Quarterly Newsletter for GLEAMS (Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science) and COSEE Great Lakes (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence)
|Winter 2009||Volume 3, Issue 1|
From the Helm: Beth Hinchey Malloy
2008 was an exciting year for my family-- we welcomed a son, Christian, back in March. Although only 9 1/2 months old now, he is already a big fan of all things aquatic, such as fish, hippos, whales, and of course his bath! The world of water certainly captivates us all, no matter what age. Thanks to all of you for working so hard to educate students and the public about the importance of protecting our invaluable fresh and salt water resources.
We’re only a few days into the New Year and 2009 is shaping up to be another exciting year for Great Lakes education! See the COSEE news below for all the coming workshops, on land, water and Internet. From my perspective as a scientist on the R/V Peter Wise Lake Guardian, I'll be delighted to meet new educators and other scientists for weeks of learning.
Mark your calendars for three important upcoming conferences in 2009: The National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) conference in New Orleans March 9-12; The International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) conference May 19-22, 2009 in Toledo, Ohio and the National Marine Education Association (NMEA) conference June 29-July 3, 2009 in Pacific Grove, California. At the IAGLR conference, COSEE Great Lakes is organizing a “School for Scientists” session that will showcase educational outreach success stories and science learning environments that have developed as a result of COSEE Great Lakes workshops. Pairs of educators and researchers will be presenting on their successful collaborations...you won’t want to miss it!
Best wishes to you all for a wonderful new year!
- February 9, 2009
- Armada Project deadline The ARMADA Project- Research and Mentoring Experiences for Teachers, funded by the National Science Foundation, provides K-12 teachers an opportunity to actively participate in ocean, polar, and environmental science research and peer mentoring.
- February 16-27
- Great Lakes Alive! Free online workshop produced by COSEE Great Lakes with the College of Exploration. Meet regional researchers and discuss lake biology/ecology.
- February 28
- Apply for Shedd Aquarium's Teacher Field Experience in the Bahamas. COSEE scholarships available.
- March 19-22
- NSTA annual conference in New Orleans. Full day of COSEE presentations, as well as Share-a-thons, science updates and more ideas than you can handle alone! Register and bring a colleague!
- March 23
- Apply for science education courses at F.T. Stone Lab on Gibraltar Island, Lake Erie. COSEE scholarships available for some courses.
- March 27-28
- SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) conference at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. Focus is “meeting the challenges of Great Lakes stewardship.” This is an NSF project designed to develop undergraduate faculty expertise to foster STEM careers and responsible citizenship. Early registration by February 20.
- April 10
- Application deadline for COSEE Lake Erie Exploration Workshop.
- April 12-18
- National Environmental Education Week. 2009 theme: Be Water Wise!
- April 15
- Apply for COSEE Marine Immersion Scholarships; 20 to be awarded at $500 each for selected partner programs.
- May 14-17
- Lake Superior Youth Symposium in Duluth MN. Focus: Global climate change and Lake Superior. Students and teachers of grades 8-12 can choose a one-day Sampler program on May 15 or a full weekend Extravaganza! For registration packet [due April 1] contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 19-22
- International Association for Great Lakes Research meets at the University of Toledo. Special teacher registration rate, COSEE School for Scientists, and Teachable Moment.
- Looking ahead to a COSEE SUMMER!
- See COSEE Great Lakes program descriptions in COSEE News section. Details at http://coseegreatlakes.net
- Other partner programs described in Opportunities section
- Great Lakes Regional Calendar
- Organizations working for the lakes post their events at the link above.
- New web site!
- Thanks to Jackie Adams for developing our new website at www.greatlakeseducators.org!
- Renew membership
- Start the new year off right! Renew your GLEAMS membership if it expired at the end of 2008. Questions about your membership status? Contact Membership Secretary Jackie Adams. Information on how to renew can be found at www.greatlakeseducators.org/apply.html.
- Election time
- GLEAMS will be having new elections for Board Members in 2009- stay tuned for details and consider running for an office! A list of current officers can be found at the "contact us" link on the web.
