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Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar
Organization News:
  • NMEA happenings
  • Election coming up
  • Lake Erie Literacy
  • Minigrant outcome
COSEE Great Lakes
  • School for Scientists
  • Fortner award
  • Summer events
  • Collaborative workshop
  • Superior Teachable Moment
  • Fresh and Salt curriculum
  • COSEE O’LAKERS funds
  • Science Activities on Ocean Literacy
  • Lake Erie Shores & Islands
  • Wisconsin wetlands
  • Salmon - L. Ontario
Great Lakes News
  • Seaway is 50!
  • News from Congress
  • GL shipping down
  • Huron sinkholes
Marine News
  • Caribbbean coral loss
  • Twice the warming
  • UCS new book
  • Jellies take over?
  • Ocean rescue [NYT]
Resources for Great Lakes Education
  • Google Great Lakes
  • Waterlife movie
  • Activity: Make a 'Zine
Resources for Marine Education
  • Fun Zone for Year of Science 2009
  • AUSMEPA lessons
  • COOL Hudson River
  • Whale song lessons
  • Coastal climate adaptation
  • Ocean, weather and climate

Past Newsletters

icon_external_link Volume 3, Issue 2
Spring 2009
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)

Summer 2009 Volume 3, Issue 3

ships wheelFrom the Helm: Beth Hinchey Malloy

Can it really be July already? Unbelievable! It seems like summer just got here! I suspect most of you are planning family vacations while also staying extremely busy taking advantage of great summer opportunities around the Great Lakes basin—from farmers’ markets to festivals to conferences to courses.

This month the COSEE Great Lakes Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshops on the R/V Lake Guardian will set sail for a week of adventure in Lake Superior (July 7-13) and Lake Huron (July 25-31)! Check the blog site for each of the cruises so you can virtually join the educators and scientists as they sample ~200 year old bottom water and attempt to collect the mysteriously disappearing crustaceans called Diporeia from the deepest parts of Lake Superior, explore sinkholes in Lake Huron using a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) and experience the climate, culture, ecology and natural wonders of these Great Lakes.

Great Lakes educators are busy on other fronts too! Check out the Lake Erie Literacy principles in the GLEAMS News, other workshops this summer, the new resources for Great Lakes teaching, and the Fresh and Salt curriculum description.

At the home port, I continue to be amazed by how much my 15-month-old son is captivated by all things aquatic. He has long been fascinated with the barges, tour boats, and kayaks that navigate the Chicago River outside our window, and last week he started making a furious paddle gesture with both hands when he would see a kayak or canoe go by. So, I figured it was time to introduce him to Holling Clancy Holling’s Paddle to the Sea. He absolutely loves searching for Paddle on every page, and now asks for the book every night by using his paddle sign. I am looking forward to taking him wading in Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario this summer… now if I can only find a wooden canoe toy to take with us!

Have a wonderful summer and thanks for all you do to make known the world of water!

Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Spring-Summer 2009

July 7-13
COSEE's Lake Superior workshop aboard the R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian
July 18
Science Chicago: Life's a Lab. A Science Saturday program at North Point Marina (next to Illinois Beach State Park)
July 18-24
COSEE's Lake Erie Exploration Workshop in Erie and Put-in-Bay
July 25-31
COSEE's Lake Huron workshop aboard the R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian
July 27-31
Invasive Species Research Workshop. Presented by COSEE Collaborators at UWM Great Lakes WATER Institute in Milwaukee
August 1-8
Tropical Marine Ecology in Roatan
October 1-2
COSEE Great Lakes Advisory Committee meets in Duluth
Great Lakes Regional Calendar
Organizations working for the lakes post their events at the link above.



