Navigating the Newsletter

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Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar
Organization News:
  • Mini-grants awarded
  • NMEA on horizon
COSEE Great Lakes
  • School for Scientists at IAGLR
  • School for Scientists
  • New COSEE PI
  • Summer events
  • Online climate change course from OSU
  • GIS training
  • Teacher at Sea
  • EstuaryLive
  • Photo contest
  • COSEE workshop application link
  • COSEE O’LAKERS funds
Great Lakes News
  • Great Ships
  • Ballast Water report
  • New electric barrier
  • Green shipping
  • Test of GL Compact
  • IJC web site
  • Biddanda on the web
Marine News
  • IOOS Bill signed
  • Ocean debris report
  • Faster sea level rise
  • Right whales
  • SeaWeb
Resources for Great Lakes Education
  • 2 free videos
  • Climate Change activities from WDNR
  • Lake Michigan Circle Tour
  • Activity: I, Robot, Can Do That [Thunder Bay Sinkholes]
Resources for Marine Education
  • Sea Level from Space
  • NASA tool kit
  • Ocean Motion
  • Take AIM at climate change
  • Marine mineral studies
  • Marine debris publication
  • NOAA online education resources
  • NOAA Jeopardy
  • Interactive sand map
  • Google Ocean
  • Ocean Gazing
  • Acidification videos

Past Newsletters

icon_external_link Volume 3, Issue 1
Winter 2009
icon_external_link Volume 2, Issue 4
Autumn 2008
icon_external_link Volume 2, Issue 3
Summer 2008
icon_external_link Volume 2, Issue 2
Spring 2008
icon_external_link Volume 2, Issue 1
Winter 2008
Volume 1, Issue 4
Autumn 2007
Volume 1, Issue 3
June 2007
Volume 1, Issue 2
February 2007
Volume 1, Issue 1
November 2006

Quarterly Newsletter for GLEAMS (Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science) and COSEE Great Lakes (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence)

Spring 2009 Volume 3, Issue 2

ships wheelFrom the Helm: Rosanne Fortner

dog meets ghost crab

Free of winter at last! What wonderful promise April brings, with its warm breezes and the rains to wash away the blackened edges of old snow. With spring come thoughts of summer too, and how to fill those precious days with learning and travel and family and catch-up, and maybe just plain rest.

The traditional school calendar is merciful in giving time for classroom teachers to regroup and reset the enthusiasm level for the important work they do. Summer for scientists is field season, time to get out and collect the data they’ve proposed in the experimental design, time to graph the numbers, examine the changes and ponder the implications.

In the Great Lakes, summer gives educators a chance to connect with the scientists through COSEE workshops and programs developed by our partner programs. Collectively these efforts provide remarkable personal science experiences that can be translated into learning opportunities for those we serve in classrooms and nonformal institutions. Be sure to check the Sweetwater Seascape Calendar so you don’t miss deadlines to apply for summer programs and register for NMEA.

Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Spring-Summer 2009

April 12-18
National Environmental Education Week. 2009 theme: Be Water Wise!
April 15
Apply for COSEE Marine Immersion Scholarships; 20 to be awarded at $500 each for selected partner programs.
May 1
Registration deadline for COSEE Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshops on Lakes Superior and Huron
May 14-17
Lake Superior Youth Symposium in Duluth MN. Focus: Global climate change and Lake Superior. Students and teachers of grades 8-12 can choose a one-day Sampler program on May 15 or a full weekend Extravaganza! For registration packet [due April 1] contact
May 19-22
International Association for Great Lakes Research meets at the University of Toledo. Special teacher registration rate, COSEE School for Scientists, and Teachable Moment.
July 7-13
COSEE's Lake Superior workshop aboard the R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian
July 18-24
COSEE's Lake Erie Exploration Workshop
July 25-31
COSEE's Lake Huron workshop aboard the R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian
Other partner programs described in Opportunities section
Great Lakes Regional Calendar
Organizations working for the lakes post their events at the link above.



Mini-grants awarded
Congratulations to the 2009 winners of GLEAMS Mini-grants!

Karen Fisher, Roberts Academy, Cincinnati OH
Ms. Fisher will engage her special education students [grades K-4] in learning about aquatic and marine life through reading and science, a trip to the Newport Aquarium. Students will make posters and a presentation about their experiences with aquatic environments.

Vicky Lind, Roberts Academy, Cincinnati
Ms. Lind will also prepare lessons for her first graders about aquatic and marine life and pollution effects in water systems, fresh and marine. The class will visit the Newport Aquarium and then write about their experience as well as a persuasive essay on why it’s important to protect marine life and aquatic life and aquatic environments.

