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Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar
Organization News:
COSEE Great Lakes
  • Marine Immersion Scholarships
  • COSEE O’LAKERS funds
  • Teachers Wanted to Pilot Curriculum Guide
  • Facing the [Climate] Change
  • Summer SEA Seminars for High School Students
Great Lakes News
  • Snowy and Wet Winter!
  • Zebra Mussels 20 years later
  • NOAA’s Great Lakes Offices go Interactive
  • Ballast issues
  • Great Lakes Compact
  • Turbidity Images
Marine News
  • 2008: International Year of the Reef
  • The Lotion in the Ocean
  • Whales and Sonar Update
  • Sharks for Dissection
  • Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Issues
  • Sea "Deserts" Grow
  • Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries
Resources for Great Lakes Education
  • New Invasive Species poster from GLANSIS!
  • GLERL Factsheets for download
  • Ballast Issues
Resources for Marine Education
  • Coral Reef Watch Tutorial
  • ACTIVITY: Ocean Temperature and Coral Bleaching
  • Electronic Field Trip on Whales
  • Ocean Guardian Kids Club
  • Online Cetacean Videos
  • Overfishing Game on Bluefin Tuna
  • Estuaries SciGuide
  • Marine Impacts Map
  • Our Environment and Ocean Literacy
  • Bilingual Ocean Literacy Radio
  • Adaptations from the Depths
  • Thank You Ocean podcasts
  • Nim's Island Teaching Materials

Past Newsletters

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 2008 Volume 2, Issue 2

ships wheelFrom the Helm: Rosanne Fortner

R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian

It is a busy and happy time for GLEAMS and COSEE Great Lakes! GLEAMS President Beth Hinchey Malloy and husband Kevin Malloy are the proud parents of their first child, Christian Nathaniel --born on 3/14/08, weighing in at 6 lbs 9 oz and measuring 20¼ inches long! The family is doing well and enjoying a new and exciting lifestyle. Congratulations and best wishes to Beth and family, and welcome to the small fry! We can’t wait to see him poking through the mud with Benthic Beth on the fantail of the Guardian! R/V lake Guardian photo

Speaking of the Guardian, USEPA GLNPO’s 180-ft research vessel has a new name and great additions to the research and education facilities! The R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian sports wireless internet now as well as voice over ip phones, webcasting capabilities, and a larger wetlab that can be used for classroom space! Our COSEE Great Lakes Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshop on Lake Ontario gives us our first chance to try out the new features as we learn on the lake, July 13-19.

In this issue of the Sweetwater Seascape, be sure to check out the Great Lakes and Marine News sections for important science updates. This is the International Year of the Reef, for instance, and there is a lot of new science as well as materials for teaching it. In the Great Lakes region, read more about ballast issues, progress of the Great Lakes Compact, and NOAA’s interactive Google map of facilities in the region!

Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Spring 2008

April 12
Lake Huron Fishery Workshop
Bad Axe, MI
Registration closed April 4, sorry.
April 19
Lake Huron Fishery Workshop
Alpena MI
Register by April 11

Steve Stewart is designing a teacher education component of each of these Teachable Moments for Lake Huron. Registration fees are waived; lunch and stipend are provided for educators.

Great Lakes Student Summit
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.


Mysteries of the Great Lakes
May 16
Mysteries of the Great Lakes Teachable Moment for Lake Erie
Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, OH.
[Apply by April 15]

Attend the IMAX debut of Mysteries of the Great Lakes! The Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland will host a workshop supported by COSEE Great Lakes. Twenty science teachers, grades 4-10, will be supported for the day-long program. View the film, hear from the scientists, and learn new ways of teaching about the lakes!

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. Meet and work with Dr. David Hart and his son, developer of the Paddle-to-the-Sea application for Google Earth!

July 13 – 19
Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Ontario
Aboard the R/V Lake Guardian from Buffalo
[Apply by April 25]

Join COSEE Great Lakes aboard the U.S. EPA’s 180-foot research vessel the R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian. Highlights include passage through the Welland Canal, data collection at EPA water quality sampling stations on Lake Ontario and stops in ports like Oswego and Clayton, New York. Collect plankton and benthic organisms, and water quality data, and examine how the Great Lakes and oceans change with human activity, geographic location, geology, biology and weather.

