Lake Michigan Day 1

July 6, 2010

Today our group gathered at the Fresh Water Institute in Milwaukee where we all got to know each other with an Asian Carp ice breaker!

Next, several speakers addressed the group:

Susan Boehme spoke to the group about the EPA

Marcia Silva described her research to the group and the possibilities of improving current beach testing methods from current methods which take 24 to 48 hours for results to a more immediate method involving lasers, and Jordan Crago talked to the group about the new pollution: medications, cleaners, and non-point source pollutants from the general population found in water in small but persistent amounts.

Russell Cuhel and Carmen Aguilar spoke about the change in the mussel population from zebra mussels to quagga mussels. They showed us how quagga mussels have the adaptive advantage with the ability to survive in deeper, colder waters while filtering more efficiently by standing on end rather than laying on their sides.

After the presentations the Jim Lubner lead the group on a tour through the Water Institute culminating in our arrival to the Lake Guardian where the crew greeted us and we reviewed safety on board.

After an amazing dinner, we ran through a safety drill on the O2 deck. Everyone looked like red Gumbies in their survival suits and after a good laugh, we got serious and made sure everyone knew what to do in case of emergency!

Later, Tomas Hook explained our general itinerary and the types of sampling that we will be engaged in. During his discussion we also learned that PONARs were invented by 5 Great Lakes scientists from the University of Michigan and were first available for sale in 1966.

Finally, Jim talked to the group about concept mapping: our assignment is to create 2 lists for concept mapping later this evening.
The first is about things that you associate with the Great Lakes and the second is terms and concepts that you can teach about the Great Lakes in your classroom. We also need to find our groups for our project and find something that someone else has learned today! Time to get busy!!!

But first, the sunset

10 Facts about the Great Lakes that our teachers learned today!
1. 8 out of 100,000 people will get sick with a beach test of 235.
2. Quagga mussels have a thinner shell than zebra mussels.
3. Some fish eat quagga mussels.
4. Lake Michigan’s phytoplankton are getting smaller.
5. The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s surface fresh water.
6. The Great Lakes are changing to a benthic system.
7. The GLWI used to be a tile factory.
8. O of W is going to have a fresh water maters program.
9. Quagga mussels were named after an extinct relative of zebras.
10. Invasives don’t enter the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway; they are released into Lake St. Clair in ballast water due to shallow waters.

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