- Local Great Lakes/Marine Education meetings
- Following a lead from sister chapter MAMEA (Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association) GLEAMS is proposing to organize a local chapter meeting in each state. Format could be an evening and morning at a nonformal institution such as a science center or research laboratory, with a speaker and teacher sessions for sharing. Stay tuned for details!
- Mini-grant deadline extended
- The GLEAMS membership mini-grant call is out and the deadline has been extended to Feb. 14. This grant will allow you to purchase teaching supplies, take fieldtrips, and attend in-service or training programs, which promote learning opportunities in aquatic and/or marine education. The activity must be hands-on and related to the Great Lakes, and should involve numerous students. We wish to provide mini-grants to teachers who are conducting activities that create an awareness/appreciation for the aquatic and marine sciences and that incorporate a variety of science process skills. You may request up to $200. To apply for the grant, please fill out the application form at www.greatlakeseducators.org/mini-grant.html.
COSEE Great Lakes News
We are adding new material to the COSEE web site http://coseegreatlakes.net frequently now as we prepare for another exciting year, our 4th of five. Applications for all events are due before the next newsletter, so now is the time to make your plans! Here's what's happening:
- Free online workshop: Great Lakes ALIVE!
On February 15-27, the College of Exploration will once again host our science workshop for educators, the public, and scientists. The topic for 2009 is biology and ecology, and we have assembled a group of NSF researchers to address these topics:
- Monday, Feb. 16 - GL Plankton and Benthos (Dr. Carmen Aguilera}
- Wednesday, Feb. 18 - Food Web & Bioaccumulation (Dr. Tom Nalepa)
- Friday, Feb. 20 - Fisheries (Dr. Randy Snyder)
- Monday, Feb. 23 - Invasive species (Dr. David Lodge)
- Wednesday, Feb. 25 - Environmental Health and GL-Human Interactions (Dr. Deb Swackhamer)
Check in now and register for the free workshop at www.coexploration.org/coseegreatlakes While you're waiting for February, take a look at the previous workshops on geology and "What's so great about the Great Lakes?" One registration gets access for you to all these and other TCOE workshops. We look forward to meeting you online!
- IAGLR School for Scientists and Teachable Moment
When the International Association for Great Lakes Research meets May 18-22 at the University of Toledo, COSEE Great Lakes will offer programs for both scientists and teachers. Our School for Scientists will be a multi-session program introducing tips, techniques and success stories for scientists wishing to work with educators to give broader impacts to their research.
- Shipboard and Shoreline Science
This summer COSEE Great Lakes will be offering not one but TWO Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshops on the R/V Lake Guardian. Educators can apply to spend a week with COSEE Great Lakes on Lake Superior (July 7-13) or Lake Huron (July 25-31). The selected educators will participate in Great Lakes research first-hand as they cruise on the lakes for a week, working side by side with scientists and stopping in ports for additional science learning. These events are in partnership with U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office.
- Lake Erie Exploration
We are also hosting a Lake Erie Exploration Workshop this summer (July 18-24). This seven-day summer workshop will offer educators an excursion into Great Lakes and marine science education in the diverse environments of Lake Erie, from vantage points in Erie PA and Put-in-Bay OH. Fifteen teachers and informal educators of Grades 4-10 will be selected to attend.
- COSEE PI accepts endowed chair
Congratulations to Dr. Don Scavia, Michigan Sea Grant Director and COSEE Great Lakes Principal Investigator! Don has been named the new director of the University of Michigan’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and will become its Graham Family Professor this year. Don is well known for his studies of ecological dead zones and modeling of lake ecosystems. Before coming to U-M he was the chief scientist for the U.S. National Ocean Service. Though the responsibilities of his new position will be demanding, he will remain with the COSEE program through its completion at the end of 2010. We’re hoping to get his participation in the Lake Erie Exploration Workshop this year so more educators can benefit from his great knowledge and experience. Thanks and best wishes, Don!
- Kania to present at Ohio ETech conference
Sandusky high school teacher Pat Kania participated in last summer’s curriculum development and evaluation course at Stone Lab, and now he is presenting his Google Earth lessons at the State of Ohio’s ETech conference for educators, Feb 2-4 in Columbus. His topic is “Earthquests! Teaching Earth Science, Topography, and Geography Using Google Earth.” Pat will also co-present our Google Earth partnership with Dr. David Hart at IAGLR.
