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Lake Effect: a sixth grade class falls in love with Great Salt Lake

Josh Craner's 6th grade class at Great Salt Lake.

Josh Craner, Emerson sixth grade teacher:

My name is Josh Craner. I'm a sixth grade teacher at Emerson Elementary School. I've been teaching sixth grade for six or seven years now. We learn about ecosystems in the sixth grade science core. So I've been taking them to the Great Salt Lake and we go with all the sixth graders and do some fun activities down there.

Honestly, through teaching my students about the Great Salt Lake, I have gained a greater appreciation, I didn't understand that it was in danger. And the more that I've been learning about it, I've become more passionate about it, you know, giving my students an opportunity to learn about something that in their lifetime, it is changing, not for the better. And so hopefully, in their lifetime also, they'll be able to start to see it change for the good, and then help them to understand that they can be a part of that.

Miracle, Emerson sixth grade student:

My name is Miracle, and I am a student in Emerson sixth grade class. If it dried up that would really hurt the ecosystem, because that would kill all the brine shrimp that live there. And that would affect all the birds that eat the brine shrimp.

Tons of water is being diverted out of the lake. So if people try to conserve more water that could help.

Colby, Emerson sixth grade student:

My name is Colby. When we went out just for this Mother's Day, we went on to the boardwalk. It was sad seeing how dried up it was. I think it might ruin our income from skiing and snowboarding, because there's so much tourism there, and it would make it unlivable.

Fredrick, Emerson sixth grade student:

My name is Frederick. The most memorable time was probably when I went there with my older brothers and my oldest brother threw me in and so I was swimming around for a little while. And then they decided to get in. It was fun.

In my opinion, bringing awareness to the lake because I barely knew anything about the lake. And then I started sixth grade, and my amazing teacher over there taught me about the lake. You kind of fall in love with the lake, in a way.

Aimee Van Tatenhove is a science reporter at UPR. She spends most of her time interviewing people doing interesting research in Utah and writing stories about wildlife, new technologies and local happenings. She is also a PhD student at Utah State University, studying white pelicans in the Great Salt Lake, so she thinks about birds a lot! She also loves fishing, skiing, baking, and gardening when she has a little free time.
Ellis Juhlin is a science reporter here at Utah Public Radio and a Master's Student at Utah State. She studies Ferruginous Hawk nestlings and the factors that influence their health. She loves our natural world and being part of wildlife research. Now, getting to communicate that kind of research to the UPR listeners through this position makes her love what she does even more. In her free time, you can find her outside on a trail with her partner Matt and her goofy pups Dodger and Finley. They love living in a place where there are year-round adventures to be had!