Mike Mansour , Hawk Woods Nature Center, MI
Mike is working with Andi Moore, a middle school science teacher at Oakland Christian School. Five of her classes are participating in a Hawk Woods program called Salmon in the Classroom. The students monitor the life of the fish and quality of the water’s pH level, ammonia concentration, and maintain the overall quality of the water for two aquariums filled with baby Chinook salmon. They keep journals and do research about their life cycles as well as the Great Lakes habitat. The salmon fry will be released in spring and students will hold a celebration as the fish are released.

Diane Podgornik, Proctor Schools, MN
Four low-income students will be assisted to attend the Lake Superior Youth Symposium where they will participate in workshops, presentations, and field trips on the topic of climate change in the Lake Superior watershed. Students prepare a project pertaining to Lake Superior before attending the symposium and will present their project there.
NMEA on the Horizon!
The National Marine Educators Association meeting will be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA, from June 29-July 3. One World, Conserving One Ocean is the conference theme. GLEAMS will be represented by Lyndsey Manzo on the NMEA Board of Directors and in a chapter meeting on site. Three other GLEAMS members will be presenting; teachers Lyndsey Manzo from Ohio and Kathleen Furlong from NY will be attending on COSEE and Sea Grant scholarships. Advance registration closes April 15! For professional development, science updates, networking with interesting characters, and gathering a boatload of materials and ideas for teaching, you can’t beat NMEA! Hope to see you there!


COSEE Great Lakes News

School for Scientists
At the annual meeting of the International Association for Great Lakes Research [IAGLR], COSEE will present its School for Scientists, a full day of sessions on May 21 designed to assist scientists in developing collaboration with educators and reaching out to schools and the public. The meeting, held at the University of Toledo, is an excellent one for science updates about the Great Lakes. A special teacher’s program will be held on Tuesday, May 19, and teachers may register for a reduced rate for that day. Contact Marti Martz for information.
Great Lakes ALIVE!
In February COSEE Great Lakes presented a 2-week online workshop through the College of Exploration. Nearly 200 educators and scientists participated in an opportunity to learn about Great Lakes biology through Great Lakes ALIVE. Five scientists narrated slide shows about Great Lakes Plankton and Benthos, the Food Web, Fisheries, Invasive Species, and Environmental Health. The presentations and discussions with scientists are still available in the Great Lakes Room, and instructional resources can be identified and downloaded in the Resources section of the workshop. This was our third workshop with the College of Exploration, and all the presentations, discussions and materials are still available at the address above.
It was wonderful to see some Great Lakes folks at NSTA in New Orleans! The COSEE Network had a national presence, with an exhibit and a full day of presentations about our programs. Bruce Munson presented a session about our summer workshops, and Rosanne Fortner and Lundie Spence from COSEE Southeast compared marine and Great Lakes environments through an interactive program designed to highlight our teacher exchange between the two COSEEs.
New PI for COSEE Great Lakes
Dr. James Diana
Dr. Don Scavia, our COSEE GL Principal Investigator since 2005, has been named the new director of the University of Michigan’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and will become its Graham Family Professor this year. Because of the demands of his new position, he has stepped out of his position as Michigan Sea Grant Director and COSEE PI, and the new individual named to lead the Sea Grant program has agreed to be our PI for our remaining COSEE years. Dr. Jim Diana, a respected University of Michigan fisheries biologist, is in contact with COSEE Great Lakes and will be a key factor in the future of the program.
Summer events
What a summer we have planned for Great Lakes Education! Three one-week COSEE workshops will involve up to 45 teachers and informal educators in learning side-by-side with researchers on Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior. All workshops provide materials, instruction, and room and board, plus stipends for participants. The R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian is the site for two Shipboard and Shoreline Science Workshops, one each on Superior and Huron. We are so fortunate to have the partnership of the Great Lakes National Program Office of USEPA to make these cruise workshops possible. There is no substitute for living aboard ship beyond sight of land, sharing meals and work with the crew, donning hard hats and boots for work with the ship’s collecting equipment, and examining water, plankton and benthos in the Guardian’s well-equipped labs.
To explore Lake Erie, COSEE starts a land-based workshop in Erie, PA, and after exploring the research and environment of that area moves the action along the North Coast to F.T. Stone Laboratory at Put-in-Bay, OH. Participants will canoe, snorkel, and travel in research vessels to science experiences in biology, hydrology, Earth systems, and ecosystem issues. We’ll live in modern dorms and learn through lab, lecture and technology about this fascinating lake.
COSEE also offers “Marine Immersion” scholarships to courses and programs offered by our partners. Twenty educators will receive $500 to participate in courses in regional universities and through the Shedd Aquarium. The scholarships also support teachers for a Tropical Marine Ecology course in Roatan! If you are interested in coming to any of these events, check the dates in the Calendar and don’t wait until the deadline to apply! We typically have twice as many qualified applicants as we can accept.


