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Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar
Organization News:
COSEE Great Lakes
  • Grants for IL Educators
  • ARMADA Project
Great Lakes News
  • Upper lakes water levels
  • IJC Upper Lakes study
  • Lake Superior temperature
  • GL Climate change report
  • Water research
  • Carp barrier approved
  • Botulism spread
Resources for Great Lakes Education
  • Paddle to Sea - Google Earth
  • Superior Curriculum
  • New FLOW Modules
  • GLERL Factsheets
  • TEACH CD from GLIN
  • GL Facts Map Set
  • Migratory Birds
  • Erie: Beyond the Surface
  • River of Words
  • Research Reports
  • Activity: Saving Sturgeon
Resources for Marine Education
  • NOAA Student opportunities
  • Rising Tides
  • Reef survey report
  • Sound in the sea
  • Coral reef facts
  • FishPhone
  • NOAA on YouTube
  • Whalenet
  • Sanctuary Sam
  • Bahamas
  • VentureDeepOcean

Past Newsletters

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 2008 Volume 2, Issue 1

ships wheelFrom the Helm: Rosanne Fortner

2007 is drawing to a close, and with it the second full year of COSEE Great Lakes programming. In collaboration with GLEAMS we have reached out to over 700 educators to date, with science information and teaching materials for Great Lakes Education. We reached about 100 scientists too, with ideas for how to tell their story for the public and collaborate with teachers to foster science literacy.

A major event this fall was the completion of Chankook Kim's PhD research on one of the national COSEE goals – collaboration among educators and scientists. Maybe you were among those who took Dr. Kim's survey last year! Now you can find out how others perceived their role in and the importance of such collaboration. His published works on the project are listed in the Resources section of this issue.

Other opportunities this fall took both COSEE and GLEAMS to NSTA's regional conference in Detroit, and folks at the NAAEE conference learned about our work too. It is indeed an exciting time to be in the Great Lakes region, with growing recognition of the importance of the lakes and the issues that both intrigue and concern us.

There are exciting things coming in 2008! Check the calendar below and mark your own so you don't miss opportunities to apply for the R/V Lake Guardian workshop on Lake Ontario or the Lake Michigan Exploration Workshop in Chicago! The Great Lakes Student Summit would be a wonderful experience for your students as well. Don't forget that each Great Lakes state has funds to support lake learning activities for students, so contact your COSEE representative now.

We're pleased that you are aboard for the journey into 2008, and we always welcome your input.

Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Winter 2008

College of Exploration
January 27 – February 8
The Great Lakes ROCK! Free online workshop through the College of Exploration.

We hope you were involved in our first online workshop in 2006 to learn "What's so great about the Great Lakes?" The 2008 workshop focuses on the geology of the Great Lakes region and how that relates to the rest of the Earth system, including human activities. Over the two week period there will be science presentations about the solid Earth system in general, geologic history of the lakes, evidence of past life, current geological processes, impact of geologic process on humans and vice versa, and what we find from deep exploration and remote sensing. Following each presentation will be opportunities to interact with the presenters and other participants, learn about resources for teaching, and even earn graduate credit! Registration is open at the link above, and registrants will have access to the archives of the previous workshop while waiting for this one to open.

February 7 – 9
Science Education Council of Ohio annual conference.
Akron, OH.

SECO is always an exciting gathering of science educators, but this year GLEAMS member Lyndsey Manzo, a Westerville, Ohio, science teacher and COSEE Great Lakes Advisor, is presenting a short course from 8am to 1pm on Saturday. The short course will introduce educators to the COSEE Great Lakes Greatest of the Great Lakes curriculum and will also introduce new educators to the opportunities that GLEAMS and NMEA can provide.

February 23
National Ocean Sciences Bowl regional events:
February 25
Educators House Call [by invitation] for NSF GK-12 program at Ohio State


The following events are in the planning stages. Watch for details as they develop.

