematical models exploring the facility specializing in water quality studies came to exist and thrive at ainterface between agricultural practices and water quality in streams, small, liberal arts college in northwest Ohio? rivers and lakes.The labs origin dates back to Dr. David Baker who, as the newestThe development and success of the lab is largely a consequence of member of Heidelbergs biology faculty in 1966, had the idea to offerbeing in the right place, at the right time with the right people. To read his introductory biology students a real-world research experience bymore about Ken Bakers history and those who have made the lab run, incorporating an experiential water quality study of the Sandusky River. visit www.heidelberg.edu/ncwqr50.32|Heidelberg University Bulletin'