Establishing a field station at Emiquon has significantly impacted and facilitated on-site research and education about this vital ecosystem. In addition, the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon is facilitating “hands-on” learning in the field and in the laboratory for students of many ages and for their teachers. The Therkildsen Field Station will have:
- Scientific significance – Alarmingly large portions of oceans and fresh water are no longer livable due to increased nutrient loading from agricultural activities. Research at Therkildsen may discover principles of nutrient export that can be immediately applied to these problems, or may pave the way for future discoveries.
- Societal significance – Better management of floodplains will likely have significant effects on Gulf Hypoxia, fisheries loss and species diversity. The Emiquon restoration will become a model for improved floodplain management.
- Historical significance – The Emiquon region has supported different communities for thousands of years. Until 1923, when levees were built, Thompson Lake was famous for its abundant wildlife, and attracted outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. The restoration is another chapter in the history of humans learning to live productively on the Illinois River floodplain.