May 14 – 15
Great Lakes Student Summit
Buffalo, NY

Students in grades 5-8 present projects, take tours and learn from experts in Great Lakes science.

May 19
Wonders of the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Science Center
IMAX debut and Teachable Moment, Cleveland

With the opening of this new film, COSEE will present a one-day workshop for learning about Great Lakes science for teaching.

June 22 – 28
Curriculum Development for GL Education
F.T. Stone Laboratory, Gibraltar Island, Lake Erie

Join COSEE GL Director Fortner for a week of creative work with science for classrooms.

July 13 – 19
Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Ontario
R/V Lake Guardian
August 2 – 8
Lake Michigan Exploration Workshop
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago
Great Lakes Regional Calendar
Organizations working for the lakes post their events at the link above.



Mini-grants awarded to members!
GLEAMS awarded $200 mini grants to four members this year. Recipients and their projects include:
  • Connie Atkisson of Monroe, MI: 4th graders to the Great Lakes Education Program [GLEP]
  • Jo Omo of Hanover, MI: microscopes for 5th graders' field work at Farwell Lake wetlands
  • Cheryl Dudeck, Chicago, IL: 9th grade inclusion and autism program students study point and nonpoint pollution in Lake Michigan
  • Sara Hudson & Doug Liphart of Ashland, WI: development of a model program for elementary students to work with high schoolers to learn water monitoring and add to watershed database.
End-of-the-year GLEAMS membership dues renewal reminder!
Please remember to renew your GLEAMS memberships! Annual memberships expire on December 31, 2007. You annual dues help support the society in many ways, such as funding mini-grants, mailings and future conferences. If COSEE provided a free membership for you this year, that membership is good until December 31, 2008. All others, please use this FORM to renew. Thank you for your support.
End-of-the-year NMEA membership dues renewal reminder!
GLEAMS members can renew their National Marine Educators Association dues for only $35. Visit for membership form and mailing instructions.


COSEE Great Lakes News

Autumn activities have kept us busy on several fronts. Cindy Hagley organized a Teachable Moment in conjunction with “Making a Great Lake Superior.” Both scientist and teacher feedback has been excellent, a testimony for bringing these groups together for mutual learning.

The annual meeting of our Advisory Committee was attended by our full staff, our NSF program monitor, and the 13 regional leaders of Great Lakes science, classroom and informal education who serve as links between COSEE and those groups. New advisors for 2008 and beyond are GLEAMS President Beth Hinchey Malloy and Lyndsey Manzo. Moving to Emeritus status are Dr. Joe DePinto of Limnotech, Joaquin Jordan of Columbus Public Schools, and Dr. Tom Peacock from UMN-Duluth.

Immediately following the Advisory meeting, many of us attended NSTA’s regional conference in Detroit. COSEE and GLEAMS were a big presence on the program, and we also found others who are doing GL education and might become involved with us!

NAAEE added a new program track for marine education this year! Chankook Kim and Rosanne Fortner offered research presentations at NAAEE in Virginia Beach, and Rosanne and Bruce Munson told the online workshop story as well.


Grants for IL educators
Illinois EPA Lake Education Assistance Program
The program provides funding up to $500 for school and other not-for-profit organization participation in lake/lake watershed related educational field trips, equipment and activities. Deadlines for applying are September 30 and January 31 of each year. Check the website for more information!
ARMADA Project deadline Feb. 4
Funded by the National Science Foundation, ARMADA provides K-12 teachers an opportunity to actively participate in ocean, polar, and environmental science research and peer mentoring. Selected Master Teachers (with five or more years teaching experience) are paired with leading scientists and participate in summer shipboard, field, or laboratory research with all expenses paid.
Education providers: COSEE O’LAKERS funds
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.
GLRRIN: Calling all Great Lakes scientists!
Great Lakes research scientists are invited to join a new online network ( that connects them with potential collaborators, upcoming workshops and funding sources. The Great Lakes Regional Research Information Network (GLRRIN) is bi-national network designed to foster research coordination within the Great Lakes region by enhancing communication and collaboration among agencies and research scientists.