July 14 – 17
Realtime Aquatic Data Workshop
F.T. Stone Laboratory, Put-in-Bay OH
[Apply by April 15]

COSEE Great Lakes and COSEE Coastal Trends join forces to offer an educators’ workshop on how real-time aquatic data are collected and the science they represent. Topics will include water circulation, density and stratification, climate change and water levels, nutrients, plankton and chlorophyll, and dead zones. Hands on data collection, technology updates, classroom applications. Participate in the Lower Lakes Link, sharing Lake Erie data with live connection to R/V Lake Guardian on Lake Ontario!

August 2 – 8
Lake Michigan Exploration Workshop
Peggy Notebaert Museum and John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

Join COSEE Great Lakes for an in-depth exploration of Lake Michigan. Fifteen educators will be selected to participate in hands-on learning on the Chicago lakeshore, with field tours to the Great Lakes Water Institute, Milwaukee, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Expect an exciting experience and incredible opportunities to interact with scientists. Details and application at the link above.

Great Lakes Regional Calendar
Organizations working for the lakes post their events at the link above.



Member Recognition!
GLEAMS member Lauren Makeyenko is not only a COSEE "Superstar" but also the 2007 Paul MacClennan Environmental Citizen of the Year! The award, named after a former Buffalo News environmental reporter, is bestowed by the Erie County Environmental Education Institute to a person for their dedication to environmental quality and environmental education. Lauren is also a new mom; little Ruby is about four months old now!
Ocean Literacy
The big picture of both GLEAMS and COSEE is based on ocean literacy. Ocean literacy is understanding the ocean's influence on you and your influence on the ocean. NMEA members work proactively to improve ocean literacy everywhere. Learn more about how you can be involved here.
Update Your Membership!
Don’t forget to renew your membership in GLEAMS and NMEA for 2008. Scholarships to conferences, minigrant eligibility, publication discounts and other benefits depend on your membership!


COSEE Great Lakes News

The season of professional development workshops is in full swing now, with recruitment in progress for six COSEE events and 20 scholarships to partner programs [see Calendar above]. Don’t miss your chance to join us for Great Lakes learning in unique topics and settings! No two years or events are the same as we develop opportunities on each lake and for each Great Lakes state.

We hope you participated in our online workshop this winter. The Great Lakes ROCK! had six science presentations over two weeks of learning. Read about the workshop and link to it through our web site. All the materials are free and online through The College of Exploration.

Connecting to Coral Reefs
What does sand from Lake Erie have in common with sand from Curaçao? Both can be used as the basis for an effective science activity when students compare/contrast their characteristics and composition, according to Pricilla Marsh, a teacher at Chautauqua Lake Middle School. The sand activity was one of many shared by teachers who attended COSEE GL Tropical Marine Immersion course in Curaçao last summer.

Biodiversity and coral reef ecology were the themes for the latest Teachable Moment Workshop that was sponsored by COSEE GL for 14 teachers from Western New York. Coordinated by Helen Domske, NY Sea Grant Extension, and Garry Dole, Erie 2 BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), the workshop focused on coral reef ecology and the threats facing the reefs of the world. Both Domske and Dole provided lessons on biodiversity and coral reef ecology for the teachers. 3 teachers

Teachers Elementary teachers Rose Stark and Margie Weise shared classroom activities that they used with their students at Chautauqua Lake when covering a unit on the coral reef ecosystem. Both teachers indicated that their participation in the trip last summer helped them to learn about coral ecology and made learning exciting for their students as they shared their first-hand experiences.

Kathy Dole from Lake Shore Central offered teachers an array of ideas to link language arts to science when studying coral reefs. As a writer of children’s stories and poetry, Kathy encouraged the other teachers to have students write stories, songs and poetry to link what they learn in science to language arts. As evidenced by the number of questions and comments, the other teachers like the idea of linking learning between disciplines.

COSEE GL Teachable Moment Workshops provide important opportunities for teachers to learn state-of-the-art science and practical teaching suggestions to enhance classroom learning. Although the summer 2008 Tropical Marine Immersion course to Roatan, Honduras, is no longer accepting applications from educators, teachers interested in the progress of the trip can visit the COSEE GL website to follow the "blog" that the teachers create on August 9-16. For additional information on the trip, contact Helen Domske at