NMEA happenings
GLEAMS members were very visible and active in the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) conference June 29-July 3 in Pacific Grove, California, the site of the first NMEA conference held in 1976. This year’s theme of “One World Conserving One Ocean” brought about 400 attendees to consider ocean connections while they enjoyed the beauty of the Monterey Bay and networked with friends and colleagues, old and new. If you missed it, the NMEA conference website has lists of presentations with their handouts attached!
GLEAMS election on the horizon
In our efforts to gain momentum for regional education efforts, GLEAMS members will receive an electronic ballot this summer to select officers and state representatives for the organization. Be sure to respond when your ballot arrives in your email.
Lake Erie Literacy!
You've heard of the Ocean Literacy Principles and Concepts that are driving curricula and research around the globe. Now the Lake Erie Partnership of agencies and educators, led by Lyndsey Manzo, have produced a Lake Erie equivalent! Here's the list of Essential Principles:
1. The Earth has one big ocean with many features. 1. Lake Erie, the smallest of the Great Lakes, is a body of fresh water with many features.
2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth. 2. Natural forces formed and continue to shape Lake Erie and its watershed.
3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. 3. Lake Erie influences regional weather and climate.
4. The ocean makes Earth habitable. 4. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water sustains life.
5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems. 5. Lake Erie supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
6. The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected. 6. Lake Erie and humans in its watershed are inextricably interconnected.
7. The ocean is largely unexplored. 7. Exploration and understanding of Lake Erie is ongoing.
  8. Lake Erie is socially, economically, and environmentally significant.
If you wish to examine the concepts within these principles, or comment on any of them, please go to the Lake Erie Literacy web site and complete the survey. If you are interested in being involved in a larger GREAT LAKES LITERACY effort, watch for a COSEE announcement at later this year.
GLEAMS Minigrant supports Lake Superior Youth Symposium
The Proctor Schools under Diane Podgornik received a grant from GLEAMS to help middle school and high school students attend the Lake Superior Youth Symposium at the College of St. Scholastica, DUluth, May 14 -17, 2009. Through this and other grants, Proctor Schools took 15 students to the full 4-day symposium and 92 students to the one day symposium.

Diane says "Thank you so much for your generous contribution. The students loved the event and we intend to send a busload to the next symposium in 2011 in Ashland, Wisconsin. They are also filled with ideas of projects that we can tackle in the 2009-2010 school year. "


COSEE Great Lakes News

School for Scientists
At the annual meeting of the International Association for Great Lakes Research [IAGLR], COSEE presented 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. Check the web for news of this event and eventual link to the presentations!
Award for COSEE Director
Dr. Rosanne Fortner, COSEE Great Lakes Director and Sweetwater Seascape editor, became only the second recipient of the Jack R. Vallentyne Award from the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR). This award recognizes sustained efforts to inform and educate the public and policymakers on Great Lakes issues, thereby raising awareness and support for Great Lakes protection and restoration.
Summer events
COSEE events for Great Lakes Education are in progress! Visit the weblog to get day-by-day reports of happenings. Three one-week COSEE workshops will involve 45 teachers and informal educators in learning side-by-side with researchers on Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior. The R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian is the site for two Shipboard and Shoreline Science Wor kshops, 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.
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.
Marine Immersion” scholars will enroll in courses and programs offered by our partners. Twenty educators have received $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!
COSEE Collaborative Workshop
Drs. Russell Cuhel and Carmen Aguilar offer their first COSEE program, a 5-day workshop (27-31 July 2009) in Milwaukee and on Lake Michigan. Initial hypothesis development about invasive species will be followed by a day of shipboard collections at a natural reef ecosystem; a day of laboratory measurement, analysis, and discussion; a second day of shipboard work utilizing remotely operated vehicle technology on a surprise site; and two final days of research interspersed with activities demonstrations and application of the experience to standards-based classroom use. Contact Dr. Cuhel for information and application.
Lake Superior Teachable Moments
MN staffer Cynthia Hagley worked with MN Sea Grant to provide Teachable Moments for scientists with educators as a spinoff from the Lake Superior Youth Symposium. Read more...
Fresh and Salt curriculum
Fresh and Salt, a collection of activities connecting Great Lakes and ocean science topics to enhance teacher capabilities for accessing science information in Great Lakes/ocean sciences, was pilot tested this spring by 15 teachers from 7 states in the Great Lakes region. Designed to be used by teachers in grades 5-10, Fresh and Salt encourages integration of Ocean Literacy Principles into educators’ instruction. Further updates will appear at


Need a bus for your Great Lakes field trip? Want to visit Stone Lab or a Great Lakes science institution with your students? 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.
Science Activities for Ocean Literacy
The summer issue of Science Activities magazine is devoted to Ocean Literacy, with one excellent activity for each of the OL Principles! A joint effort of several COSEE authors and other marine educators, the activities include some specific to the Great Lakes as well as having ocean applications.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands
The Lake Erie Shores & Islands website is stocked with travel and tourism information and offers frequent updates regarding the Lake Erie coast and beyond.
Wisconsin's Wetland Gems
In celebration of American Wetlands Month, Wisconsin Wetlands Association launched the Wetland Gems program in May 2009. The program aims to increase awareness of and appreciation for the state's wetlands.
Bring Back the Salmon - Lake Ontario
Bring Back the Salmon is the online home of the effort to restore Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario. It offer news on the recovery efforts, history and biology of Atlantic salmon and more.

