Tuesday, 16 February 2016 11:30

2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum Update

The 2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum will be held on May 11th -13th and we are working on finalizing the details for this Great Salt Lake celebration.

The purpose of the forum is to convene a conversation about the complexities of the science, current issues affecting the Lake, and management and planning challenges that face these unique saline systems. The forum also includes presenters from other systems regionally and hemispherically so shared insights can be achieved between the GSL “ home team” and those outside resources.

We are excited to announce that opening remarks will be delivered by Governor Gary Herbet!

Other program highlights include:

Wednesday, May 11th -Dr. Stan Awarmik, University of California, will talk about the Archean Biosphere and Evolution of Modern Microbialites (working title). This will focus our Wednesday discussion on The Next Frontiers in Great Salt Lake Research and the work that’s being done on GSL microbial bioherms and the important benthic/invertebrate communities and their role in the food web and their importance to the ecology of Great Salt Lake.

Thursday, May 12th - Doug Barnum, USGS Salton Sea will talk about his work on this system, and share insights about possible tipping points from water development that affects salinity, brine shrimp and migratory bird populations.

Friday, May 13th - Phill Kiddoo, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District will talk about his work on the restoration of the Owens Lake system and addressing air quality issues that resulted from the desiccation of that system.

Please continue to check our website for schedule updates and registration information coming soon!



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FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake is hosting the 2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum on May 11, 12 + 13th at the University of Utah Officers Club. The title of the program is:  Great Salt Lake in the Big Picture.

The goal of the poster session is to feature biological, hydrological, geological, ecological, archaeological, historical, economic and/or planning issues pertinent to Great Salt Lake and its management.

Poster Presentations

Poster dimensions should not exceed 3’ 9” x 3’ 9”. Size requirements must be strictly adhered to so they fit within the space assigned to them. If your poster exceeds these specifications, it may be subject to removal. Pins and display boards will be provided.

The posters can be displayed from Wednesday, May 11th at 10 am and must be removed by Friday, May 13th by 3:00 pm. Presenters will be asked to stand by their posters Thursday, May 12th from 5 – 6 pm during the Poster Session Reception to answer questions and discuss their work with other attendees. If you have questions, please contact Jaimi Butler at gslinstitute@westminstercollege.edu

Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College will offer the Outstanding Student Poster Award of $250, which will be presented on Friday, May 13th, directly after lunch and before the afternoon session begins. Interested judges should call Jaimi at 801-832-2308 or email at gslinstitute@westminstercollege.edu

Important Dates-

  • March 1 – Registration for the 2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum opens
  • April 22 -Submission deadline for abstracts
  • April 29 –Notification of abstract selection

Abstracts should be 200 words in length describing the poster to be presented. Indicate the list of authors in the order they are to appear in the abstract book. Send abstracts to Jaimi Butler at gslinstitute@westminstercollege.edu

Posters will be located in the East Conference Room of the Officers Club throughout the Forum.

Abstracts will be online through the Forum website www.fogsl.org/2016forum and printed in book form for Forum attendees.

Thank you for your interest in helping to make this poster session of important research rich and insightful.


Lift Off

2016 Doyle W. Stephens Scholarship Award
Thursday, May 12th- before the lunch break

Every year since 2003, FRIENDS awards the Doyle W. Stephens Scholarship ($1,000) to a graduate or undergraduate student engaged in new or ongoing research that focuses on Great Salt Lake and/or the Lake ecosystem or watershed.

The scholarship was established in memory of Dr. Doyle W. Stephens (1944-2000) who was a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey.  As a contributor to the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program that was initiated in 1996, Doyle’s work on Great Salt Lake brine shrimp ecology helped increase understanding about population dynamics of the shrimp in the Lake and factors affecting the structure and density of the population.

This year, the 2016 Doyle W. Stephens Award Ceremony will take place at the Great Salt Lake Issues Forum prior to the lunch break on Thursday, May 12th. Stay tuned for more details about the 2016 scholarship recipient.


