Navigating the Newsletter

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Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar
Organization News:
  • SECO
  • Need communication
  • NMEA newsletter
  • NOSB video judging
  • Great Lakes Literacy
COSEE Great Lakes
  • Year 5 radar items
  • Surveys coming
  • Words from scientist
  • Marine Immersion scholarships
  • Sand swap
  • QuikSCience Music Challenge
  • Stone Lab courses
Great Lakes News
  • Ottawa River cleanup
  • Climate change in GL
  • Invasive species update
  • Dead zone research
  • Shipping news
Marine News
  • Sea turtles hurt by climate change
  • Public unconvinces on climate change
  • Garbage patches
  • Scripps
  • Coral reef services
  • Turning the tide for seafood
Resources for Great Lakes Education
  • Food web sheets
  • Shipwrecks website
  • Guide to Erie wrecks
  • UCS animations
  • Activity: Duck, Duck Data
Resources for Marine Education
  • Ocean Update
  • Tides of Change
  • online lectures
  • GCC animations
  • Outer Banks erosion
  • OOS lessons
  • Acid test
  • Coastal Trends
  • Submerged new world
  • Hands-on oceanography
  • Swimming Fishes
  • Making waves

Past Newsletters

icon_external_link Volume 3, Issue 4
Autumn 2009
icon_external_link Volume 3, Issue 3
Summer 2009
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)

Winter 2010 Volume 4, Issue 1

ships wheelFrom the Helm: Rosanne Fortner

Happy New Year!

As we shiver our way into 2010, let's keep our thoughts on warm friends, capable colleagues, and positive things we can do for Great Lakes education, wherever we are and whatever our role. The year and the decade will bring many challenges for us; we must resolve to turn them into opportunities.

GLRI LogoAs the year begins, all agency and institutional eyes in the region are on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative [GLRI]. President Obama's FY 2010 budget included $475 million for GLRI, strategically targeting programs and projects to address the most significant problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem to demonstrate measurable results. EPA, with its federal partners and other stakeholders, leads the development and implementation of this Initiative. The grants and project agreements now being proposed are intended to jump-start achievement of the Initiative's long term goals: safely eating the fish and swimming at our beaches, assuring safe drinking water, and providing a healthy ecosystem for fish and wildlife. The pulse of funds includes some public education in support of the science and management programs.

At the same time, NSF is preparing for its Decadal Review of the national COSEE efforts, which began in 2002. We will be asking for your assistance in documenting the number and kinds of science researchers and educators served in the Great Lakes region, and we'll make a case for excellence in programs and products. If you participated in a COSEE program in the Great Lakes in 2009, you can expect a brief online survey from us in the coming months. Please respond quickly so we can assist NSF with its national goals and make our case for continued regional support.

Photo by Shawn Hamer Lest we forget, in the midst of the new decade's efforts and angst, it is the wonder of the Lakes and the dedication of our people that keep us going in Great Lakes education. For a tangible reminder, Great Lakes Forever has posted its photo contest winners, an excellent showcase of the beauty and power of our greatest resource. To paraphrase Pete Seeger, "Here is a land full of power and glory – beauty that words cannot recall. Her power shall rest on the strength of her people; her glory shall rest on us all." Best wishes for a glorious and powerful year!

Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Winter 2010

Look ahead to important conferences for our region and mission!
NAAEE Conference logo
February 1
Presentation proposals due for NAAEE in Buffalo, September 29-October 2. Conference themes; Building Connections, Bridging Gaps. Print a flyer here.
Gatlinburg Conference logoFebruary 26
Presentation proposals due for NMEA 2010 -- July 18-23, 2010
Conference location: Gatlinburg [Tennessee] Convention Center.
Great Lakes Regional Calendar
Organizations working for the lakes post their events at this link.



