Quarterly Newsletter for GLEAMS (Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science) and COSEE Great Lakes (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence)
|Spring 2010||Volume 4, Issue 2|
From the Helm: Rosanne Fortner
It is finally spring, and summer can't be far behind! We find that this time of year is hectic yet exciting for the events it culminates at school and those it promises for summer.
We are hoping to see many of you at the annual conference of the National Marine Educators Association [NMEA] in Gatlinburg, TN. The NMEA chapter in Tennessee is very active and promises an excellent experience for people from all the coasts as we explore "From the Mountains to the Sea!" Registration and information is found at www.nmeaweb.org/gatlinburg2010. Hurry for the best rates! The special events and meals at NMEA meetings are always exciting, and sessions help us build stronger curricula for marine and aquatic education.
Summer is a great time to expand your own learning, and we hope you have found some professional development activities to get you to the seas and lakes. Our own workshops are full of eager educators and scientists waiting for the opportunity to collaborate on how the science of the lakes can mesh with the science of classrooms and informal institutions.
Some folks have provided the editor with excellent articles and photos about their COSEE experiences over the past year, and we want to be sure you get a chance to read these. Here are the highlights, and you can find the full articles at http://coseegreatlakes.net/news.
Ron Pilatowski and John Taylor-Leyman were aboard the R/V Lake Guardian on Lake Huron with COSEE last summer. Their experiences and benefits will last a lifetime and be reflected in what they teach in ceatral Ohio.
Carole Gutteridge is related to Holling Clancy Holling, and wrote about the author how she uses his Paddle-to-the-Sea in her teaching.
Helen Domske shared stories about superstar teacher Ken Huff, an outstanding COSEE educator from Williamsville, NY. Ken uses a wide array of COSEE information and materials with his 6th graders.
Great Lakes/Marine Education Calendar: Spring/Summer 2010
- Registration for our Shipboard and Exploration workshops and our scholarship program is closed now. Watch the COSEE blog during these events!
- July 6-12: Shipboard and Shoreline Science on Lake Michigan
- July 25-30: Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop
- July 19-23
- NMEA conference in Gatlinburg, TN. Registration is open now. You won’t want to miss this exciting professional meeting! Join GLEAMS members for a chapter meeting while you're there!
- August 15-21
- Join COSEE Director Rosanne Fortner and Dr. David Hart from UW-Madison for a Stone Laboratory graduate course on Teaching with Google Earth and Google Ocean! OSU tuition applies. COSEE scholarships available. For more information, contact Rosanne Fortner
- Great Lakes Regional Calendar
- Organizations working for the lakes post their events at this link.
- Small Fry!
- The GLEAMS/COSEE family is growing a new generation! Some of our most active leaders are moving into even more active positions as new parents! Join us in congratulating these folks on their small fry:
- Beth Hinchey Malloy: Patrick Kellett Malloy, born January 27
- Lyndsey Manzo: Twins, Marco and Jillian Manzo, born April 23
- Jackie Adams: due in May!
- GLEAMS needs your support
- If you would like to be a GLEAMS officer or state representative, or organize a regional or state meeting for GLEAMS in 2010, please contact Beth and Jackie with your ideas. Elections will be in the fall. A meeting can be as short as one day [drive-in] or several days. No one has much time or money to spare, so field experiences or short meetings in cooperation with informal education facilities are encouraged as a way to start getting Great Lakes educators together to share ideas.
- GLEAMS President Elizabeth Hinchey Malloy co-authored a recent cover article in Eos Transactions that touts the NMEA, The Bridge, and COSEE as great resources for researchers wanting to conduct outreach and education: Harrison, J. A., J. H. Cohen, E. Hinchey, A. Moerke, and P. von Dassow (2009), Developing and implementing an effective public outreach program, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(38), 333–334.
- NMEA News
- Volume 26, Issue 1, Spring 2010, is available at www.marine-ed.org/docs/nmeanews.pdf. This issue is packed with summer opportunities for students and teachers! Read about what other chapters are doing, and what's being planned for the national conference in Gatlinburg.
COSEE Great Lakes News
- This is the fifth year of our COSEE Great Lakes program. Our last summer workshops, with the R/V Lake Guardian taking us on Lake Michigan [July 6-12], and a Lake Exploration workshop on Lake Ontario from July 25-30, are closed for registration now, filled with eager educators from 8 states.
- Answer that Survey!
