FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2006
R/V LAKE GUARDIAN
COMPLETES MAIDEN VOYAGE FOR COSEE GREAT LAKES
Saturday morning in Cleveland saw the
return of 16 educators, six scientists and four Great Lakes Sea Grant education
leaders from a week of Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake
Erie sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Their ship was the 180-foot long U.S.
EPA Great Lakes National Program Office research vessel, the R/V Lake Guardian, contributed for this
education workshop and staffed by EPA scientists. The cruise was the first
major event of the Center for Oceanic Sciences Education Excellence [COSEE] in
the Great Lakes, a consortium of educators and scientists assembled to promote
science literacy through study of the Great Lakes, America’s inland sea.
Exhilarated and exhausted, the sailors reported stories of science
learned first-hand beside noted researchers from four states. Elbow to elbow in
hard hats, work vests and steel-toed boots, they collected information about
the water quality, physical conditions of the lake, and living things in and
below the water. When the samples came on board, the work gear was traded for
lab coats as the educators learned how to interpret new information and
identify lake plankton and benthic invertebrates. Their data will be
contributed to the EPA’s log of the changing Lake Erie system, but more
importantly will become part of curricula in grades 4-10 and informal education
in Ohio, Pennsylvania
and New York.
In addition to the science immersion, the intrepid crew of the Lake Guardian
experienced Lake Erie’s notorious sudden
storms, the mayfly swarms, and the intricate interrelationships of wind, water,
land and life in and around the lake. They made flags depicting their
adventures, learned and wrote songs and got to know teacher colleagues with
great ideas they can use for teaching. And importantly for COSEE goals
nationally, they developed professional relationships with scientists who now
understand their classroom needs and potential. The collaborative relationships
will be cemented over the coming months as educators develop plans for using
their new knowledge in teaching.
This summer’s Shipboard and Shoreline Science cruise began and
ended at the Great Lakes Science Center
The voyage took its eager crew of learners through critical science areas of
Lake Erie, with shoreline activities at Stone Laboratory in Put-in-Bay, a visit
in Toledo from representatives of the Maumee River Remedial Action Plan
Committee, exploration of Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve in
Huron, OH, a tour of the Tom Ridge Environmental Research Center in Erie, PA,
with a Living Seas IMAX presentation. Canoeing and kayaking in a lagoon off Presque Isle Bay
capped the shoreline experiences with first-hand views of wetland vegetation
and beaver lodges.
Each summer for the next four years, the COSEE Great
Lakes program and U.S.EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
will support another Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshop. In 2007 the
voyage will be on Lake Ontario, and following summers will include Lakes
Superior, Huron and Michigan.
A Great Lakes Education Summit in 2010 will bring these and other COSEE Great
Lakes efforts into focus for their impact on science literacy in the Great Lakes region.
For more information about COSEE Great Lakes,
contact Dr. Fortner at email@example.com