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2015 scholarship recipient, Chris Mansfield

Thursday, May 12th

Evening Banquet at the Alta Club

100 East South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

6:30 - 7:00 Reception, Cash Bar

7:15 - 9:30 Supper in the Dining Room, Wine Service

8:15: Guest Speaker - Frank E. “Fee” Busby, Former Dean of the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University
8:30: 2016 Friend of the Lake Award Presentation to the GSL Ecosystem Program 


Frank E. "Fee" Busby

Busby 1Fee grew up in a small town in west Texas.  One of his most vivid childhood memories were the clouds of dust that would blow up from the cultivated fields during the “little” dust bowl of the 1950s.  One of his objectives has been to not let that happen again – on agricultural land or the exposed bed of the Great Salt Lake. 

Fee’s high school graduation class numbered 10.  What he enjoyed most in school was Vocational Agriculture and FFA.  His goal was to become a high school vocational agriculture teacher.  This dream lasted until his senior year in College.   When he did his student teaching he learned that he was not cut out to be a high school teacher.  Fortunately, while preparing to teach high school, he had taken several classes in rangeland management thinking that would be a good subject to include in vocational agriculture classes in west Texas.  Making the transition from the BS in Vocational Agriculture Education to an MS in Rangeland Ecology was easy. 

Fee says that during college he had some great teachers.  A couple are fondly remembered because of their effort to help him succeed.  Their engagement reignited his desire to teach, but at the college rather than high school level.  He finished his MS, earned his PhD (at Utah State) and taught for several years before being enticed to serve as a Department Head.  That led to several other administrative positions, the last being Dean of the College of Natural Resources at USU.  In 2005, he stepped down as Dean.  The last piece of paper he signed as Dean was appointing himself to a teaching position.  He had decided that during the rest of his career that he would attempt to do for others what those outstanding college teachers had done for him – help every student graduate prepared to and wanting to make a difference in the management of natural resources.

Fee says he wants to bring to Friends of Great Salt Lake a message of joy and of hope – joy in what we have accomplished and hope to continue to make a positive difference in the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem.  



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"Since 1883, the Alta Club has been the gathering place for Utah’s business, educational and political leaders. Originally modeled after the private club that flourished on the east and west costs in the late nineteenth century, the Alta Club has retained a traditional spirit while embracing the present. Located in the beautifully restored and historically significant Alta Club building in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, the Club will provide a unique experience of fine dining and a memorable experience.

Alta Club Dress Code

Driving Directions from the Fort Douglas area to the Alta Club

Valet Service provided

The Friend of the Lake Award is given to an individual, organization, program or business performing outstanding work in education, research, advocacy and/or the arts to benefit Great Salt Lake.

There is a vibrant and active community of people working on behalf of the Lake. Their efforts help increase our understanding and awareness of our big salty neighbor which can lead to positive action for preservation of the ecosystem.

To recognize these talents and contributions, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake established this award to be presented at our Biennial Great Salt Lake Issues Forum.

At the the 2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum, FRIENDS will be honoring the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) with this award for its collaborative due diligence in studying artemia franciscana – Great Salt Lake brine shrimp.

Over the past 20 years, this public-private partnership represented by the Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative, Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, Utah State University and the University of Notre Dame has succeeded in developing a sustainable management model for this resource. The Brine Shrimp Population Model developed by Dr. Gary Belovsky, University of Notre Dame, is a model used to track the brine shrimp demographics and manage the fishery in order to maximize production and ensure a healthy ecosystem.

Our hats go off to the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) for its coordinated effort in providing a valuable tool for managing this resource.

Join us at the Thursday evening banquet at the Alta Club when the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program will be recognized with the 2016 Friend of the Lake Award.

Newfoundland Mountains


Another big briny thanks to our sponsors for their generosity in helping to make this event possible. We could not have produced this amazing event without you!

The Issues Forum is held at the University of Utah Officers Club.

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water – Loren Eiseley


I’m looking out my window at the recent and welcome 10” of valley snow, and thinking about the Lake. How will this winter water season affect a Lake that has been parched and hit with record low elevations? Whatever happens we know that important work must continue to ensure Great Salt Lake’s future. That’s why I’m writing.