Marine Immersion Scholarships
Twenty $500 scholarships are available for teachers to participate in partner programs for marine or Great Lakes education. The list of eligible programs includes Tropical Marine Ecology in Curaçao, four courses at Stone Lab, three workshops at Michigan Tech, Hydrology Studies at Grand Valley State University, and a Bahamas program. Apply when you have been accepted at the program of your choice.
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.
Teachers Wanted to Pilot Curriculum Guide
The NOAA Ocean Data Education (NODE) Project is developing curriculum for grades 5-8 designed to help teachers and students use real scientific data to explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional or global scale. The Investigating El Niño Using Real Data curriculum guide contains five activities designed for grades 6-8 that incorporate real data from NOAA. Teachers are wanted to help test and evaluate this curriculum guide.
Facing the [Climate] Change
Facing the Change seeks stories, essays, and poetry expressing grassroots, personal responses to global warming. This planned anthology will explore what everyday people from all walks of life and all ages are feeling, thinking, and doing in response to climate change. Educators and students are encouraged to submit their own work. The deadline for submission is May 1, 2008.
Summer SEA Seminars for High School Students
Three-week-long seminars are being offered by Sea Education Association (SEA) for high school students [sophomores, juniors or seniors] this summer.
  • Science at SEA
  • Oceanography of the Gulf of Maine
  • Oceanography of the Southern California Bight
For more information and to request application forms go online or call 1-800-552-3633 ext 770.

Great Lakes News

Snowy and Wet Winter!
The 2007-08 winter was snowy and wet across most of the Great Lakes. [You knew that!] As of late March many sites had record or near record seasonal snowfall totals. Among them, in Wisconsin was Appleton 80.1 inches (second snowiest), Madison 100.4 Inches (record), Green Bay 82.1 inches (modern record), and Milwaukee (second snowiest) with 97.1 inches. In Michigan, Grand Rapids received 105.3 inches (second snowiest), Flint 80.3 (second snowiest), and Saginaw 80.0 inches (third snowiest).

The above normal winter precipitation is good news for Great Lakes water levels. According to the U.S. Corps of Engineers currently Lake Superior is 7 inches higher than it was at this time last year, while Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 4 to 5 inches lower than last year's level. Lake Erie is at the same level as it was a year ago, and Lake Ontario is two inches higher than it was at this time last year. All of the Great Lakes are projected to rise during the next 30 days as a part of their normal seasonal cycle. [from NOAA in the Great Lakes News, Early Spring 2008]
Zebra Mussels 20 years later
The invasive zebra mussel has disrupted food chains and caused billions of dollars in damage across the country. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of zebra mussels. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium has a slide show and 50-second audio report at the link above. The information includes an excellent graphic of North America in which you can scroll down the dates and see the ZM spread.
NOAA’s Great Lakes Offices go Interactive
To learn about NOAA’s Great Lakes programs, click on the Google map. As a pilot project, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team created an interactive Google map of all of NOAA's offices, programs, and some partners. Within each place marker, you will find an address and website to learn even more. This is being adopted on a national level, so look out for a more interactive NOAA in the future! [from NOAA in the Great Lakes News, Early Spring 2008]
Ballast issues
From glin-announce, 3/25/08: While the shipping industry, scientists and Congress try to determine the most effective way to prevent ballast introductions of new invasive species into the Lakes, University of Michigan researchers are investigating a radical new design for cargo ships that would eliminate ballast tanks. Instead of hauling potentially contaminated water across the ocean, then dumping it in a Great Lakes port, a ballast-free ship would create a constant flow of local seawater through a network of large pipes running from bow to stern, below the waterline. A scale model has been developed as proof of concept, and indicates that the design may also save on fuel. Link to a video about the ballast-free-ship testing program. The Great Lakes are not alone in dealing with ballast issues and invasive species. The West Coast Ballast Outreach Project produces an excellent newsletter with current information on methods of control and cleaning of ballast water.
Great Lakes Compact
Endorsed by the eight Great Lakes governors in 2005, the Compact to protect water and prevent diversions must be approved in identical form by each Great Lakes state and consented to by Congress before becoming legally binding. At this writing, MN, IL IN, NY have supported the measure, and progress is being made in the other states. Ontario and Quebec are working on legislation for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement. To keep up with the issue, visit Freshwater Futures.
Turbidity Images
From Alex J. Sagady & Associates: Satellite imagery from early April shows that recent rains brought considerable turbidity to Lake St. Clair and Western Lake Erie, most likely from poor soil erosion control on agricultural fields in Southern Ontario and the Eastern and Southern Land areas of Ohio and Michigan for the Western Lake Erie basin. Even after decades of farmland management, there is still a need to protect land from runoff. Click to see Lake St. Clair and Western Lake Erie, and entire Great Lakes basin [warning - 9MB file]