Ohio GLEAMS opportunity
Set Sail with GLEAMS member Lyndsey Manzo at SECO in Columbus, Feb 25-27. Share ways to infuse Great Lakes content in classrooms and discuss ideas for an annual mini-conference along Lake Erie.
Need for communication!
Newsletter production is a lonely craft, but GLEAMS may be even lonelier. We are seeking opportunities to get together on a low-cost, minimum-travel basis for activities of benefit to members. This might consist of single-state meetings, or online chats, or conference calls for event planning. It would be great if GLEAMS could host the 2013 conference of NMEA, but leaders must emerge and proposals submitted soon for that. Please contact Beth Hinchey Malloy with your ideas for a GLEAMS revival and some possible ways to get members together.
Volume 25, Issue 4, Winter 2009, is available at  Read about what other chapters are doing, and what's being planned for Gatlinburg.
NOSB student video judging
GLEAMS is one of the NMEA chapters that are helping to judge student videos on ocean literacy as part of the National Ocean Science Bowl "Living on the Ocean Planet" video contest. The contest is underway now, with videos due January 25. GLEAMS also donated toward a prize for the winners. More details about the contest are available at We hope to see your students' entries!
Great Lakes Literacy
With the support of COSEE California, work has begun in COSEE Great Lakes and GLEAMS for an adaptation of the Ocean Literacy principles to meet the needs of educators in our region. Five educators and five scientists in each Great Lakes state are being asked to review the Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts. If you haven't been asked yet but want to participate, please contact your state Sea Grant educator. Lake Erie already has its Literacy Principles from efforts assisted by GLEAMS member Lyndsey Manzo. You can look at these on line at


COSEE Great Lakes News

This is the fifth year of our COSEE Great Lakes program. It will be our last summer of workshops, with the R/V Lake Guardian taking us on Lake Michigan [July 6-12], and a Lake Exploration workshop on Lake Ontario from July 25-30. We'll be posting details and applications for these workshops at later in January. We are not planning a science-based online course this year but will focus efforts on capturing the three previous courses on DVD for distribution.
NOAA radar screenOn our radar for the year are three major projects for completion in the coming months:
  • the Fresh & Salt curriculum that will include instructional activities for ocean learning that either parallel or contrast with similar concepts in the Great Lakes. The curriculum will have two lessons for each of the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles.
  • DVD-based materials for teaching about the Great Lakes, enough to form the basis for a "course" at the high school level.
  • Great Lakes Literacy Principles, parallel to those for Ocean Literacy, but with a focus on our lakes. Funding for this effort comes from COSEE California.

Meanwhile, each Great Lakes state still has funds to support efforts of regional science education providers to bring in school groups, and for school classes to visit science facilities. Contact your state COSEE staff to see how to get funds for O'LAKERS [Ocean/Lake-Aware Kids Engaged in Relevant Science].

Surveys are coming:
The national COSEE Network embarks this month on data capture to support NSF's Decadal Review of the program. We will be collecting information about the scientists and educators served in our program, so expect an online survey from us and plan to respond quickly. This more general survey is in addition to Dr. Howard Walters' evaluation efforts in which he follows up on your experiences with specific parts our program. It is extremely important for those who receive federal support to demonstrate accountable use of public funds, so we are relying on you to help us show our level of outreach and science collaboration. This will help us secure additional funds in the future. We are also pleased to receive your comments at any time, like this one:
Words from a scientist [sent to Beth Hinchey Malloy]:
"I thought that the COSEE School for School for Scientists session at IAGLR was very helpful. In fact, I would recommend that any scientist who plans to participate in education and outreach activities attend this session in the future. It provided a variety of different ways to present information to teachers so that it would be the most valuable to them in ways that I had not previously considered. It is extremely important for scientists to communicate with the public and with educators and if we, as scientists, are not able to convey our message in a useable way, then we have missed the mark. The workshop provided several opportunities to practice these skills and pick up on new tricks of the trade. Thank you for recommending that I attend the session."
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Elizabeth Murphy, MPH
Great Lakes Fish Monitoring Program Manager
US Environmental Protection Agency
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Marine Immersion scholarships for partner programs
COSEE offers 20 teacher scholarships of $500 each for marine or Great Lakes science programs offered by our partners. This year's list is not complete yet, but last year's is a good indicator. Updates will be occurring regularly this winter, so bookmark us and check in often.
Sand Swap with Hawaii
A marine science teacher in Kea'au, Hawai'i, wants to start a sand collection with the class. Contact Jo'el Nathansen to participate. There are many groups out there building sand collections, and activities on the web support some interesting inquiry lessons. Ron Hirschi is a good contact to make for international collections of "Serious Sand," and our own Susan Snyder was NMEA's first "Sand-witch!" Retirement is taking her in other exciting directions, however.
QuikSCience Music Challenge
Students: Create an original prize winning song about the oceans! Win $500 and be featured at QuikSCience events and on the web! The USC Wrigley Institute and Quiksilver, Inc. have created an exciting new activity in science education. The Music Challenge seeks young people to compose ocean-inspired music. Help promote ocean understanding and appreciation through music! Apply by February 19.
Stone Lab courses for educators
Seven 1-week courses at Ohio State's field campus on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie. New this year: Teaching with Google Earth and Google Ocean, and Ocean and Great Lakes Literacy. Four of the 7 courses offer COSEE scholarships of $500! Other scholarships also available – apply by March 16 for those.