- The national COSEE Network is collecting information about the educators served in our program in 2009 calendar year. You should have received email with a link to our online survey on April 21. Please respond quickly, any time in May! We will have a drawing from those who respond, and will cover the winner's registration at her/his state science teachers conference. It is extremely important for those who receive federal support to demonstrate accountable use of public funds, so we are relying on you to help us show our level of outreach and science collaboration. This will help us secure additional funds in the future.
- Great Lakes Literacy Principles nearing completion!
- Scientists and educators from each Great Lakes state have reviewed drafts of the set of Great Lakes Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts that we have developed with support from COSEE California. Lyndsey Manzo has mapped them against the National Science Education Standards, though they also match standards in Geography. An internet site and a brochure are being developed through Ohio Sea Grant for distribution in summer.
- Each Great Lakes state still has funds to support efforts of regional science education providers to bring in school groups, and for school classes to visit science facilities. Contact your state COSEE staff to see how to get funds for O'LAKERS [Ocean/Lake-Aware Kids Engaged in Relevant Science].
- More COSEE to come?
- We have submitted a proposal to NSF for a new project called TEAM COSEE Great Lakes, which would enable us to build upon the current project's successes and explore new directions as well. We have plans to increase the amount of impact that our Great Lakes research scientists can have among teachers, informal educators and the public. Keep your flippers crossed for our success!
- EPA 4th Annual Rachel Carson Contest
- Deadline: June 16, 2010. The intergenerational Rachel Carson Contest seeks to instill a sense of wonder for the environment and spur environmental stewardship. Submit your creative projects in the categories of poetry, photography, essays, and dance. Entries must be from a team of two or more from both younger and older generations. www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/index.htm
- Climate change curriculum updates
- Ohio Sea Grant has approved a small grant for Fortner and Manzo to update some of the curriculum materials previously published as Activities for the Changing Earth System [ACES, NSF 1993] and Great Lakes Instructional Materials for the Changing Earth System [GLIMCES, OSG 1996]. If you have used any of these lessons and want to be sure they are among the updates, please let the editor know. Work will begin on the project in May, and materials will be published online.
- Scholarships to attend NAAEE in Buffalo!
- There are several opportunities to get support for this excellent Environmental Education conference that is being held in our own backyard this year, September 29-Oct 2. Deadlines are upon us, so apply quickly!
- Life on Lake Erie photo contest
- The 2010 "Life on Lake Erie” photo contest is an opportunity for amateur photographers, age 16 and older, to share their talent in capturing the best that the Lake Erie region has to offer. Digital images taken between July 9, 2009 and July 9, 2010 in and around the Lake Erie watershed may be submitted to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) through July 16.
- Include the Smithsonian in your vacation plans!
- The Sant Ocean Hall in the Museum of Natural History building of the Smithsonian, has the support of NOAA and COSEE as well as many other sponsors. You could spend most of a day exploring the exhibits, watching the ticker-tape messages about the coasts, and building your knowledge bank for teaching about the ocean! COSEE Great Lakes contributes to the messaging in the Ocean Hall, and you may see a familiar presence there: Nab the Aquatic Invader! This educational web site about aquatic invasive species (AIS) was created by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant along with Sea Grant programs in New York, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Oregon to provide the latest information about AIS through colorful characters and a crime-solving theme. Since its inception, the project has expanded to include species from coastal regions around the country. Katie Snider, Ocean Today kiosk executive producer at NOAA’s National Ocean Service, says "The Ocean Today Kiosk was designed to educate the public on fundamental ocean literacy concepts. There's no better way to teach kids (and big kids!) about invasive species than by letting them "touch screen" their way through the crimes and profiles of invasive "suspects" around the country.”
In addition to the Sant Ocean Hall, Ocean Today Kiosks will be located at a growing network of aquariums across the nation through the Coastal America's Ecosystem Learning Centers, including one already installed at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. This partnership will ultimately provide opportunities for 20 to 30 million people to engage with Nab the Aquatic Invader! and many more ocean resources. (Reported by IL-IN Sea Grant in glin-announce, 2/1/10)
- NMEA News
- Worth mentioning twice! The most recent issue has numberous summer opportunities for students and teachers!
