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


  • Lake Michigan (July 6-12, 2010)

Application Deadline:
April 2, 2010


The Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes invites 4th-10th grade teachers and non-formal educators to participate in a week-long Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshop 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 cruise is 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 the cruise.

The workshop will offer first-hand explorations of Lake Michigan 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 with local 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 Michigan: July 6 - 12, 2010

This cruise will begin and end in scenic Milwaukee, WI. The R/V Lake Guardian will make stops at several ports along the way.

Lead Contact:

Robin Goettel
Associate Director for Education
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program, University of Illinois
(217) 333-9448

Additional Contacts:

Helen Domske
Coastal Education Specialist, New York Sea Grant Institute
Associate Director of the Great Lakes Program, SUNY-Buffalo
(716) 645-3610
Dr. Jim Lubner
Education Coordinator
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Advisory Services
(414) 227-3291


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 scientific research and data collection.
  • Complete a plan for continuation of course ideas, including the use of collected data and scientist interaction.
  • Provide input on personal reflections and experiences for inclusion on the workshop blog.
  • 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 and Ocean/Great Lakes Literacy Principles.
  • 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 to assess the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. It uses 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 self-contained, non-discharging research vessel.


Participants will have room and board in the crew's quarters of the vessel, 3 berths per room, with limited space for gear. Rooms include bunks, desks, lockers, Internet connectivity, and shared bathrooms 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 for Educ 5570: Exemplary Models for Science Education (2 credits) is available through the University of Minnesota Duluth. Participants receiving graduate credit are responsible for all tuition and fees, a total cost of $191.46.


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.
  • One space will be available to an educator who has participated in a prior R/V Lake Guardian shipboard science workshop. This individual will be responsible not only for mentoring the other participants, but also for creating and maintaining the weeklong blog.
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Participants will be selected to provide regional geographic distribution and ethnic diversity. Teachers who are American Indian 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. The application form is linked here.
  • Personal Statement (one page) and Supporting Documentation. See application form.
  • Letter of Reference. All applicants must have a letter of reference from their principal or supervisor (not from a peer) 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, you will need to select either "Desktop Email Application" or "Internet Email" in the popup window. If "Internet Email" is selected you will need to save the file to your computer and manually attach the file to an email, otherwise your application will be automatically attached to an email message using your desktop email application. Applications should be sent 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) and received by April 2 or they will not be considered.

NOTE: If you hit submit and you get an error message, please print the two pages of the completed application form and send either via email () or fax (217-333-8046) to Robin Goettel.

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

Robin Goettel
Associate Director for Education
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program
University of Illinois
390 NSRC, MC-635
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

Application Deadlines:
Completed application, with required principal or supervisor signature, must be received by April 2, 2010. Initial notification of participants and alternates will be made by email by May 7, 2010. 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 This workshop is being conducted in partnership with USEPA, Great Lakes National Program Office.

For Scientists:

Let COSEE help in engaging educational outreach

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Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Superior
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Great Lakes ALIVE
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