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Lecturer to discuss 'power of plankton' in Valpo

The Porter County Administration Building in downtown Valparaiso. Sarah Powers, an adjunct instructor at IU's School of Environmental and Public Affairs, will discuss "The Power of Plankton" there Monday.

An Indiana University professor will discuss "The Power of Plankton" and "the foundations of a healthy watershed through the lens of microbiota" in downtown Valparaiso Monday.

Sarah Powers, an adjunct instructor at IU's School of Environmental and Public Affairs School, will give a talk sponsored by the Valpo Chain of Lakes Watershed Group at 7 p.m. Monday in the Chambers Room of the Porter County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave.

She'll discuss what keystone species like plankton reveal about the lakes in the talk, which is free and open to the public.

"Sarah Powers will speak about plankton in lakes and provide specific examples of plankton data from the lakes in the watershed," organizers said in a news release.

"Additionally, she will explain the history and information that has been gathered by the Indiana Clean Lakes Program on lakes in the watershed and explain ways citizens can be involved in monitoring lakes.

"Plankton are the critical and fascinating microscopic floating plants and animals at the foundation of our lake’s ecosystem which form the beginning of the food chain including larger plants, insects, reptiles, fish, birds, and ultimately mammals, including the human population of Porter County."

Powers, who teaches environmental science classes at IU and works as the lab manager for the Indiana Clean Lakes Program, also will answer questions during a Q&A session at Greek's Pizza next door after the presentation is concluded.

For more information, www.valpolakes.org or contact Walt Breitinger at breitin@frontier.com or 219-462-5821.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.