Shipboard and Shoreline Science
Program Description
 R/V Lake Guardian
The goals of COSEE Great Lakes, like all COSEE Centers, related to enhancing marine and aquatic literacy through connecting educators, students and the public more directly with the science of the Great Lakes. For 4th-10th grade teachers and non-formal educators, this was manifested in week-long Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshops aboard the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's 180-foot research vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian. Educators worked beside scientists, participating in Great Lakes research and stopping in ports for additional science experiences. In addition to shipboard and shoreline science, participants examined curricula and resources and explored classroom activities relating to the Great Lakes and oceans.

These yearly cruises were designed to promote the Great Lakes and marine sciences in formal and informal education, as well as forge lasting relationships between science researchers and educators. Fifteen teachers participated in each cruise.

The workshops offered first-hand explorations of lake ecology, geology, geography, weather, and biogeochemical processes, with particular emphasis on human impacts and parallels between the Great Lakes and ocean systems. Participants collected planktonic and benthic organisms, measured and analyzed water quality parameters, and visited several coastal ports where they explored special habitats with local scientists. Many "teachable moments" occurred as participants encountered other vessels, observed waterfowl and weather, and stopped at shore facilities. This was Great Lakes learning at its best!

Examples of workshop topics include:

  • Coastal processes
  • Plankton and benthos
  • Global climate change impacts
  • Great Lakes climate/water interactions
  • Water quality measurement and interpretation
  • Food chains and food webs
  • Invasive and endangered species
  • Shipping and recreation
  • AND the Great Lakes across the curriculum!
2009 Cruises (Lakes Superior and Huron)
2010 Cruise (Lake Michigan)
2011 Cruise (Lake Superior)
2012 Cruise (Lake Huron)

COSEE Center
The goals of COSEE Great Lakes (now the Center for Great Lakes Literacy) relate to enhancing marine and aquatic literacy through connecting educators, students and the public more directly with the science of the lakes. We want our scientists to be better equipped to reach out to schools and the public with their important messages. We want our teachers and informal educators to know about the high quality curriculum materials available to teach about the Lakes, and to relate them to the oceans. We have the additional goal of increasing access to science among the Native Americans of the region and the many minority groups throughout the large urban areas and rural parts of our area.

Contact Information
Center for Great Lakes Literacy