Lake Michigan Day 7

July 12, 2010

Today we packed our bags and left the Lake Guardian for the last time. We gathered where our voyage began, at the Water Institute in Milwaukee to give our final presentations and say our goodbyes. We have traveled a great distance together and learned even more along the way.
Here are some reflections from the team as we close this session:

I have noticed that these schools of freshwater education are pretty new. The schools in Traverse City and Muskegon are training young people to fill a niche that is in demand. This is great information to turn my students in this direction for great careers. - Marty Baker

Everything is interconnected and entwined. Small changes can have unexpected impacts, but sometimes big improvements can be made. –Susannah Hamm

I feel strongly that after these days of exposure to resources and information it is our duty to repay those who contributed by incorporating the message into our lessons as well as our lives. Still, to impart the knowledge to our students is only step one. Sharing the initiative with our peers to reach even more children is the next step that can best be achieved when our passion for the Great Lakes begins to reflect those who we have been exposed to during this expedition. That is the fundamental goal of COSEE. -Stephanie Crook

I’m now aware of the complexity of the Great Lakes ecosystems and how much I have left to learn! Beyond a doubt, I am privileged to have the opportunity to go on this voyage of a lifetime. It will be a story to tell my grandchildren someday. This experience has fired me up to vigorously pursue environmental science relative to the Great Lakes. Probably the “big idea” I take away as passionately believe is this, “The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably connected.” –Gwen Bottoli

This workshop has given me a lot of new information on invasives, food webs, and Great Lakes issues that I will implement in my lessons. It was a great experience. –Aneal Padmanabha

The crew of the R/V Lake Guardian was fabulous! They spent an incredible amount of time explaining the techniques, equipment and science used aboard the boat. Thank you. –Isaac Cottrell

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that everything is connected. All living things, including humans, and the nonliving parts of the environment have a great impact on each other. If we want our impact to be positive, we have to make some changes! –Jeannie Navarro

My awareness of Great Lakes literacy has been expanded 100 fold. The importance of Great Lakes ecology is an essential learning for my students, adults, all of us. Great Lakes are a resource that we must protect, manage, and educate at every level of education as well as adults. Thank you COSEE. – Matt Katzer

I am inspired to be among other educators that are as passionate about water issues! COSEE has treated us to a very comprehensive experience living the life of a freshwater researcher. I am eager to share my experiences with friends, family and my students. –Tracey Marchyok

The homogenation of the waters is such a sad thing; to think that we have lost 20 species of native mussels on the Great Lakes alone (not to mention all the river species). I was most amazed with the speed of some of these changes. The Sutton Bay travel catch statistics from the educational schooner ‘school ship’ showed the round goby increase from about 4% in 2004 to 93% of the catch in 2008. That’s a huge decrease in biodiversity really fast. –Chris Hedge

What I have learned from this great COSEE/Sea Grant Lake Guardian cruise is just how important it is to continue to not only be stewards of our land, but also of our waters. We are an interconnected basin, which can contaminate other areas very easily with drainage. At minimum this will be emphasized with my students along with the specific information/data on Lake Michigan. –Karla Hammond

One thing I learned: The diporeia could disappear in 10 years. The loss of diporeia is linked to the spread of zebra and quagga mussels. –Mary Kultgen

I will take from this experience many great ideas and resources which I will incorporate into my classroom. Of course I also had a great time and visited many facilities I may have never seen without this trip. –Gregory Alberding

One thing that was beyond my expectations was being surrounded/introduced to so many scientists with amazing knowledge that they were anxious to share with teachers knowing it would get back into their classrooms. It energized and humbled me at the same time. These scientists seemed to have the ability to challenge us but keep the information on an understandable level. –Donna Browne

Everything is connected! The physical science impacts the chemistry which impacts the biology-and so it goes! – Chris Hedge

A Thank you from your Blog Writer-
I will miss this ship again, it is more than just a steel hull to the crew that live here, the scientists that depend on it to gather their data and the teachers who visit. Warm smiles, soft cookies, and a common goal of spreading the message of the waters we all love make this place something far more special.
To the crew of the Lake Guardian- Thank you for making us feel at home and for everything that you do with and without us. To COSEE/Sea Grant – Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this amazing experience. To the teachers of this year’s Lake Michigan Lake Guardian – Thank you for letting me blog for you, work through your pictures, and post your thoughts. It has been an amazing experience and being your blogger has helped me to savor every moment through 15 perspectives. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity in a million years and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you all again. - Steph

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