- Shoals Marine Lab
- Located on Appledore Island, Maine (Isles of Shoals), off Portsmouth NH, SML offers college credit courses for undergraduates, high school students and teachers. Information and online application at clickable link above.
- Garden Club supports graduate research
- Applications are being accepted until February 1 for the Garden Club of America's annual Award in Coastal Wetland Studies, a one-year scholarship for graduate studies in coastal wetlands with a stipend of $5,000 to support field-based research.
- Curriculum unit on climate change
- Facing the Future is offering Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, a two-week interdisciplinary curriculum unit for students in grades 6-8, in pdf format [5.5 MB]. Aligned with national science and social studies standards, the lessons begin by building a foundation of understanding climate change and end with students being able to communicate complex and interconnected issues related to climate change.
- Shedd Aquarium Workshops on Demand
- Shedd is taking teacher programs out of the aquarium and into the schools! Come to Shedd or they’ll come to you, whichever works best for your group. Any of these two hour workshops can be taken with 10-25 participants. The cost of $25 per teacher includes curriculum and support materials. Check the website for program descriptions and registration information, or call 312-692-3165 with questions. Reservations must be made three weeks in advance.
- Check those workshop application deadlines at http://coseegreatlakes.net so you don't miss opportunities for professional development!
- 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.
Great Lakes News
- GL Commission looks toward Obama’s Great Lakes agenda
- Citing President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign commitments to Great Lakes protection, the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) is expressing strong enthusiasm for the opportunity to make serious progress toward Great Lakes restoration goals. In a Dec. 9 letter to Obama’s transition headquarters in Chicago, GLC Chair and Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn congratulated Obama, saying, “We applaud the vision you outlined for Great Lakes restoration during your campaign for the presidency and we pledge our support to work with you and your administration to make it a reality.” Quinn specifically highlighted three priorities for the President-elect’s attention: Funding for Great Lakes infrastructure in an early economic stimulus package; appointment of a high-level coordinator for the Great Lakes; and establishment of a long-term funding mechanism to restore the Great Lakes, which can help implement an Obama campaign proposal to establish a federal trust fund of at least $5 billion over a 10-year period to support Great Lakes protection and restoration. Contact: Tim Eder, email@example.com.
- “Shovel ready” at the new Sault lock
- The Great Lakes shipping industry is hoping that President Obama’s administration sees the proposed new 1,000-foot lock at Sault, MI, will meet the criteria for immediate stimulus funding. If approved the construction could begin in spring, and would take about 10 years to complete. This would be a twin for the existing 40-year-old Poe Lock, and would support additional shipping in addition to insuring against possible issues with the aging Poe. [from GLIN, 1/6/09]
- Separate the Lakes from the Mississippi?
- A number of Great Lakes advocates are supporting the “ecological separation” of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin to protect both great watersheds from the perils of invasive species. The Alliance for the Great Lakes produced a report in November 2008 outlining options for such a separation. The complex Chicago Waterway System, engineered in 1900 to reverse the flow of the Chicago River, carries Chicago’s wastewater away from Lake Michigan. It supports thousands of recreational boaters and provides a shipping route for ~25 million tons of bulk commodities annually. Although Asian carp, known to eat up to 20 percent of their body weight in plankton daily, are the most pressing threat to the Great Lakes, the connection poses threats to both watersheds. The round goby and zebra mussel have both invaded the Mississippi River basin in the past decade through the system.