Great Lakes News

By far the biggest Great Lakes news this fall has been the release of information about lowered water levels in the upper lakes and the notion that this might be related to increased flow through the St. Clair/Detroit River connecting channel, and/or climate change. Some sources of information on this topic have been coming out of the GLIN-Announce newsletter. To use the free information service you can subscribe or visit the website daily. Key information about this and other lake issues is linked below.

Grand Rapids Press, 12/6/07: Lake Michigan Water Levels.
"Signs are mounting that Lake Michigan's already-low water levels are taking a turn for the worse. The big lake is a foot lower now than it was this time last year. And on Sunday, its level briefly dipped below a record low, according to federal monitoring data. A level doesn't become official until it is sustained for a month. Water levels are down in wetlands and rivers, environmental experts say, and the latest decline is more bad news for ships, boats and lake and river marinas already suffering from nine years of sinking levels. Instead of a normal seasonal drop of 2 inches in November, the lakes dropped 6 inches. For the Lake Michigan-Huron watershed, it was the driest November since 1908, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers data. Army Corps hydrologists and engineers blame excessive evaporation caused by cold air sucking moisture from the relatively warm lake."
International Upper Great Lakes Study
A five year study was officially launched by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in March 2007. The IJC appointed leading U.S. and Canadian experts from inside and outside of government to conduct an investigation of factors affecting water levels and flows on lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan and Erie. The main objectives are to review the regulation of Lake Superior outflows and to examine the physical processes and possible ongoing St Clair River changes and their impacts on the water levels of Lake Michigan and Huron. The study is to be completed in 2009. Engineering assessments contracted by the Georgian Bay Association have suggested that decades-old dredging and gravel mining may have spurred erosion of the river bed, leading to lower lake levels. Previous reports from the IJC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have recognized the dredging and mining themselves lowered the lakes by between 13 - 18 inches.
Lake Superior Water Surface Temperatures
A recent NASA Earth Observatory study of temperature and wind trends on Lake Superior found that both summer wind speeds and water temperatures have increased between 1979 and 2006. Scientists are theorizing that the lake was able to warm up more because the spring melt is happening earlier. Of course, warmer water relates to less ice and higher evaporation rates, both of which are projected aspects of climate change.
Climate change and GL water resources [44 pg PDF]
This is a fine report from the National Wildlife Federation about projected changes in the Great Lakes with global climate change. These include:
  • Spring and summer temperatures in the Great Lakes region may increase by as much as 9º F (5° C) and 7.2° F (4° C), respectively, by 2050;
  • According to one recent study, lake levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron may drop by as much as 4.5 ft (1.38 m) due to a combination of decreased precipitation and increased air temperature/evapotranspiration;
  • Groundwater will be impacted, as aquifer levels and recharge rates are expected to drop;
  • Lower lake levels and rising temperatures (both in the air and water) will significantly impact fisheries, wildlife, wetlands, shoreline habitat, and water quality in the Great Lakes region;
  • Tourism and shipping, which are critically important to the region, are especially vulnerable to climate change impacts; and
  • Water shortages in other regions will raise the threat of Great Lakes diversions.
GL Water research grant for MTU and Yale
Scientists at Michigan Technological University and Yale University have received a 5-year grant from NSF to analyze the quantity, quality and availability of water in the Great Lakes region. "We will gather data, analyze it and try to predict what could happen to water use and water quality over the next 10, 20 or 30 years," said Alex Mayer, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, part of the University's Sustainable Futures Institute. The researchers will develop computer models that describe the flow of water in the Great Lakes watershed, including the lakes themselves, rivers and streams that feed the lakes and groundwater. They will also work to discover where and how the water is being used. [from glin-announce 11/6/07]
Carp barrier authorized over presidential veto
On November 8, Congress passed legislation that fully authorizes the electrical dispersal barrier on the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal, as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA). The barrier—whose completion was largely motivated by the migration of Asian carp toward the Great Lakes—is designed to keep invasive species from spreading between the Great Lakes and Mississippi watersheds. Enactment of WRDA, which came in the form of a presidential veto override, was the last remaining legal hurdle for the barrier, though funding from Congress will be required to complete the project. Read more...
Bird and fish poisoning spreads
Botulism is killing fish and the shorebirds that eat them. The cause is likely due to a disruption in the ecosystem by invasive zebra and quagga mussels. This Great Lakes Radio Consortium piece is available as text, slides, audio, and podcast.
NY establishes Invasive Species Council
The New York Times [12/27/07] reports that a new law has established the interagency state Invasive Species Council within the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The group will meet for the first time Feb. 13, with an advisory committee of business, academic and conservation groups. The office will involve biologists and foresters in developing ways to combat invaders, also working with universities, other state agencies and non-profits to support research and raise public awareness.

Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes

Paddle-to-the-Sea with Google Earth!
Dr. David Hart developed this application with his high school son. They keep making improvements to it, so we hope you’ll download Google Earth and then open the file at
Lake Superior Curriculum
Developed with a grant from EPA-GLNPO, Connecting the Coast is geared toward service learning and student investigations.
New FLOW modules
Fisheries Learning on the Web now has four additional or revised lessons to help educators and students observe and identify Great Lakes fish, understand the fundamentals of fish habitat and life cycles, and learn how scientists monitor the movement of fish populations. The creators are interested in educator feedback and will reward your response to their evaluation form.
GLERL Factsheets for download
Lake Michigan Foodweb
Great Lakes Water Levels
Also listen to National Public Radio Morning Edition about Lake Superior levels, with discussion by scientist Cynthia Sellinger.
TEACH CD available
The Education And Curriculum Homesite (TEACH), K-12 education component of the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN), is now available on CD-ROM, and 2000 copies are being distributed by partner organizations. The CD contains sample lesson modules and the glossary from TEACH, along with additional lesson plans, activities and materials developed especially for the CD. For more information, visit or contact Christine Manninen.
Great Lakes Facts
This poster-sized basin map set is hard to find, and Superior is out of print. Thanks to Lyndsey Manzo for tracking down how to order them at $2.50 per set, or $1 for the GL Basin map only. To see the maps online and make an order, go to and select posters, Great Lakes Facts Map set. Minimum purchase $2.50, a university policy on small checks.
Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes
This online guide features migratory birds common to the Great Lakes region and explores their special relationships with water. Experienced birdwatchers can learn something new about these unique water connections, and students of all ages will enjoy this beautifully illustrated site featuring detailed bird profiles, a guide to habitat in the Great Lakes region, issues challenging Great Lakes migratory birds, and relevant research funded by UW-Madison and the UW Sea Grant Institute.
Lake Erie: Beyond the Surface
Four video programs from WKYC-TV in Cleveland: the first 30-minute special aired in June, the second in mid October, to be followed by a special in January '08 and May of '08. At the link above you can watch the special again, get the latest news regarding Lake Erie, and tap into valuable Lake Erie resources and experts.
River of Words
This nonprofit organization connects kids to their watersheds through poetry and art. They send out a poem and picture each month to members of their free listserve. This month’s poem was by a 13-year-old on water shortage/drought. In my part of North Carolina we are in a historic drought period, 24” below normal, or nearly half our annual precipitation. Water is precious in this coastal state. --RWF
Research reports from COSEE Great Lakes
Dr. Chankook Kim’s research has been published in two journals. The educator survey results are at Kim, Chankook and Fortner, Rosanne W. (2007). "Educators' views of collaboration with scientists," American Secondary Education, vol. 35(3). The scientist survey is reported in: Kim, Chankook and Fortner, Rosanne W., "Great Lakes Scientists' Perspectives on K-12 Education Collaboration," Journal of Great Lakes Research, in press for 2008.
ACTIVITY: Saving Sturgeon
With the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement, why not learn about a fish that was integral to the survival of the early settlers, the Atlantic sturgeon? Sturgeon are unusual fish that have changed very little since prehistoric times. They can live to be 60 years old and up to 14 feet in length. Learn about this living dinosaur and their fight for survival in the Bridge Data Analysis Teaching Activity (DATA), Saving Sturgeon. Students will explore Virginia Institute of Marine Science data that evaluates the interaction of sturgeon with the commonly used gill net. These nets, which can stretch for tens to hundreds of meters, trap fish by entangling them as they try to swim through the net. This DATA can also be used to investigate by-catch and its effect on slow-to-mature species.