Marine News

2008: International Year of the Reef
The International Year of the Reef (IYOR) is a worldwide campaign aimed at raising awareness about the value of coral reef ecosystems, threats to coral health, and efforts by people to protect them. International Year of the ReefCOSEE-SE invites all educators to explore the information, activities, cool facts and links provided that shed light on the reef communities in the South Atlantic Bight. There is a powerpoint show and IYOR poster attached to the site.
The Lotion in the Ocean
Up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen wash off of ocean swimmers each year, posing a threat to up to 10 percent of global coral reefs, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Four common sunscreen chemicals can awaken dormant viruses in coral-dwelling algae, with the result that the viruses replicate to the point that the algae explode, spilling the viruses into surrounding seawater and infecting neighboring coral populations. The algae, zooxanthellae, provide coral with food energy and contribute to reefs' bright colors; without zooxanthellae, the coral bleach and die. Read more in National Geographic News.
Whales and Sonar Update
[Natural Resources Defense Council] In January, "U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered the Navy to put safeguards in place during sonar maneuvers to protect marine mammals from needless injury and death. The precautions included a ban on mid-frequency sonar within 12 miles of the California coast -- a zone that is heavily used by migrating whales and dolphins -- and between the Channel Islands where Navy maneuvers were scheduled. The Navy itself estimates that the booming sonar would harass or harm marine mammals some 170,000 times and cause permanent injury in more than 400 cases. Shortly after that ruling, President Bush issued an ‘emergency’ waiver, attempting to override the court's order. On February 4, however, Judge Cooper called the Navy's so-called emergency ‘a creature of its own making,’ and reaffirmed that the military can train effectively without needlessly harming whales." The ban remains in place.
Sharks for Dissection
[From a blog on, February 13]: From Andy Wood, Education Director for Audubon NC: Since Carolina Biological Supply is in NC, there have been questions about where those specimens originate. North Carolina issues a permit to one individual who sells dogfish to Carolina Biological. The fish are collected from the ocean as both bycatch (taken as incidental to target species including sea mullet, croaker and spot) or sometimes targeted species during the short season for them in NC. NC's daily dogfish quota is 3000 pounds per boat per day, but the typical take in NC is about 100 per boat per day. The bulk are taken by vessels working out of Southport, NC. The National Marine Fisheries Service says dogfish are not being overfished.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna issues
One of the species Dr. Carl Safina wrote about in his book, Song for the Blue Ocean, was the bluefin tuna, for which the market in sushi, combined with industrial-scale hunts assisted by spotters in planes, has nearly devastated the stocks. A New York Times article in 2005 reported that a single prime specimen could sell for $50,000 in Tokyo. At the 2008 meeting of the AAAS, a panel of fisheries scientists discussed the notion that the "Last Best Hope for Tuna" could lie in learning from the collapse of the cod fishery in Atlantic Canada. Cod valued at $1.4 Billion in 1968 had declined to $10 Million in 2004, and a decade of intense protection has not produced a comeback. While there are still no clear answers to the cod issue, the panel felt that lessons learned from the cod fishery and the characteristics of the fish in relation to fishing pressure should be used to inform a productive approach to salvaging fast-disappearing tuna. The Environmental News Network reported the panel’s suggestion that international protection of juveniles from harvest could have prevented the depletion of cod stocks off Newfoundland and such balancing can reduce the chance of a similar fate for tuna stocks.
Sea "Deserts" Grow
NPR - All Things Considered, March 6, 2008. The region of the ocean known as "the desert of the sea" has expanded by about 2.5 million square miles over the past decade, according to a new study. Scientists looking at the color of the ocean from space have found that vast areas of central ocean gyres that were once green with plankton have been turning blue, as marine life becomes scarcer. If it's linked to global warming, as they suspect, this could be another blow for the world's fisheries.
Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries
SeaWeb’s Ocean Update for February 2008 includes an article about how climate change can impact fisheries. According to an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "fishing reduces the age, size, and geographic diversity of populations and the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, making both more sensitive to additional stresses such as climate change." Studies of effects include:
  • Metabolic stress from increased water temperature
  • Species and Ecosystems Close to Their Physiological Tolerance Limits
  • Past Warming Periods as Analogues for Climate Change
  • Regional Climate Variability and Regime Shifts

Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes

New Invasive Species poster from GLANSIS!
A new poster based on the photos available through GLANSIS (the Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System) is now available for download.
GLERL Factsheets for download
Lake Huron Foodweb [284 K]
Bathymetry of Lake Erie and Lake St.Clair [192 K]
Ballast Issues
For a student activity on this topic, go to Decisions for the Great Lakes and choose the Lesson entitled Ballast Blockade. In the activity students evaluate various methods of ballast water treatment and decide which method they believe works the best according to various criteria. They base their decision on scientific evidence and data while organizing information through a decision analysis process.