Online Graduate Climate Change course
Earth Sciences 580Y is a 3 quarter credit (not semester) grad level course, asynchronous from June 15-July 24, 2009. Offered by The Ohio State University's School of Earth Sciences and Office of Continuing Education. Current OSU students are not eligible to participate. This summer only, ten applicants will receive a partial scholarship to participate in the course. The scholarship recipients will pay only $115 total for the 3-credit course. Their participation will enable us to receive critical feedback to help us refine the content and delivery. Other participants (including nonresidents of Ohio) will pay the full cost of the course: $575. Download the course description and application at
GIS Training for Teachers
Coastlines is an NSF-funded project whose goal is to train teachers to use geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS). Participants use these skills to explore ocean research conducted by scientists at four sites of NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network. All Coastlines lessons are available for download.
Teacher at Sea invites applications by April 17
Deep Earth Academy invites educators at all levels to apply to sail on an upcoming Bering Sea expedition of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). IODP is an international marine research program that explores Earth's history and structure by drilling and recovering cores from the ocean floor and monitoring sub-seafloor environments. currently scheduled for 5 July – 4 September 2009. Ports of call are Honolulu, Hawaii in July and Yokohama, Japan in September.
EstuaryLive Virtual Field Trips, May 1-15
Join naturalists from around the country and explore estuaries, where rivers meet the sea. EstuaryLive is an annual, free, live, interactive, field trip through our nation’s estuaries. Participants can submit questions directly to field trip leaders during the broadcast. This year’s program will feature six 30-minute segments broadcasting LIVE from three of NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR): Hudson River NERR in New York, South Slough NERR in Oregon, and Padilla Bay NERR in Washington. We will include a discussion of the impacts of global climate change on our coastal ecosystems.
Earth Day Photo Contest
During the week of Earth Day (April 22), U.S. students in grades 5-8 can be part of a unique national effort to capture our changing world. Anytime from Wednesday April 22 through Wednesday April 29, students can take a photograph of something that is changing in their local environment and write an essay about it to submit to the contest. Prizes include a digital camera, digital photo frame and others. Sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, a NASA contractor.
Check those workshop application deadlines
at http://coseegreatlakes.netso you don't miss opportunities for professional development!
Each of the GL states has funds to support some programs for students to interact with Great Lakes science as Ocean/Lake-Aware Kids Engaged in Relevant Science [O’LAKERS]. Contact your state COSEE leader for information on how to apply.