Great Lakes News
- invasive Species linked to toxin uptake
- Dr. David Jude, University of Michigan fisheries biologist and COSEE scientist, is the lead author of research showing how two notorious Great Lakes invaders---the zebra mussel and the round goby--- play a central role in transferring toxic chemicals called PCBs up the food chain and into Saginaw Bay walleyes, one of that region's most popular sport fish. "Though the levels of PCBs in Saginaw Bay walleyes have declined sharply in recent years, these toxic substances continue to show up at levels high enough to warrant concern," Jude said. The highest levels were seen in the largest walleyes, which contained an average of 1,900 nanograms of PCBs per gram---just under the 2,000 nanogram EPA threshold for mandatory fish-consumption advisories. Jude and others published their research in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. –GLIN-announce, 4/19/2010
- Asian Carp
- Major national news media have made the country aware of the issues of Asian Carp. In February the New York Times presented an editorial about the need to support a request for $78.5M in funding to address the issue, and Time magazine carried a short article as well. Efforts are based on working together to prevent economic and environmental damage before it occurs. The Alliance for the Great Lakes has developed a proposal for ecological separation of the Mississippi - Great Lakes watersheds. Read a summary here.
- Regional Climate Change
- Oddball winters: The Great Lakes region will experience bigger snowstorms but less ice cover on lakes in the years ahead as global warming continues to have peculiar effects on winter weather, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation. Some surprises are likely to include increased lake effect snowfall but less snow for skiers and snowmobile riders; unstable ice fishing conditions; heavier rainfall and more flooding. Those impacts then have a ripple effect by altering local ecosystems, harming agriculture, straining government budgets, and reducing winter weather tourism and recreation. The full report is posted at the NWF website at www.nwf.org/extremeweather. In response to the report, former COSEE leader Dr. Don Scavia said, "Climate change is already altering our environment and way of life. These disruptions will only get worse the longer we wait to address climate change.”
The Seiche, Minnesota Sea Grant’s newsletter, has some great articles on climate change and responses in the March issue. Read about how the state’s Next Generation Energy Act goals and the scenarios that could lead the state to carbon neutrality by 2050!
The same issue of the Seiche discusses climate change from an Ojibwe Perspective. Cultural traditions of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa are indelibly tied to the seasons. At Grand Portage, Fond du Lac, and Bad River the Trust Lands are experiencing some effects of climate change. Tribal resource experts are collecting data and taking actions to mitigate and adapt.
- Shipping news
- The Lake Carriers Association reports that "With America’s steel industry on the mend, U.S.-flag lakers charged back to work in March. The fleet hauled 2,551,166 tons of cargo, more than four times the volume moved a year ago when the nation’s economic pulse was weak. Coal loadings also showed a marked improvement over a year ago, increasing almost six-fold.”
- A nonillion microbes!
- The Census of Marine Life has determined that the most abundant life form in the seas is microbes, probably making up 50-90% of all life in the sea! The census estimated there were a "nonillion" – or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (30 zeroes) -- individual microbial cells in the oceans, weighing as much as 240 billion African elephants, the biggest land animal. The size of this group was apparently known when the Ocean Literacy principles were developed. Principle 5b states: "Most life in the ocean exists as microbes. Microbes are the most important primary producers in the ocean.”
- Seabirds threatened by climate change
- According to the SeaWeb issue of March 23, oceanic birds are more at risk from the effects of climate change than other bird species in the United States, because they rely on rapidly changing ecosystems, they raise relatively few young and many of them are already threatened by human activities such as overfishing and entanglement. The State of the Birds report, prepared by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, urges reducing existing threats from overfishing, fisheries bycatch and pollution and taking proactive measures such as removing invasive species and protecting existing or potential breeding colonies on high islands, to "provide oceanic bird populations with the best chances of adapting to climate change."
- Sea Turtles as bycatch
- Research reported in Conservation Letters documented sea turtles that were reported caught by fishing operations from 1990 to 2008. The authors found records of approximately 13,000 turtles taken in gillnets, roughly 16,000 in trawls and more than 55,000 caught on longlines, for a total of 85,028 turtles—approximately 4,500 a year—taken by fishing operations during that period. Most reports were from the 1-5% of commercial operations that are accompanied by on-board observers, so the data are certainly underestimates. The authors suggest that the true level of marine turtle bycatch may have been "at least two orders of magnitude [at least 100 times] higher than the reported total."
- Dolphin-safe tuna
- From Sylvia.Spalding@noaa.gov, posted on NMEA’s Scuttlebutt listserve 3/8/10 (with modifications). Here is a little background to help clear some of the confusion about why some tuna cans have dolphin-safe labels.
Purse-seiners in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) originally fished around schools of dolphins below which were schools of yellowfin tuna, which the purse seiners targeted. Thus, there was the dolphin-safe issue in the EPO. In the Western Pacific Ocean (WPO), the purse seiners have traditionally targeted skipjack tuna, a species that is not associated with dolphin schools. Star-Kist has a cannery in American Samoa (though currently owned by a Korean company), and the fish it processes are predominantly from the Western Pacific.