Resources for Teaching: Marine

NOAA Student Opportunities web site
This new site contains scholarship, internship, and fellowship information for high school, undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs.
Rising Tides: Journal for HS
The first issue of an oceanographic education journal for high school science teachers and students was released this fall by NASA and NOAA. It focuses on the biological aspects of coastal oceanography, emphasizing research technology, and includes research articles, classroom and lab activities, scientist interviews, and links to oceanography topics.
Reef Survey Report with Links in Google Earth
The Australian Institute of Marine Science long term monitoring survey updates can now be viewed in Google Earth (Version 4), allowing you to zoom to each surveyed reef and view geo-referenced underwater photos and information from previous surveys. Using links to the reef pages, you can also view enlarged photos and a description of the reef habitat.
Discovery of Sound in the Sea
The University of Rhode Island’s Office of Marine Programs has launched an update to the Discovery of Sound in the Sea website, an online resource about the science and use of sound in the ocean. In addition to new content and updates throughout the website, a new main section offers a Frequently Asked Questions and a Facts and Myths section, useful for educators and students. New on-line tutorials on the Science of Sound and the Effects of Sound on Marine Animals, new content in the People and Sound section, and new entries in the Audio Gallery are also available. In addition, check out updated material under How do marine animals hear sounds? under Animals and Sound.
Fifty Facts about Wider Caribbean Coral Reefs
Compiled for the International Year of the Reef, Fifty facts about Wider Caribbean Coral Reefs offers interesting facts about coral reefs in the wider Caribbean. There are also links to additional resources, news, events, and more. [from Information Exchange for Marine Educators 11-07]
FishPhone for seafood concerns
Shoppers and diners who aren’t carrying their Blue Ocean Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood can get a quick refresher! Text 30644 with the message FISH followed by the species you're interested in. You’ll get a text reply with a seafood ranking: Green, Yellow, or Red [Green is a sustainable and safe product], plus contaminant information if there are health concerns. You’ll love the other services offered by the Blue Ocean Institute too!
NOAA on YouTube
Selected videos from NOAA's Ocean Exploration expeditions are now available on YouTube! To see all of the NOAA Ocean Exploration expeditions, videos, daily logs from sea, educational resources, and more, check out the website at
Whalenet Interactive Education Resources
WhaleNet disseminates educational resources focusing on marine concepts for use with the existing curriculum. It has online real-time and archived satellite tracking data of seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles.
Sanctuary Sam speaks for ocean conservation
NOAA is using a California sea lion to launch a new national ocean literacy, education, and public awareness campaign. Sam will help convey important messages to the American public — particularly children — about the marine environment, highlighting the current problems facing the oceans, including pollution, marine debris and habitat destruction.
Treasures in the Sea: Our Bahamian Resources
Web site and resource book resource book that "provide educators with scientific information and hands-on activities that encourage students to discover, cherish, and protect the sea and all of its treasures."
"Since its launch in 2005, [this] website has shared the excitement of mid-ocean ridge and hydrothermal vent exploration with audiences around the world. Designed as an information portal, the site features current scientific research and cruises, the latest deep-sea news, engaging background information and images, photostories, and access to additional relevant resources."

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