- IJC Focus newsletter
- Just after the last Sweetwater Seascape came out, the International Joint Commission produced its Focus newsletter. This link goes to that issue, which includes updates on topics such as
- New Goal for Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River
- Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Regulation: How We Propose to Resolve the Issue
- Public Outreach Key Focus of International Upper Great Lakes Study
- A Century of Cooperation Protecting Our Shared Waters
- Work on 2007–09 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Priorities
- Freshwater Future alerts on lake-by-lake issues
- Contact Cheryl to be added to the email list for this group. In January we learned about these issues in the lakes: Ontario: threat of mining limestone in World Biosphere Reserve Erie: Cleveland public and doctors ask Mittal Steel to clean up Michigan: Surfers want Chicago beaches open to their sport Huron: “green” restoration of a tributary creek Superior: Proposed oil refinery and pipeline for tar sands
- New GLERL Lab and Director
- NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, one of our finest science facilities for Great Lakes research, has moved to a new site at 4840 S. State Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48108. The new facility has modern wet and dry laboratories, conference facilities, a library, marine instrumentation shop, and office space to accommodate about 120 employees. Former Director Stephen Brandt, a long-time friend of Great Lakes education, has taken a new position as Director of Oregon Sea Grant. He will be greatly missed! The acting GLERL Director is Dr. Marie Colton, a physical oceanographer from NOAA’s National Ocean Service, with experience in NASA and the Office of Naval Research. Congratulations to GLERL, Steve and Marie!
- Lake St. Clair conference proceedings
- The 4th Binational Lake St. Clair Conference in March 2008 convened participants from the U.S. and Canada to discuss implementation of restoration and protection efforts for Lake St. Clair. The program included the status of major initiatives in the watershed, specific restoration and protection programs, and key initiatives in the U.S. and Canadian sides of the watershed. [from Great Lakes Commission, 1/5/09]
- Spiny Water Flea found in inland lake
- The New York DEC announced in late October that it had found Bythotrephes cederstroemi, the invasive spiny water flea, in Great Sacandaga Lake in the southern Adirondacks, the first report of its presence outside the Great Lakes. Click on the link above for information on the origin, dispersal and control of Bythotrephes.
- Bush’s ocean monument
- On January 6, President Bush set aside three areas of the Western Pacific as national monuments, thereby protecting them from commercial fishing, drilling and mineral extraction. The areas encircle the Mariana Islands and a group of atolls and reefs called the Line Islands. According to the New York Times editorial, “In protecting nearly 200,000 square miles of ocean, an area far bigger than California, Mr. Bush has outdone his decision in 2006 to set aside 140,000 square miles in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.” The editorial points out, however, that the area is not large enough and the protections do not include recreational fishing and the waters above the Mariana Trench. We can still thank Mr. Bush for acknowledging the possibility of ocean protection as a legacy.
- In another positive move, just before the end of 2008, the Bush administration withdrew its proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA rule would have given more control over environmental reviews to the fishing industry, while limiting the public's ability to participate in key decisions impacting the oceans. Extensive public comments may have helped convince the administration to withdraw this flawed rule. Learn more at Pew's End Overfishing Web site.
- Ocean Conservancy suggests Obama action
- After acknowledging President Bush’s creation of the Pacific Ocean National Monument, the president of the Ocean Conservancy laid out in the Washington Post three steps that President-Elect Obama can take to build his own ocean legacy:
- Make oceans a priority when discussing climate change. The real impacts of climate change can be seen today in the world’s oceans from bleaching coral to rising seas.
- Focus on the Arctic. The most severe impacts of climate change can be seen in the Arctic. Melting sea ice and costal communities and villages falling into the sea are just a few examples. Oil and gas leases that have been marked for sale should be put on hold until a thorough scientific assessment of their impacts can be completed.
- Bring Order to the Ocean. From major shipping lanes to fishing waters and recreational use, the ocean has any number of uses. A comprehensive plan for sustainable ocean use will ensure that we can use the ocean while preserving it for future generations.
- Jane Lubchenco to head NOAA
- A former president of AAAS and advocate of a strong, diverse science workforce, Dr. Jane Lubchenco is described by ocean advocates as “that rare species of scientist who can speak passionately and persuasively for the changes that need to take place. The ocean science community looks forward to her leadership! [12.23.08, BlueFront.org]
- NOAA and NSF Commission Study of Ocean Acidification
- The first comprehensive national study of how carbon dioxide emissions absorbed into the oceans may be altering fisheries, marine mammals, coral reefs, and other natural resources has been commissioned by NOAA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Learn more about ocean acidification at the Earth Portal entries for the first week of January.
- Map Shows Human Toll of Climate Change
- The Center for American Progress has just created a new interactive map on the human toll of climate change. This map provides scientific information on a variety of climate change threats, compiled from multiple sources, and plots this information geographically to show areas of concern.
