Shipboard and Shoreline Science Workshop Aboard the R/V Lake Guardian

Two locations this summer:

  • Lake Superior (July 7-13, 2009)
  • Lake Huron (July 25-31, 2009)

Application Deadline:
May 1, 2009


The Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes invites 4th-10th grade teachers and non-formal educators to participate in one of two week-long Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshops aboard the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency�s 180-foot research vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian. Educators will work beside scientists, participating in Great Lakes research and stopping in ports for additional science experiences. In addition to shipboard and shoreline science, participants will examine curricula and resources and explore classroom activities relating to the Great Lakes and oceans.

The cruises are designed to promote Great Lakes and marine sciences in formal and informal education, as well as forge lasting relationships between science researchers and educators. Fifteen teachers will be selected from around the Great Lakes basin for each of the two cruises.

The workshops will offer first-hand explorations of Lakes Superior and Huron ecology, geology, geography, weather, and biogeochemical processes, with particular emphasis on human impacts and parallels between Great Lakes and ocean systems. Participants will be involved in the collection of planktonic and benthic organisms as well as water quality data collection and analysis. Participants will visit several coastal ports where they will explore special habitats and informal learning sites with local researchers and scientists. Many �teachable moments� will occur as participants encounter other vessels, observe waterfowl and weather, and stop at shore facilities. This is Great Lakes learning at its best!

Examples of workshop topics:

  • 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!


Itineraries & Contacts

Lake Superior: July 7 - July 13

This cruise will begin and end in beautiful Duluth, Minnesota, at the headwaters of the entire Great Lakes system! The tentative route follows the North Shore of Lake Superior, crosses to northern Michigan's Isle Royale, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and back to Duluth via Wisconsin�s Apostle Islands.


Cindy Hagley
Education Coordinator
Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota Duluth
Dr. Jim Lubner
Education Coordinator
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Advisory Services
(414) 227-3291

Lake Huron: July 25 � July 31

Participants will board in Detroit, Michigan, embarking on a journey up the Huron-to-Erie Corridor (Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and St. Clair River), onto the sparkling waters of Lake Huron. The Lake Guardian will make stops at several Lake Huron ports of call, Alpena and Bay City among them, and complete the cruise in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Steve Stewart
Education Coordinator
Michigan Sea Grant Extension


Workshop Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Interact with scientists conducting research during the cruise; collect and analyze data en route.
  • Synthesize information and provide examples of how water characteristics interact with land, life, weather, and human activities.
  • Infuse Great Lakes information into existing curriculum or informal education media using traditional and/or electronic means.
  • Compare Great Lakes systems with ocean counterparts, with regard to issues of human impacts and natural changes over time.

Participants will be expected to:

  • Develop a reflective journal based on activities.
  • Participate in research protocol development and implementation.
  • Complete a plan for continuation of course ideas and scientist interaction.
  • Participate in all aspects of program evaluation.

COSEE Great Lakes staff will:

  • Introduce teachers to regional Great Lakes and marine science research topics and high quality curricular and educational resources.
  • Facilitate interactions between teachers and Great Lakes/ocean science researchers.
  • Promote inquiry learning through existing curricular and educational resources, aligning with National Science Education Standards.
  • Facilitate the development, exchange and implementation of curricula and lessons for participants� classrooms.
  • Provide for long-term support, evaluation and communication between COSEE Great Lakes and workshop participants.


Facilities & Logistics

The Research Vessel

The R/V Lake Guardian, operated by the U.S. EPA�s Chicago-based Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO), conducts monitoring programs that sample the water, aquatic life, sediments, and air in order to assess the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem by using state-of-the-art data collection techniques and instruments during the biannual spring and summer surveys.

The R/V Lake Guardian is the U.S. EPA�s largest Great Lakes research and monitoring vessel. It is a zero-discharge ship.


Participants will have room and board in the crew�s quarters of the vessel, 2 or 3 berths per room with limited space for gear. Rooms include bunks, desks, lockers, and computer LAN connections. Some quarters have private bathrooms with showers and others have bathrooms shared between two rooms. Onboard recreation, exercise, and meal facilities are available.

Workshop participants will receive:

  • Stipend of $250
  • Travel reimbursement up to $150, depending on distance traveled.
  • Housing and meals onboard the R/V Lake Guardian for six nights/seven days at no cost to the participant.
  • Exemplary Great Lakes and marine curricula and resources.
  • Long-term support and communication with COSEE Great Lakes educators.


Graduate Credits

Graduate-level credit will be available through the University of Minnesota Duluth. Participants receiving graduate credit are responsible for all tuition and fees. Please contact Dr. Bruce Munson ( for more information.


Application Process

Applications are invited from:

  • Teachers of grades 4-10 from the Great Lakes basin who teach or are willing to teach Great Lakes and marine science in their classrooms.
  • Educators from non-formal educational institutions that have Great Lakes or marine science exhibits or plan to add such topics to their programs.

Participants will be selected to provide regional geographic distribution and ethnic diversity. Teachers who are Native American or members of groups underrepresented in science and/or who teach significant numbers of students who are members of such groups are encouraged to apply.

Application materials required:

  • Application Form. One form can be used to apply to both workshops. Participants may select a first and second choice if they wish to be considered for both (see application form).
  • Personal Statement and Supporting Documentation. See application form.
  • Letter of Reference. All applicants must have a letter of reference from their principal or supervisor documenting the applicant�s professional qualifications for the workshop and indicating that the administrator will support efforts to integrate Great Lakes/ocean science topics into the curriculum as these topics apply to state science standards.

Instructions for Submitting your Application:
Open and complete the two-page application, including the Standard COSEE GL application form and a supplemental application. At the bottom of the supplemental application is a �Submit� button. Once you have hit the submit button, your application will automatically be attached to an email message to Be sure to send a copy of the email to yourself so you have a record of your application.

Attach your personal statement and letter of recommendation to the application email or send them separately. Applications must be complete (including the application form, personal statement, and letter of recommendation) by May 1 or they will not be considered.

We prefer to receive your application electronically. If all else fails, send it the traditional way:

Cynthia Hagley
FAX: 218-726-6556
Minnesota Sea Grant
137 Chester Park
31 West College Street
Duluth, MN 55812

Application Deadlines:
Completed application with required principal or supervisor signature must be received by May 1, 2009. Initial notification of participants and alternates will be made by email by May 18, 2009. In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this workshop, COSEE Great Lakes will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status. All selected applicants are required to view the �Safety Aboard the R/V Lake Guardian� video available at: prior to participation.

COSEE Great Lakes Shipboard and Shoreline Science Workshops are supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under

For Scientists:

Let COSEE help in engaging educational outreach

Events by Date:

November 9 – 10, 2012
EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: Inspire Great Lakes Stewardship! Help Your Students Protect their Watershed
July 8 – 14, 2012
Shipboard and Shoreline Science Workshop Aboard the R/V Lake Guardian
June 11 – 12, 2012
Science and Stories of the St. Louis River Estuary: Exploring Technology for Teaching About the St. Louis River
July 25 – 30, 2010
Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop
July 6 – 12, 2010
Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Michigan
R/V Lake Guardian
October 14, 2009
Lake Erie Teacher Workshop
Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo, NY
August 26, 2009
Exploring the Link between Invasive Species & the Erie Canal
Spencerport, NY
July 25 – 31, 2009
Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Huron
R/V Lake Guardian
July 18 – 24, 2009
Lake Erie Exploration Workshop
July 7 – 13, 2009
Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Superior
R/V Lake Guardian
February 16 – 27, 2009
Great Lakes ALIVE
On-line workshop through the College of Exploration

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