U.P. water study boosts conservation efforts

Capital News Service
LANSING — Research at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is shedding light on the critical environmental role that shallow seasonal woodland pools of water play in supporting wildlife, a new study shows. Those isolated pools — technically called “vernal pools” — face direct threats from development and indirect threats from climate change, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, contaminated water and groundwater extraction, according to the study by scientists from Michigan Technological University. And those threats carry important ecological implications because such pools provide “important sources of food and water for upland terrestrial species, including bats, reptiles, small mammals and birds” in the Upper Peninsula, the study said. Vernal pools are shallow depressions that fill in the spring or fall but are dry during the summer and drought periods. Few laws protect them, and they’re not covered by the federal Clean Water Act.

Michigan campuses ranked for—what else?—snow

Capital News Service
LANSING — Two of the 10 snowiest college campuses in the nation are right here in Michigan, according to a list published by the AccuWeather forecasting service. Michigan Technological University in Houghton at the northernmost part of the Upper Peninsula ranked first with an average of nearly 200 inches of snowfall annually. And the eighth snowiest campus is Western Michigan University, the weather service says. On average, the Kalamazoo University receives 67 inches of snow each year. Placing No.