Resources for Teaching: Marine

Coral Reef Watch Tutorial
NOAA has developed an online tutorial on coral bleaching, satellite technology, and how we use satellite data to monitor for the conditions that cause bleaching. Self-tests and data sources are included. While the main audience is coral reef managers and scientists, the developers tried to make the resource useful for students and teachers. Lessons are tied to the U.S. National Science Education standards.
ACTIVITY: Ocean Temperature and Coral Bleaching
Recently, there was a large die off of corals off the coast of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These corals had survived the high heat of 2005 but were weakened and succumbed to white plague disease. An online data activity from the Bridge examines NOAA water temperature data for San Juan, Puerto Rico for 2005, 2006 and 2007. Students compare the observed water temperature with the known stressful temperature level for coral reefs and discuss the effects.
Electronic Field Trip on Whales
Ball State University teamed up with Aquatic Adventures and Scripps Institution of Oceanography to produce an EFT about the migration of the eastern Pacific gray whale. "A Whale of a Story" is designed for 3-8 graders. Students can learn about gray whales via the website, webgames and webisodes. A February 26 PBS program and free downloadable curriculum materials are also available on line.
Ocean Guardian Kids Club
NOAA invites you to become a member of the National Marine Sanctuary Program's Ocean Guardian Kid's Club. The kid's club offers children a stimulating opportunity to express their insights, observations and understanding of their natural environment through the creation of original stories, poetry and visual art. All K-8 students are eligible and encouraged to join! Also, download a copy of the Ocean Guardian Activity Book for grades K-3, created by the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Debris Program. Learn about the ocean and why its important through word searches, games, and coloring pages.
Online Cetacean Videos from
The "Cetacean Investigation" series is a collection of programs on the science of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the world, each video is 12-18 minutes long. Educators can download the videos and teacher’s guides provided on the site.
Overfishing Game on Bluefin Tuna
The Pew Charitable Trusts have released an online game "Ocean Survivor." Experience what it’s like to be one of the ocean’s top predators as the ocean fills with hooks and nets. The game is designed to draw attention to the perils of overfishing and provide people with an opportunity to sign a petition to make a difference. The developers hope it will be a great educational tool for people of all ages, but also a catalyst to action.
Estuaries SciGuide
NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System and the National Science Teachers Association have developed The Estuaries SciGuide, a science guide and classroom resource for science teachers. This resource on estuaries has been pre-evaluated and aligned to the National Science Education Standards. The guide is free, but registration is required.
Marine Impacts Map
The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis combined 17 data sets of different human activities - from fishing and fertilizer run-off, to commercial shipping and pollution - and analyzed their effects on marine ecosystems, continental shelves and the deep ocean. The results, highlighted on a map, revealed the most heavily affected waters include the East Coast of North America, North Sea, South and East China Seas, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Bering Sea and areas off the western Pacific Ocean. Least affected areas are near the poles.
Our Environment and Ocean Literacy
The National Geographic Society has expanded its Our Environment & Oceans for Life website. The website provides facts, news, and classroom activities for all teachers and their students. Some resources include a multimedia teacher's toolkit; tools and resources to instruct students on the importance of a healthy environment; actions to help preserve the environment; expert scientist reports; and more.
Bilingual Ocean Literacy Radio
Fourth and fifth grade students at Browning Elementary in Houston, Texas have begun broadcasting a bilingual Ocean Literacy radio show. Students research, write, and record all segments played on 1670AM-The Deep. Broadcasts are written in Spanish and English and designed to educate the community about Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and conservation. Episodes are archived permanently as podcasts on the Artist Boat website.
Adaptations from the Depths
The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary offers its Adaptations from the Depths curriculum. The full curriculum text is downloadable. Additional materials for this curriculum include full color posters of animal camouflage and a DVD of an octopus moving about on the reef in the Sanctuary, which can be mailed to you upon request, at no charge. Send an email with your mailing address to to request the supplemental materials.
Thank You Ocean podcasts
The podcasts discuss how the public can protect the ocean and highlight issues important in ocean and coastal management. Listen and subscribe at the link above. The first podcast focuses on the Thank You Ocean campaign itself, followed by podcasts on marine debris, marine protected areas, and the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health. A new podcast will be posted approximately every 2 weeks.
Nim's Island Teaching Materials
The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) partnered with Walden Media to promote ocean conservation messages to the public, especially to young people, through the development of education materials for their newest film, Nim's Island. Download the materials and more at the link provided.

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