- 2 trillion tons of ice lost since 2003
- “More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming. More than half of the loss of landlocked ice in the past five years has occurred in Greenland, based on measurements of ice weight by NASA's GRACE satellite, said NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke.” Luthcke presented his findings at the AGU meeting in December. “The water melting from Greenland in the past five years would fill up about 11 Chesapeake Bays, he said, and the Greenland melt seems to be accelerating.” [from ENN, 1/2/09]
- Threat to Bluefin Tuna continues
- The global market for tuna has by all accounts pushed the species to its limit of sustainability. In late autumn the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recently ignored scientists' recommendations on catch limits. The commission approved an annual quota of 22,000 tons of bluefin from the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. This is less than the 30,000 tons previously allowed but far more than recommended by scientists advising the commission, who asked for a limit somewhere between 8,000 and 15,000 tons. Scientists predict that the current quota will allow the fishery to capture legally all of the adult fish. According to a New York Times December 8 Editorial, “What the fishermen — and the politicians who represent them — don’t acknowledge is that this new quota will ensure their own extinction too. Preserving the species they fish for will require sharply reduced quotas or, better, a moratorium on tuna fishing. It is a radical move, but only a radical move will save the bluefin and the industry.
Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes
- Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetlands
- The new Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetlands DVD is now available. The 18-minute program provides an overview of the nearly 17-mile barrier dune system and focuses on key issues of concern to those working to protect and preserve this vital environmental system. The program takes a look at invasive species, rare and endangered plants, shorebirds, and the delicate man-nature balance. The DVD was produced in cooperation with the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Program and New York Sea Grant at SUNY-Oswego. Copies are available for $10 each. More info: 315-312-3042, SGOswego@cornell.edu
- GLOS - The Great Lakes node of the national Integrated Ocean Observing System
- The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) is an effort dedicated to providing wide internet access to real-time and historic data on the hydrology, biology, chemistry, geology and cultural resources of the Great Lakes, its interconnecting waterways and the St. Lawrence River. GLOS is a regional node of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) initiative. Their redesigned website provides access to Great Lakes data via four new map viewers, as well as a new e-newsletter, Lake Views.
- Climate Change in the Great Lakes
- IAGLR has produced an educational fact sheet about climate change in the region. The Great Lakes – At a Crossroads can be downloaded from http://iaglr.org/scipolicy/factsheets.php
- Activity: Do Christmas Bird Count data reflect trends associated with global climate change?
- This is a high school activity from Ohio Sea Grant's Great Lakes Instructional Activities for the Changing Earth System. While the lesson was developed in 1995, use of current data will generate a successful learning experience.
Resources for Teaching: Marine
- Marine Fisheries news
- NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service publishes its press releases on line. Click in often to keep up with their reports on topics like whale strandings, catches of big ocean predators, and the like.
- NOS Introduces New Online Education Tools
- The National Ocean Service (NOS) is offering a new set of environmental science resources for teachers of grades 5-12. These modules, created in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, focus on estuaries, coral ecosystems and the ocean's role in weather and climate. The website provides resource links, background information, sample student work, and case studies.
- Estuaries 101 Online Curriculum
- This new online science curriculum from NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a complete set of estuarine science curricula to help grade 9-12 teachers incorporate coastal and estuarine science into any general science class. Each of the four modules tells the estuary story through one of three domains - earth, life, or physical science.
- Coral Reef Education Resources
- The 2008 Coral Reef Educational Resources CD is a collection of coral reef education and outreach materials created by state and federal agencies as well as non-profit organizations that are part of the Education and Outreach Working Group of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The materials cover a wide-range of topics related to coral reefs, including basic coral biology, coral reef ecosystems, human use, threats, and conservation efforts. The contents of the CD are provided online as a convenience and to allow wider distribution.
- Online documentary on Desert Porpoise
- In the northern part of the Gulf of California in Mexico, lives the entire world population of the Vaquita. Its range is the smallest of any marine mammal -living in an area less than 40 square miles. Whale Trackers is offering a live [Nov-Dec. 2008], online science and education series about the pending extinction of the world's most endangered marine mammal, the tiny vaquita porpoise.