Great Lakes News

Follow America’s Byway to the 50th Anniversary Celebration for Seaway
Did you realize that the St. Lawrence Seaway is 50 years old? Massena, NY - July 9-12, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of engineering feat that created the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail parallels the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania. A journey along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail offers an authentic American experience of the fresh waters and shoreline landscapes that has shaped much of America’s history. In 1959 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower opened the powerful manmade waterway route into the North American interior. In 2009, the anniversary celebration includes author and historian programs, a parade, and concert.
Great news from Congress!
(June 19, 2009)—Key steps were taken this week in Congress towards comprehensive restoration of The Great Lakes, adding momentum to the movement to protect the region’s most important environmental and economic asset.
  • President Obama’s $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was passed with full funding by the House Appropriations Committee.
  • The Clean Water Restoration Act (S. 787) was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.
  • The Great Lakes Legacy Act (S. 933) had its funding increased by $150 million per year through fiscal year 2014 by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Great Lakes Legacy Act funds are distributed through the USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office to clean toxic sediment contamination in the Great Lakes.
The Obama Administration has appointed Alliance for the Great Lakes CEO Cameron Davis as a special advisor to the EPA to help oversee the restoration of the Great Lakes. Davis is a former co-chairman of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. To stay informed, link to glin-announce or
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
GLIFWC is an agency of 11 Ojibwe nations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, with off-reservation treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather in treaty-ceded lands. GLIFWC is celebrating its 25th anniversary of providing natural resource management expertise, conservation enforcement, legal and policy analysis, and public information services. Its mission is to help ensure significant, off-reservation harvests while protecting the resources for generations to come.
Great Lakes Shipping down
As the economy goes, so goes Great Lakes shipping. Cargoes of steel, limestone and other bulk goods are down, and the economic problems are compounded by the need for dredging channels and ports. In the most recent note, "It wasn’t bad enough that the economy slashed June limestone loadings on the Great Lakes by more than 30 percent, but even a record cargo illustrated how the dredging crisis continues to sap the industry.  A load of 35,457 tons was about 1,500 tons shy of what the vessel could carry" if ports and waterways were maintained to project dimensions, says the Lake Carriers Association.
Those Lake Huron sinkholes again!
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 Muskegon Critic article offers more information and includes an awesome video. “You have this pristine fresh water lake that has what amounts to materials from 400 million years ago … being pushed out into the lake,” said Steven A. Ruberg.

Marine News

Coral loss in the Caribbean
In the edition of Encyclopedia of Earth for May 11, Dr. Isabelle Côté discussed factors contributing to coral loss in the Caribbean. "In this region, there has been an 80% decline in coral cover since the mid 1970s. There is a debate regarding the ultimate cause of coral loss which centers mainly on the roles played by overexploitation of herbivorous fish and direct coral mortality. Although low coral cover was once thought to be an alternative and stable ecosystem state, there is now evidence that reefs can return to a coral-dominated condition."
No action -- Twice the warming
UN Climate Change Conference [May 22, 2009]: "Without swift and massive action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the problem with global warming will be about twice as severe as previously projected. This is the conclusion of the most comprehensive scientific modeling yet, carried out on the likelihood of how much warmer earth’s climate will get this century. The new projections, published in May in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, indicate a median probability of surface warming of 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. This should be compared to a 2003 study, which showed a projected temperature rise of just 2.4 degrees. The difference is a result of several factors. Among these are improved economic modeling and newer economic data showing less chance of low emissions than estimated in the earlier scenarios."
UCS launches new book
Thoreau's Legacy: American Stories about Global Warming introduces a new generation of writers and photographers with a personal connection to global warming. The 67 essays and images in this anthology are drawn from nearly 1,000 submissions about beloved places, people, plants, animals, and activities at risk from a changing climate—and the efforts that individuals are making to save what they love. Produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the book is free and interactive on line, or hardcover copy can be purchased.
Environment Report: Jellies taking over ocean?
Some scientists are warning that as overfishing and climate change affect the world's oceans, jellyfish will take over the ecosystem. Listen to an audio report and learn more.
Ocean Rescue -- NY Times Editorial
June 22, 2009. "Most of the world’s important commercial fish species have been declining for years. Nearly one-fourth are unable, essentially, to reproduce. The biggest cause of the deterioration in ocean health — bigger than climate change or pollution — is overfishing. American fisheries are in better shape than most but not by much. President Obama recently ordered a new task force to develop a national oceans policy. He said he wants a more unified federal approach to ocean issues, now spread across 20 different agencies operating under 140 separate laws. He also wants a plan for allocating resources among competing interests like fishing and oil exploration. A more immediate measure of the administration’s commitment is the steps it is taking to meet a 2006 Congressional mandate to end overfishing in America’s coastal waters by 2011. The most important of these is an effort led by Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist who runs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her mission is to persuade America’s fishermen to broadly adopt a market-based approach known as “catch shares” to manage their fisheries sustainably. Details in the editorial.

Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes

Google Great Lakes
When Google Earth 5.0 was released in February, it included the capability to view the world ocean landscape from beneath the water surface. This capability now extends to the Great Lakes. Through a cooperative effort with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) and the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Google Earth now incorporates detailed bathymetry for the five Great Lakes. To highlight some of the interesting coastal and subsurface features of the Great Lakes, the GLERL has assembled a narrated Google Earth tour.
New movie: Waterlife
Waterlife, directed by Kevin McMahon, tells the epic story of the Great Lakes by following the cascade of its water from northern Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean, through the lives of some of the 35 million people who rely on the lakes for survival. The Great Lakes are a unique and precious resource under assault by toxins, sewage, invasive species, evaporating water and profound apathy. They are also one of the planet’s great preserves of extraordinary wilderness beauty and a bounty of unique species. Read the rest of the synopsis , view the official trailer, or visit the official film website.
Activity: Make a 'Zine!
The Fun Zone site for the Year of Science 2009 offers directions and ideas. We challenge you and your students to make a Great Lakes Zine on a science topic. Feel free to submit them to the national contest, but also send them to the editor for possible publication!

Resources for Teaching: Marine

Year of Science "Fun Zone"
The Year of Science 2009 includes an ocean and water theme, and the kids' web site for it is full of adventures: build a squid, enter a turtle race, work a box jelly puzzle, navigate the Great Barrier Reef, and more! Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant's Nab the Aquatic Invader is there too!
Australian Marine Educators have some very nice web-based activities for ocean learning in middle schools. There are science components in each unit but units are not limited to science. The most recent units of work are on an online learning center that provides a factual simple language resource to assist in student research. Each webpage is written around one fact and nested into the topic
COOL Classroom
An elementary teacher in NJ wrote on the scuttlebutt listserve that "The oceanography division of Rutgers (IMCS ~ Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences) is revamping their COOL classroom. Their first adventure walks students through the idea that what you do in a watershed can affect ocean life miles away. The watershed they use is the Hudson River, so the adventure is called Hudson River Plume. What is a watershed, density of different water types, non-point source pollution, and eutrophication are explored as well. They have a neat rollover for human impact, but my personal favorite is the eutrophication graphic at the end where you can look at the process in 3 different levels: macro, micro, and molecular (just click the small yellow arrow to advance the page, and then click on the different levels to see what’s happening). There are readings and labs associated with the online part -- you just have to sign up, log on and check out the Unit Plan tab.  I’ve heard there will be more adventures coming soon from Laura Dunbar, Sea Girt Elementary School
Whale song lessons
Another scuttlebutt entry concerned a request for whale songs. Scripps wrote: "There is an excellent web resource on marine mammals and their sounds that we created at the Whale Acoustics Lab at Scripps. I created a Student Journal and Grading Rubric for each of the lessons as well (which are aligned to NSES and Ocean Literacy Principles). You can find the Teacher Resources on a tab at the bottom of the Homepage. There is also a Kids Page with whale sounds matching and ID matching games. The curriculum is meant for a younger audience." from Sarah Wilson, Thank You Ocean Campaign. Another response: "a fellow that was trained as a sonar engineer but is now an artist wrote his own software that takes the sounds of cetaceans and translates them via wavelets into visual images that are quite beautiful. This work over the past 10-years has led him to design and development of detection and classification schemes using the results of wavelet analysis."
Coastal Climate Adaptation
The NOAA Coastal Services Center hosts the Coastal Climate Adaptation website, which focuses on adaptation-related resources such as local and state plans, new policies, case studies, risk and vulnerability assessments, and decision-support tools. There is a forum where users can suggest new resources, engage in dialogue on the issues, and submit comments and questions. Check out the list of tools for adaptation already on the website, along with the initial outreach and education offerings.
Oceans, Weather, and Climate
NOAA's new Ocean's Role in Weather and Climate website features materials to help teachers and students understand factors that impact the Earth's weather and climate and how changes in temperature or air circulation are part of complex, long-term cycles. The website offers classroom resources, teacher tutorials, web seminar archives, and more.

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