Three times each year, FRIENDS asks for your support of our collective work to preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem.

  • We want you to keep your membership active because it’s key to our success in providing a strong voice for the Lake.
  • We celebrate our Fall fundraiser to generate funding for program support but to also provide that social camaraderie that gives us an opportunity to relax and enjoy who we are. 
  • And we send out this Year End Letter because there’s always more to do. And we need your continuing support of our programs in education, our initiatives to promote research, our advocacy for Lake protection, and our efforts to widen the scope of Lake appeal and cultural connection through the arts.

 We want to thank you for being there with us as a loyal supporter, and for your thoughtful generosity. And we can all be proud of the progress we’re making to protect this complex and unique ecosystem. Our accomplishments are far too many to include in this letter but our legacy programs are strong and effective in building more awareness and appreciation for our big, salty neighbor.

  • The 2015 Spring/Fall Lakeside Learning Field Trip season covered two different parts of the Lake. Our traditional Antelope Island adventure where 1,819 - 4th grade students were “touched by the brine”. And a brand new South Shore Lakeside Extension Program which provided 374 Tooele District 4th graders with this unique “hands on + feet wet” salty investigation. Thanks to funding support from Cargill, this program will continue through Spring 2017.
  • This summer, we partnered with the Natural History Museum of Utah on two Great Salt Lake field camps. The camps provided a watershed wide perspective of Great Salt Lake’s role as a terminal lake in the Great Basin. We’re very excited as we look ahead to 2016 with a new summer camp offering with local nonprofit Art Access to provide a unique learning experience to students with cognitive and physical disabilities.
  • We awarded our 14th Doyle W. Stephens Scholarship to support research on Great Salt Lake systems by students at the university level. Chris Mansfield, of Westminster College is this year’s winner. He is investigating the high concentrations of methyl mercury in Great Salt Lake waters.
  • The 2nd Annual Alfred Lambourne Prize that celebrates the creative expression within our community inspired by our inland sea, was given to Max Rosenzweig for his work, Ephemeral Nonsites of Great Salt Lake and Lake Bonneville
  • We are honored to be featured in two documentaries made this year. Great Salt Lake: Utah’s Sanctuary  (KBYU-TV), and  Desert Water: The Future of Utah’s Water Resources made by Dr. Hal Crimmel, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor of English at Weber State University.
  • At the Annual Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference in SLC this past October, FRIENDS provided the conference opening keynote address, and partnered with SETAC participants on a classroom service project at Farnsworth Elementary with 86 inquisitive students.
  • And we have been working on planning the 2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum, May 11-13th at the University of Utah Officers Club. The title of the program is Great Salt Lake in the Big Picture. As usual we’ll include resources from other saline systems so we can share our insights, learn from each other, and make the world a smaller place.


But we can do more. And we will. We do this work with you, with our volunteer board, the volunteer Executive director and one full time and one half-time paid staff.
Most importantly, we do it with 400 members like you.


Our Board of Directors and staff have committed to match the first $8,280 donated to FRIENDS. We hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible gift this holiday season so that we can continue to carry the flag of Great Salt Lake to all corners of the watershed. If you’ve already given then thanks so much for your gift. If you want to give again or for the first time, you can do so at: https://fogsl.org/support/donate-online


In the rush of the holidays, it’s always important to remember the simple and basic things about our family, friends and quality of life. I hope Great Salt Lake is a part of that picture for you.


Thank you.

In Seasonal Saline,

Lynn de Freitas, Executive Director


Why We Care

  • The lake is elemental. It seems to arise from creation itself, the embodiment of Aristotle's classical concept of matter and the universe: earth, air, fire, and water. Seen in this ethereal light -- the gloom of dusk lit by fiery sunlight, alien and snow-covered, leaking water and struggling to exist -- it connects to secret and ancient things. Aristotle's insight may have come to him in a dream, and the dream surely looked like this.

    Thomas Horton, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant