Sweetwater Seascape

June 6, 2007

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

From the Helm: Rosanne Fortner for COSEE Great Lakes

This is our first totally electronic issue of Sweetwater Seascape. The plan is to work for continual improvement in format and content so that educators and scientists in the Great Lakes can force alliances that lead to enhanced ocean/Great Lakes literacy through quality of science education.

The collaboration of COSEE Great Lakes [Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence] and GLEAMS [Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science] is a natural one that has its roots nearly 30 years ago when two Great Lakes educators attended the second annual meeting of the National Marine Education Association in Delaware. We call this the PaleoNMEA era! As Sea Grant programs increased in number in the Great Lakes states, more people became aware of the lakes as excellent examples of interdisciplinary science and environmental education, and a chapter of NMEA was started in Ohio as the Consortium of Aquatic and Marine Educators of Ohio [CAMEO]. As CAMEO expanded to include other states, the NMEA chapter morphed into GLEAMS. You can read more of the history on the GLEAMS website www.sheddaquarium.org/gleams/, and that of the National Marine Educators Association at www.marine-ed.org. A later article in this issue focuses on Cynthia Stong, a pioneer of ocean education in the Great Lakes.

Because of our wide geographic spread, it has sometimes been difficult to maintain regional activities. State-based Sea Grant programs, nonprofit education organizations and individual institutions have often focused on relatively smaller audiences because of funding levels and state or sponsor priorities, but over the years the Great Lakes have hosted three NMEA annual conferences and provided one president for the organization.

When the opportunity came to apply for status as a Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence [COSEE], we looked to our state, regional and national leaders of NMEA and GLEAMS and found the structure for COSEE Great Lakes. Thus it is natural to celebrate our collaboration with a common newsletter and listserv, seeking ways to expand our commitment to public science literacy through a focus on the Great Lakes and oceans.

We hope you will join us for activities and contribute to your newsletter. A calendar and list of officers with contact information appears later in the Sweetwater Seascape.

Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Summer 2007

May 30
Early registration deadline for NMEA annual conference, Downeast 2007, Portland ME
June 1
Early registration deadline for Lake Huron Exploration Workshop, Alpena MI
June 6-8
IJC Biennial Meeting in Chicago
June 10
Courses for educators begin at F. T. Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie. Enroll for any of ten weekly courses at 3 graduate credits each.
June 10-17
Great Lakes Education Workshop at Stone Laboratory.
June 18-24
Marine and Aquatic Education at Stone Lab.
June 20-22
No Child Left Inside, Teacher Institute at Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Erie, PA. Preschool Grade 8 educators.
June 20
The Language of Nature, Nature writing institute and retreat at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Center
June 23 - July 14
“A view from the Lake” public education cruises, 3 hours on Lake Superior
June 27-29
Great Lakes Science workshop for K-12 teachers at Shedd Aquarium
July 20-27
Downeast 2007, NMEA annual conference in Portland, Maine
August 4-11
Tropical Marine Ecology for Great Lakes teachers. Led by Helen Domske with Erie2 BOCES, New York, in Curaçao
August 11
NOAA Ocean Science & Exploration Teacher Workshop, 8-4:30 . Shedd Aquarium Teacher Services, grades 6-12
August 11 - 17
Lake Huron Exploration Workshop, Alpena, MI. COSEE Great Lakes. Apply by June 1!
August 28
Shedd Aquarium Educator Open House, times TBA


GLEAMS is looking for a new logo. Below are the choices we are considering, but we are certainly willing to entertain new ideas. Put your artistry to work or your decider hat on and send us your input on this important issue. Email your choice to Jackie Adams by June 15, please.

GLEAMS logo options

GLEAMS Officers

Elizabeth Hinchey Malloy, IL-IN Sea Grant, GLNPO
Past President
Rachel Bergren, Shedd Aquarium
Terri Hallesy, IL-IN Sea Grant
Lorie Kramer, Westerville Schools, OH
Membership Secretary
Jackie Adams, USEPA GLNPO
Newsletter Editor
Rosanne Fortner, COSEE Great Lakes
Grants Committee
Robin Goettel, IL-IN Sea Grant

State Representatives (can have 2/state)

Margaret Tower, Chicago
Robin Goettel, Urbana, IL
David Guay, Bowling Green, OH
Helen Domske, Buffalo
Craig Kramer, Worthington
Philip Lacey, Beaver
Jim Lubner, Milwaukee

Focus on PEOPLE!

1) Cynthia Stong: a model of Great Lakes marine education leadership!

From childhood vacations on Nantucket to Vineyard Sailing for Girl Scouts to Wellesley and MBL studies, Cynthia Stong knew she wanted to learn and teach others about the wonders of life in the sea. When I met her she was conducting an Ocean Focus program for teachers at Bowling Green State University, where she taught from 1962-93. She is the person most responsible for the development of BGSU courses in marine biology. Between 1972-1975, she gave small scholarships to students for summer study at marine labs using money contributed by a donor to the graduate school. With an endowment from that sponsor she provided more scholarships, and in 2003, during the 40th Anniversary of her founding the Marine Laboratory, it was announced that the scholarship was to be named in her honor! In 2005 Bowling Green awarded her an honorary doctorate in marine science education. Read more about her great activities and current work here Thanks, Cynthia, for your contributions to marine/aquatic education in the Great Lakes!

2) Marine Immersion Scholarships from COSEE Great Lakes: Congratulations!

Twenty Great Lakes educators have been selected to receive scholarships from COSEE Great Lakes for summer experiences in marine or Great Lakes education! The winners for 2007, and the programs they will participate in, are

  • Mary Murphy, Warren MI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Patrick Murphy, Warren MI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Katherine Trakul, Warren MI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Lisa Bircher, Columbiana OH, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Elizabeth Indriolo, Canton OH, Stone Laboratory courses in Great Lakes and Marine/Aquatic Education
  • James Miller, Fairview Park OH, Geologic Setting of Lake Erie at Stone Laboratory
  • William Katt, Waukesha WI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Kathy Keeney, Green Bay WI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Tim Sweet, Clintonville WI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Cindy Wallendal, Pulaski WI, Great Lakes Maritime Institute
  • Kathryn Dole, N. Collins NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Christine Lotocki, Hamburg NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Priscilla Marsh, Westfield NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Patricia O’Shea, Hamburg NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Sandra Potenza, East Aurora NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Mark Potenza, East Aurora NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Peter Michael Stark, Asheville NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Rosanne Stark, Asheville NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao
  • Margie Weise, Mayville NY, Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao

Dan Jax, middle school Earth Systems teacher from Bexley Ohio, is our COSEE Great Lakes exchange teacher to the summer Ocean Sciences Education Leadership workshop offered by COSEE Southeast in Savannah GA. Congratulations, Dan!

Great Lakes News: Keep up with Great Lakes news through regional and state Sea Grant newsletters on line or in print!

Minnesota Sea Grant’s newsletter, The Seiche

Topics in the latest issue include:

  • Minnesota Sea Grant Selects New Research Projects, Find out which research projects we recently chose to fund to the tune of $606,900. The seven projects involve Lake Superior and Great Lakes issues.
  • Quagga Mussel Population Found in Harbor. The single quagga mussel found previously in the Duluth-Superior Harbor was just the tip of the iceberg of the population. Another invasive species, Chinese mitten crabs, have also shown up in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Readers Want to Know: What produced the light we saw glowing over, on, and in Lake Superior last October?

Michigan Sea Grant College Program’s newsletter, Upwellings

Table of Contents

  • Aquatic Invasive Species: The Next Generation
  • To List or De-List: Stakeholders Debate AIS Criteria
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Summit: Michigan’s Call to Action
  • Fish Disease Joins Growing List of Invasive Species in Great Lakes
  • Avian Botulism Claims Waterbirds on Lake Michigan
  • Hydrilla: The ‘Perfect Weed’
  • Clean Boats, Clean Waters Training Sessions Scheduled

The International Joint Commission’s newsletter, Focus, is available in English and French.

The Spring 2007 issue of Focus on International Joint Commission Activities is now available with articles on the following issues:

  • Attend the 2007 Biennial Meeting (June 6-8 in Chicago) and explore what cities can do to improve water quality;
  • IJC recommends accountability framework for Great Lakes water quality;
  • IJC deliberates on Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River regulation;
  • IJC appoints Upper Great Lakes Study Board;
  • International Red River Board watches for exotic species from Devils Lake; and
  • IJC urges immediate action to complete CSSC fish barrier.

Ocean Science News

International Year of the Reef

Recognizing an urgent need to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and to further conserve and manage valuable coral reef and associated ecosystems, the International Coral Reef Initiative designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008). Read about how to get involved, some activity ideas, news and events at www.iyor.org/background.html

Other coral information is emerging through the media. Examine these

  • New York Times, May 1, 2007: Coral Is Dying. Can It Be Reborn?
  • National Wildlife, June/July 2007: Coral Crisis

Trawlers leave trails on ocean floor

The New York Times for May 15 reports that "Scientists have known for years that when fishing trawlers drag nets and gear across the ocean bottom they trap or kill almost all the fish, mollusks and other creatures they encounter. And the dragging destroys underwater features like reefs, turning the bottom to mud. Now, scientists have used satellite images to show fleets of trawlers leaving plumes of mud behind them like contrails. They hope the images will focus wider attention on trawling damage, and on the possible uses of satellites to monitor fishing." Read the rest of Cornelia Dean’s article in the NY Times archives. On-line subscriptions to the daily paper are free.

