students at the great salt lake

About the Great Salt Lake Institute

Our Mission

Connecting people to Great Salt Lake through research and education.

Our Story

Great Salt Lake Institute (GSLI) was established in 2008 with support from Westminster College and an external grant, allowing us to hire a coordinator, involve student employees, and purchase equipment to reach out to the community in a real way. We began by running community field trips and developing high school and college curriculum on GSL. Shortly thereafter, we created a GSLI summer undergraduate research program.

Filling a Niche

Westminster College is uniquely situated between the Wasatch Mountains to the east and Great Salt Lake to the west. We are firmly rooted in an urban landscape in a major metropolitan area adjacent to one of the great terminal lakes of the world. Science faculty at Westminster College noted a general disinterest in the lake by community and research institutions alike and began researching this unique ecosystem.

The advocacy non-profit group, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake, was active in stewardship and K-12 education endeavors at the lake, but scholarly investigations from academic perspectives were lacking. We realized a complementary organization could create a different community in a college setting. The vision was immense-that we could attract researchers from around the world, facilitate large projects, engage in outreach efforts, and all of these endeavors would involve our undergraduate students.

Meet the Team

Carly Biedul

Carly Biedul

Great Salt Lake Institute Coordinator

David Parrott, Ph.D

David Parrott, Ph.D

Assistant Professor