Great Lakes News

Ottawa River cleanup underway
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ottawa River Group and the state of Ohio have begun the first phase of a $49 million cleanup of the Ottawa River and Sibley Creek in Toledo, Ohio. Under EPA's Great Lakes Legacy Act, the project partners will remove approximately 260,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the river and creek. The goal of the project is to reduce impacts to human health and the environment on the Ottawa River. This is the eighth cleanup of a contaminated site under the Legacy Act. Click here for map and more information.
Climate change in the Great Lakes
More information is becoming available about how global climate change is likely to affect the region.
  • Indiana Dunes is one of the 25 National Parks most threatened by climate change, according to the NRDC. Changes could increase the number of invasive species, limit the number of trout and salmon, and reduce the opportunity to snowshoe at the park.
  • Lake Superior is likely to get windier, according to the NY Times. Ankur R. Desai of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an author of the study in Nature Geoscience, said the effect was due to ice, or lack of it. Less ice in winter apparently results in stronger winds in the summer. The water has warmed faster than the air, creating instability in the air mass that results in stronger winds. Higher winds also increase the speed of currents in the lake, which can result in greater mixing.
Phragmites in OhioInvasive species updates
  • Ducks Unlimited has funding for the development of long-term controls and management assistance as well as outreach and education efforts for the destruction of the invasive plant Phragmites australis. This plant, the "common reed," has negatively impacted wetlands throughout the United States, and has been particularly aggressive on the Great Lakes.
  • In November, Wisconsin issued a permit requiring foreign ships to treat their ballast water to prevent non-native species, like the zebra mussel, from taking hold in the world's largest source of surface fresh water. Wisconsin's permit mandates that oceangoing vessels treat their ballast water to prevent non-native species from entering the Great Lakes. It offers a treatment standard more stringent than required by international law. -- GLIN 11/19/09
  • Invasive hydroid An Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant study has found that the diet of an invasive freshwater hydroid includes organisms that are an important food source for young-of-the-year and bottom-dwelling fish. "Cordylophora caspia typically eats larval zebra and quagga mussels," said Nadine Folino-Rorem, Wheaton College biologist. "However, when those sources are not readily available, the hydroid can feed on other invertebrates, which potentially affects prey availability for fish." --GLIN 10/13/09
  • Asian Carp: New site provides updates as fish bears down on Great Lakes The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced last Friday that DNA testing shows the presence of Asian carp 6 miles south of Lake Michigan. This is 20 miles past the electric barrier meant to keep them out of the Great Lakes. To keep track of this emergency situation, Great Lakes United has launched a special web section at –GLIN 11/23/09
Dead zone research in progress
  • Role of nitrogen. For more than 30 years, scientists have pointed toward phosphorus as the key to Lake Erie's Dead Zone. But new research from Ohio Sea Grant researchers Dr. Darren Bade and Dr. Bob Heath of Kent State University has found that a different nutrient—nitrogen—could be contributing as much as 80% of the oxygen loss. The research findings imply changes in management of nutrients for prevention of anoxia.
  • winter diatom
  • At Bowling Green State University, Drs. Michael McKay and George Bullerjahn have discovered a winter-loving algae that may be contributing to the summertime Dead Zone. Aulacoseira islandica, in brownish pockets that float under Lake Erie's ice, sometimes made up as much as 80% or 90% of the biomass in winter samples. "If it turns out that most of these diatoms end up on the lake floor, [instead of being eaten] they would provide a large source of organic carbon for bacteria to decompose, which would consume oxygen," McKay says. [GLERL photo]
Shipping news
  • The last "salty," or ocean-going vessel, left Duluth harbor on December 17. Several "lakers" that do not go to sea will continue hauling bulk cargo on four of the five Great Lakes until the locks at Sault Ste Marie, Michigan (i.e. "the Soo") officially close on January 15.
  • Lake shipping was generally low for the 2009 season. The area engineer at the Soo Locks reported shipping traffic down about 33%, compared to the five-year average, the slowest since 1938. The total lakes trade in limestone, for example, showed a decrease of 27.4 percent compared to 2008, nearly 36 percent below its 5-year average. A major portion of the limestone shipped on the Lakes is aggregate for the construction industry. Great Lakes iron ore trade for 2009 stands at 27.5 million tons, a decrease of 50.1 percent compared to a year ago.

Marine News

Turtles casualties of warming
A New York Times article from November 14 tells how a decline in Pacific leatherback sea turtle populations may be linked to warmer temperatures and rising seas associated with climate change. Ecotourism, as well as the turtle populations, is suffering. "Even before scientists found temperatures creeping upward over the past decade, sea turtles were threatened by beach development, drift net fishing and Costa Ricans' penchant for eating turtle eggs, considered a delicacy. But climate change may deal the fatal blow to an animal that has dwelled in the Pacific for 150 million years." –NYT
Public unconvinced about climate change
ENN reports that an October survey revealed 65% of the U.S. public considers climate change to be a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem. The results mark a decline in public concern from January 2007, when 77% of participants told a Pew survey that they were seriously concerned about climate change. Intense political debate, coupled with colder weather in recent months, may have led to the increased doubt about the climate science, said Riley Dunlap, an environmental sociologist at Oklahoma State University.
Floating garbage patches
You've seen the articles last fall about how marine debris accumulates at the interior of ocean gyres. Here is the NY Times take on the issue. Other articles in Sierra [May-June 2009] and CNN offer additional graphic perspectives. To help in teaching about the extent and local manifestations of the issue, COSEE SouthEast and other organizations have developed a poster and online guide to marine debris.
Scripps to answer student Qs about garbage patch
Scripps Institution of Oceanography invites questions from K-12th grade students from around the world about the issue of plastic debris in the ocean and last summer's SEAPLEX mission to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The March/April issue of explorations will explore the mission and its aftermath. SEAPLEX scientists will field selected student questions in our Voyager Q and A section, which is now equipped to receive questions online.
sea slug on coralCoral reef services worth $1.2M/Ha/yr
Science Daily reported in late October that economic researchers are documenting ecosystem services of coral reefs from $130K to 1.2M per hectare per year. The services include maintenance of genetic diversity, cultural services, food, climate regulation, pollution reduction and the like. Collectively the world value of coral reefs is about $172 billion!
Turning the tide for seafood
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute [MBARI] has released a report on the connection between seafood and the health of the oceans. Turning the Tide: The State of Seafood, details the threats and highlights new developments that offer hope for the future. Download the report.

Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes

Food web illustrated sheets
for each of the Great Lakes, free downloads!
Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
This site aims to increase awareness of the rich maritime history which lies beneath the surface of Ohio's Lake Erie. The mysteries surrounding shipwrecks are always exciting, while the history associated with each shipwreck reveals the role it played in the development of Ohio and the Great Lakes region.
Guides to Lake Erie's historic shipwrecks
Ohio Sea Grant has created underwater guides for three shipwrecks that surround Kelleys Island, Ohio: Adventure, W. R. Hanna, and F. H. Prince. Packaged as a set in a waterproof envelope, each sturdy, plastic, waterproof slate measures 9.5" x 6.25" and features a site map, schematic diagram, diving information, vessel data, and ship history. $15 from Ohio Sea Grant.
Union of Concerned Scientists climate animations
At the UCS web site you can choose a Great Lakes state and see how its temperature and rainfall would change with doubling of CO2. An image of the state moves to where those projected factors are operating now. Here is the IL migrating climate.
migrating IL climate
Activity: Duck Duck Data
Remember those activities where we plotted the currents of the ocean based on where plastic bathtub toys washed up after a spill? Now there is a Great Lakes equivalent from a NOAA Environmental Literacy project at Eastern Michigan University! Visit the Ducks in the Flow web site to get a children's book, then download activities for elementary classrooms. Activity 2 of Duck, Duck Data explores surface currents in the Lakes.

Resources for Teaching: Marine

Ocean Update from SeaWeb
This free online newsletter is an excellent credible source of marine environmental information. The December issue focused on climate change, with these articles
  • Sea Level Rise Will Be Greater Than Predicted,
  • Ocean Vulnerable to Multiple Stresses in a Warming World
  • Ocean May Be Reaching Limits of Carbon Dioxide Absorption
Tides of Change videos
A five-part Quicktime video series from NASA on the connection between ocean and climate
Episode 1: Remotely Sensing the Global Ocean
Episode 2: Water, Water Everywhere
Episode 3: The Ocean's Green Machines
Episode 4: Salt of the Earth
Episode 5: Shrinking Ice, Rising Seas
Climate change animations
Following their launch in Australia, the climate change animations commissioned by Great Barrier Reef Marine Protected Area are now available online.
Erosion on the Outer Banks
is a lesson plan for grades 10-12. It requires a graphics program and Google Earth. Additional erosion visualizations of the Outer Banks of NC are here.
COSEE Mid-Atlantic
developed background information and materials on Ocean Observing Systems, and the set includes instructional activities.
Acid Test: the Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification
a film produced by the National Resources Defense Council, was made to raise awareness about the problem of ocean acidification, which poses a fundamental challenge to life in the seas and the health of the entire planet. The video and outtakes can be viewed online or downloaded from the website, or ordered on DVD.
COSEE-Coastal Trends
offers education modules based on scientific research. The Learn, Explore the Trends, and Investigate Current Research sections provide general information on each topic. The classroom resources page is designed for teachers and educators and contains a lesson plan developed by a teacher with the help of a scientist-educator team. The education modules feature movies, video interviews, photographs, diagrams, and 5-E lesson plans for use in the science classroom.
Exploring the Submerged New World Expedition
NOAA's Ocean Exploration and Research Program has launched the Exploring the Submerged New World Expedition on its Ocean Explorer website. The expedition posting includes daily logs, videos and images, an Ocean Explorer Expedition Education Module, lesson plans, Ask an Explorer, and more.
Hands-On Oceanography
The Oceanography Society offers peer-reviewed activities appropriate for undergraduate and graduate classes in oceanography. The society has also published a supplement to the journal Oceanography that provides hands-on activities to teach physical concepts in oceanography. The activities are presented as they were presented to college undergraduates, but may be adapted for middle and high school.
Swimming Fishes Game
COSEE-Networked Ocean World (COSEE-NOW) presents Swimming Fishes, a human-sized board game appropriate for ages 10 to adult that demonstrates how changes in water temperature may affect fisheries distribution. Check this one out.
Making Waves Middle School Resources
A multimedia outreach project designed to help bring science and math to life in the middle school classroom by unlocking the mysteries of the oceans. Partners for the website include the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida, USGS, and InterActive Teacher Magazine. Resource topics include Sea Level Rise, Red Tides, Oceans from Space, Real Time Data, and more.

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