Ocean Update is a free monthly publication of SeaWeb, a communications-based non-profit organization that uses social marketing techniques to advance ocean conservation. The purpose of Ocean Update is to highlight the latest and most groundbreaking science and research related to the marine environment and conservation. Ocean Update reports with deliberate neutrality and does not editorialize nor advocate any of the positions or conclusions it publishes. It is intended to bring readers timely information they might otherwise not see. To learn more about SeaWeb, visit www.seaweb.org. The monthly e-newsletter includes timely condensed content. The May 2007 issue included these:

In this issue:

  • Prompt Management Measures Lead to Greater Fish Stock Protection, Recovery
  • Other Fisheries, as well as Longlines, may be Causing Sea Turtle Mortality and Declines
  • Climate Change Could Lead to Porpoise Starvation
  • North Sea Headed For “More Gelatinous Future” As a Result of Climate Change
  • Mycobacteria Infections Widespread among Fish in Chesapeake Bay

Consequences of Shark Loss

"The loss of large predators from ecosystems, often caused by human activities, can have effects that cascade through the rest of the food chain. In the oceans, fishing has disproportionately reduced the abundance of top predators, eliciting concern about their conservation and the indirect effects of their removal. In a Report in the 30 Mar 2007 Science, Myers et al. documented the magnitude of the decline of large sharks in the northwest Atlantic -- primarily due to overexploitation -- and the consequences of those declines on the food web. The team analyzed a compilation of independent research surveys and fisheries records and found that sharp declines in 11 species of large sharks over the past 35 years have resulted in dramatic increases in 12 out of 14 elasmobranch prey species, which include rays, skates, and small sharks. The abundance of one of these prey species, the cownose ray, has increased 20-fold since 1970. Enhanced predation by that ray species on its bay scallop prey has caused the collapse of a century-old scallop fishery in North Carolina and may hurt other bivalve fisheries. This cascade could potentially extend to seagrass habitat, exacerbating stresses on already highly degraded coastal ecosystems. Senior author C. Peterson discussed the study and its implications for resource management practices in a segment of the 30 Mar podcast." — Science www.sciencemag.org/about/podcast.dtl#20070330

ENN: Environmental News Network

Surfers Make Waves in British Battle of the Breaks

April 02, 2007 – By Pete Harrison, Reuters

LONDON -- A political storm is looming over one of Britain’s first wave power projects, the Wave Hub, which surfers fear will drain energy from the waves they ride along the Atlantic coast. In one corner stand the local authorities and power companies, who say the 25 million pound ($49 million) experimental installation is vital to developing wave power systems and helping combat global warming. In the other, the surfers of Cornwall on Britain’s southwest peninsula, many of whom moved to the region specifically to catch those waves.

The European Union is hoping to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020: wave power is part of many efforts to reach that goal. With an unusually high ratio of fanatics and a long history of campaigning against pollution, the surfing subculture knows how to make itself heard. But Wave Hub’s potential impact on greenhouse gases has not won them over. They say the installation, 10 miles (16 km) off the popular holiday destination of St Ives, will cast a shadow across their favourite beaches, draining the waves of energy and cropping their height. Read more at the link above.

Resources for Great Lakes and Marine Education

COSEE Great Lakes presents The Greatest of the Great Lakes Curriculum Activities

The Greatest of the Great Lakes is a CD-ROM of 41 multidisciplinary activities for grades 4-10 that bridge science with math, geography, environmental studies and language arts. Funded through COSEE Great Lakes (Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence), this collection offers insight into current Great Lakes concerns, as well as potential solutions.

The collection is designed to enhance a number of learning skills, including inquiry, data interpretation, hypothesis development and decision making. Activities chosen for this collection have been aligned by classroom teachers to state and national science and earth system standards, and are organized by grade, instructional mode or subject matter.

To order The Greatest of the Great Lakes, send your request and a $15 check payable to the University of Illinois to Susan White, 388 NSRC, 1101 W. Peabody Dr, Urbana, IL 61801. Call (217) 333-9441 or email white2@uiuc.edu for more information on the CD-ROM.

High school textbook: Oceans for Life

The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program in collaboration with National Geographic Society has launched a new series of marine education lesson plans highlighting cutting-edge research, maritime heritage, cultural resources and environmental issues in our national marine sanctuaries. Designed for K-12 teachers and marine educators, the Oceans for Life series of lessons and videos gives students an opportunity to explore the history, biology, and ecology of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Through a multi-media approach, the 12 Oceans for Life lesson plans and complimentary short videos will inspire ocean literacy and conservation through national marine sanctuaries and promote bringing the ocean and environment into your classroom. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education

Sea Stories online journal, seasonally

Where else can you listen in on lovers, fishing and at play…wait on shore with the pirate’s wife…journey through time to a long-dry port, and to an ancient giant shark…meet new imaginary companions on the beach…see things from a whale’s perspective…and look down on islands from above, without an airplane?

All this and more, in the newest issue of the Sea Stories online journal - dive in at www.seastories.org!

(And be sure to check out our back issues for 2006, if you haven’t read them - or even if you have!) Educators are encouraged to submit their own or their students’ work for consideration.

The Great Warming

This new climate change film on DVD is a visually-stunning look at the science and impacts of climate change. The Great Warming also examines solutions adopted by communities, individuals, and schools. Suitable for ages 11 up. The film’s Web site offers free copies (in class quantities) of Our Changing Climate , an illustrated 24-page booklet about climate change developed by NOAA, with chapters about Earth’s dynamic climate system, how and why climate changes, the greenhouse effect, how climate models work, and what the future holds. www.thegreatwarming.com