Great Lakes News

Great Ships to keep out invasives
In early March, Congress provided nearly $1 million in new funds toward preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes. The President has signed the bill into law. The funds go to the Great Ships Initiative (GSI), a collaborative effort to hasten shipping free of invasive species on the Great Lakes. Managed and implemented cooperatively by the Northeast-Midwest Institute and the University of Wisconsin Superior, GSI generates independent evaluations of proposed ballast treatments performance and toxicity in fresh water. [From glin-announce, March 12, 2009]
Ballast Water report
On April 1 the Great Lakes Ballast Water Working Group (BWWG) released the 2008 Great Lakes Ballast Water Management Report. Ballast is regulated to prevent introductions of invasive species into lake waters. This report shows a notable increase in the number of ballast tank inspections of oceangoing commercial ships entering the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System from outside U.S. or Canadian waters:
  • 99% of ships bound for the Great Lakes Seaway received a ballast tank exam compared to 74% from 2007.
  • A total of 6704 ballast tanks, on 364 different ships, were sampled and had a 98.6% compliance rate compared to 95% in 2007.
  • In addition, 100% of ballast water reporting forms were screened to assess ballast water history, compliance, voyage information and proposed discharge location.
  • Ships with non-compliant ballast tanks were required to take one of several options: (1) retain the ballast water and residuals on board, (2) treat the ballast water in an environmentally sound and approved manner, or (3) conduct a ballast water exchange at sea.
Second electric barrier added
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is activating a new electric barrier, known as Barrier IIA, in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Lockport, Ill. The Army Corps has been operating a similar demonstration barrier in the Sanitary and Ship Canal since 2002. The purpose of the barriers is to block the passage of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Currently, the greatest concern is preventing Asian carp from moving into the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes Shipping is “green”
According to a report by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Great Lakes shipping is a $3.6 Billion /year industry. The Great Lakes navigation system "plays a key role in preserving our nation's fuel" by transporting goods more efficiently than any form of ground transportation, according to the report, called "Great Lakes Navigation System: Economic Strength to the Nation." For example, a Great Lakes carrier travels 607 miles on one gallon of fuel per ton of cargo. On top of that, a cargo of 1,000 tons transported by a Great Lakes carrier produces 90% less carbon dioxide compared to the same cargo transported by truck and 70% less than by rail," the report said. -- Toledo Blade2/14/09, Tom Henry
GL Compact gets first test
A decade in the making, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Compact was signed into law in October after winning overwhelming approval in the U.S. House and Senate. The governors and state legislatures of the eight Great Lakes states have approved the compact, which requires that diversions of water from the basin require approval and must be accompanied by water conservation plans. New Berlin, WI, a town that straddles the watershed boundary, has applied to divert Lake Michigan water, but has been rejected because the plan fails to include a meaningful water conservation program or a restoration component in return for use of Great Lakes water. The City’s diversion proposal would increase the withdrawal of water from Lake Michigan by a maximum 30-day average over one million gallons per day. At this writing, the Alliance for the Great Lakes and National Wildlife Federation are actively leading opposition to the diversion until conservation plans are in place. [glin-announce, 3/27/09]
New IJC web site
As a major activity to recognize the 100th Anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty, which created the International Joint Commission (IJC), the complete set of IJC reports and orders of approval from 1914 to present are now posted in an electronic format on a new website at The Treaty sets principles to guide the United States and Canada in managing the fresh waters they share.
Biddanda research on the web
Participants in the COSEE Lake Huron Exploration Workshop got to meet Dr. Bopi Biddanda and learn about his work with deep lake sinkholes and their purple mats of cyanobacteria. A LiveScience internet site now helps others explore the odd life in the lakes:

Marine News

IOOS Bill becomes law
On March 30, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which includes authorization for the Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS) as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This represents a major step forward for IOOS. It establishes IOOS as a formal program and recognizes the regional systems, including the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), as a key part of that program. [from glin-announce, 3/30/09]
Ocean debris
The Ocean Conservancy has released a new report, A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris and What We Can Do About It. The report offers data, analysis, and solutions about one of the ocean's most pervasive—and fixable—problems: trash. Download a pdf or read the report at
Sea level rising faster than predicted
Sea level rises could top official estimates — that's the first big message to come from the climate change congress last month in Copenhagen. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecast a rise of 18 cm to 59 cm by 2100, but the numbers came with a heavy caveat that the estimate was conservative and the amount could be far greater. By 2100, sea levels could be 1 meter or more above current levels, says scientist John Church of Australia. Read more...
Good news for right whales
Apparently, simple conservation steps are paying off in larger numbers of right whales in the North Atlantic. From lows estimated at about 100 individuals in 1900, NOAA estimates that there are about 325, though scientists suspect there may be more, perhaps as many as 400. It has been illegal to hunt the right whale since 1935, when the League of Nations put them under protection. Since then the greatest threat has been from ship strikes and entanglements. Some recent good news has been reported by the New England Aquarium:
  • Recent changes in shipping lanes, some compulsory and others voluntary, seem to be reducing collisions between whales and vessels.
  • The Bush administration agreed last year to lower speed limits for large vessels in coastal waters where right whales congregate.
  • Fishing authorities in the United States are beginning to impose gear restrictions designed to reduce the chances whales and other marine mammals will be entangled in fishing lines. Canada is considering similar steps.
  • In December, researchers from NOAA spotted an unusually large aggregation of right whales in the Gulf of Maine. A month later, a right whale turned up in the Azores, a first since the early 20th century.
  • And last year, probably for the first time since the 1600s, not one North Atlantic right whale died at human hands. [From the New York Times, March 17, 2009. Cornelia Dean, author]
SeaWeb’s Ocean Update
Free newsletters can be downloaded and they always include readable updates on ocean issues. Check recent issues for articles on reducing demand for coral jewelry, caviar campaigns, kid-safe seafood, and saving the seas with remarkable imagery. The group maintains a marine photobank that is a spectacular resource.

Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes

Two new videos free for Great Lakes teaching:
  • Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes is now on YouTube! Enjoy this modern media revival of a classic favorite [in 2 parts] at
  • All Washed Up: Lake Michigan’s Algae Challenge is about Cladophora, a challenge for all the lakes. The 18-minute video and a shorter 8-minute version are both available on DVD from UW Sea Grant’s Publication Store.
Climate Change: A Wisconsin Activity Guide
Developed by WDNR for teachers, to help students (grades 7-12) investigate the evidence and causes of climate change, examine its impacts on ecosystems, explore and discuss varied social and cultural perspectives, and get involved helping to solve this predicament. The guide includes 12 activities suitable for classes in English and language arts, environmental education, math, science, art, and social studies. Preview online, order free copies, or download the pdf.
Lake Michigan Circle Tour and Lighthouse Map
Register to get a link for a free download.
Activity: I, Robot, Can Do That
This is a junior high school activity from NOAA's Ocean Explorer program. It is an adaptation of a 2005 activity introducing undersea exploration by robots, and this 2008 version is about Sinkholes in Thunder Bay!

Resources for Teaching: Marine

New on the ‘SEA LEVEL FROM SPACE' site
NASA’s ‘Ocean Surface Topography from Space’ Web site has added new features, including theSea Level Viewer, a new interactive tool illustrating sea level, and a discussion on the terms “Global Warming” versus “Climate Change.”
Toolkit for developing interactive, scientific, web-based learning activities
The NASA-funded Satellite Observations in Science Education (SOSE) web site promotes the teaching and learning of the Earth system through quality educational resources that make use of satellite observations. SOSE has made available a library of Reusable Content Objects (RCOs) - a free toolkit that allows educators to quickly develop their own scientific e-learning activities.
Ocean Motion
What explains the hundreds of sneakers that washed ashore along the Pacific Northwest during the winter of 1990-1991? Or the bath toys that have periodically appeared on Alaskan beaches since 1992? The answer is ocean surface currents, which are the focus of Ocean Motion, a NASA Web site for students at grade levels 9-12.
Take AIM at Climate Change
This new music video by POLAR-PALOOZA invites viewers to "Take AIM at Climate Change" - with "AIM" standing for Adapt, Innovate, Mitigate. The lyrics are based on the latest science of Earth's changing climate, with the music a mix of rap and pop. Four verses connect changes in the Arctic and Antarctic to conditions around the planet, with choruses encouraging long-term thinking, and individual and community action. You can view the video at or download the video or audio versions at to iPods or iPhones, and share with friends.
Marine Mineral Studies
The U.S. Department of the Interior's website on marine mineral mining on the Outer Continental Shelf is primarily concerned with providing information about the environmental impact that dredging activity has on marine life, with links to renourishment projects. The Kid Connection offers downloadable booklets and directions for simple experiments which allow kids to see erosion and sedimentation in action, along with links to careers in marine minerals.
Marine Debris Publication
COSEE-SouthEast developed and published a middle school, 48-page publication, The Educator's Guide to Marine Debris for the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico. This publication is available online and provides an accessible avenue of ocean science stewardship based on science and volunteer information.
NOAA Online Education Resources for Teachers
NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) is offering a new set of environmental science resources for teachers in grades 5-12. The modules, created in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, focus on estuaries, coral ecosystems, and the ocean's role in weather and climate. See the NOS professional development resources for teachers website.
NOAA Jeopardy
is a quiz game just like JEOPARDY! on TV. Based on categories, the player is presented with an answer and must respond with the correct question. NOAA Jeopardy focuses on the agency's themes of navigation, climate, ecosystems, and weather and water issues.Recently NOAA Jeopardy has been expanded to include more categories, answers, and questions. Additional categories may be found on the website. For other games, see
Interactive sand map (NYT 1/5/09)
from an article about sand collector Robert Holman.
Google Earth 5 with Google Ocean
was released in February. Basically you are now able to zoom in to the ocean and see the seabed in 3D. South Carolina DNR’s Michael Coyne created some examples of what you can do with the new Google Earth, including a sea turtle’s famous trans-Pacific migration.
Ocean Gazing
COSEE Networked Ocean World announces the launch of our new biweekly Podcast: Ocean Gazing, which wittily highlights the science, researchers and sounds of Ocean Observing Systems. Each episode features a "Sonic Stumper."
On line resources for ocean acidification
Oregon Sea Grant has posted three short videos discussing ocean acidification and the problems it brings. Dr. Richard Feely, NOAA lead scientist conducting research on this troubling climate-linked phenomenon, is the presenter (Flash video format)

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