For his doctoral dissertation, Lukas Bell-Dereske has been studying dune grass in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. He created an experiment in which he mimicked one of the effects of climate change — increased precipitation in larger pulses — to see how dune plants would respond.

Air and water temperatures are expected to rise, and lake levels are predicted to decline over time, with longer droughts between heavier rain events. An ecologist explains what scientists believe will happen to our ecosystem in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore area and the single, most important reason behind it all.

On Thursday, October 16, Glen Arbor resident and business owner Chris Sack posted photos on his Facebook page that showed the basement of his home on M-109, west of Glen Arbor, flooding with water. But Sack’s frustration fell on deaf ears. Later that evening, at the Township Hall in Glen Arbor, State Representative Ray Franz (Republican) concluded a townhall forum by calling Climate Change “a hoax”.

On August 21, scientist Lukas Bell-Dereske gave a public presentation to a packed house at the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Center in Empire that offered a window into how climate change will affect our cherished National Park.

Do you want to learn how your favorite beach may respond to predicted climate change? Then join researcher, Lukas Bell-Dereske for a special public program entitled “Climate Change in the Great Lakes Dunes: Responses of the Plant Community at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore” on Thursday, August 21 at 9 a.m. at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center auditorium in Empire.