The dolphin-safe issue is not the only fishery concern consumers should consider when choosing what fish to purchase. In the EPO, the purse seine fishery has evolved to using dolphin-safe methods to target free-moving tuna schools as well as using fish aggregation devices (FADs). As a result of FAD fishing, the EPO purse seine fleet is catching more skipjack tuna as well as juvenile bigeye tuna. Bigeye in its adult stage is the target species of the international longline fishery for the sashimi and fresh fish market. FAD fishing has also increased in the WPO purse-seine fishery. So now there is a Pacific-wide issue of overfishing bigeye tuna.
Please note that overfishing and overfished have different meanings. Overfishing is when the current level of fishing can not be sustained if the stock is to remain healthy. Overfished is when the stock has been depleted to the level where it can no longer reproduce at a level that maintains the biomass at maximum sustainable yield.
There are even other fishing issues that consumers should consider besides dolphins and bigeye overfishing. "Not Honouring the Code" by T. Pitcher et al. in the Feb. 5, 2009, issue of Nature is worth reading. It is about using compliance to the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as a universal measure to evaluate fisheries. It is worth keeping in mind that the US imports about 85 percent of the seafood it consumes.
Current, The Journal of Marine Education, Vol 25(3), December 2009, is a special issue by the US Regional Fishery Management Councils that covers some of the hot fishery issues and includes four lesson plans at the end. Sylvia and her colleagues will be presenting information on this and other issues at the NMEA 2010 conference in Gatlinburg.
Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes
- Harmful Algal Blooms in Ohio Waters
- A fact sheet written in partnership with Ohio State University Extension, OEPA and ODNR offers an explanation of the causes, identifying characteristics, and solutions for reducing or preventing HABs like Microcystis, Plectonema, and Lyngbya. PDF here.
- LAKE INVADERS: The Fight for Lake Huron
- A new documentary film produced by Grand Valley State University faculty and students explores the threat to the ecosystem and some innovative solutions. This 58" educational DVD from Green Planet Films is $19.95.
- Lake Huron Sinkholes article
- A nice piece that teachers who experienced this in the Lake Huron Exploration workshop could take to their classrooms.
- Pharmaceuticals in waterways
- When medicines expire, people often flush them down the toilet, but wastewater treatment plants are not designed to treat these chemicals. In addition to showing up in drinking water, medications can harm fish and aquatic wildlife. On the other hand, disposing of medicines in the trash can risk leakage from poorly-designed landfills. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s latest product, The Medicine Chest, invites high school students to metaphorically open up the bathroom cabinet and investigate what makes those pharmaceuticals harmful to people, pets, and the environment when improperly disposed. Free download.
- Activity: Build your own GL Map
- The Great Lakes Echo's Monday Mash-up feature has a link to a GIS-type map-building tool that has 12 layers of data you can overlay on a Great Lakes map!
Resources for Teaching: Marine
- A song for your head ;-)
- Schoolhouse Rock is back with "Save the Ocean!” You’ll be singing it all day (you can thank me later). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWLlunokwCs
- Ocean Acidification special journal issue
- The December 2009 issue of the journal Oceanography includes a wide range of articles about ocean acidification and its potential consequences. The journal is open access, and the special issue can be retrieved here. To explore the issue further, watch the 21” documentary by the Natural Resources Defense Council on YouTube. Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification explores the phenomenon of ocean acidification, which may soon challenge marine life on a grand scale. The film, featuring Sigourney Weaver, originally aired on Discovery Planet Green.
- State of the Coast
- NOAA’s State of the Coast website is a source for quick facts and more detailed statistics offered through 14 interactive indicator visualizations, presented across four themes: Communities, Economy, Ecology, and Climate. Collectively, this information highlights connections among a healthy coastal ecosystem, a robust U.S. economy, a safe population, and a sustainable quality of life for coastal residents. Visitors can investigate changes in coastal population from 1970 to 2040; explore the impact coastal areas have on the U.S. economy; survey the overall health of the U.S. coast; and explore the vulnerability of our coasts to long-term sea level rise.
- Education materials for Disney Ocean
- Disneynature has prepared a student guide to the film and an educator’s guide with lesson plans focused on Grades 2-6.
- The Dead Zone
- This website from the Science Museum of Minnesota is designed to teach elementary school kids about the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The interactive website features videos, animations, and activities. It is available in English and Spanish.