Quarterly Newsletter for GLEAMS (Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science) and COSEE Great Lakes (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence)
|Late Summer 2010||Volume 4, Issue 3|
From the Helm: Beth Hinchey Malloy
This issue brings great news for both the oceans and Great Lakes! First, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes on July 19, 2010. That Executive Order adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the appropriate steps to implement them. The Executive Order strengthens ocean governance and coordination, establishes guiding principles for ocean management, and adopts a flexible framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.
On the regional front, we now have Great Lakes Literacy Principles parallel to those of the Ocean! With the support of COSEE California, COSEE/GLEAMS leaders Rosanne Fortner and Lyndsey Manzo took the input from 80 leading scientists and educators to expand and enhance the existing Lake Erie Literacy Principles so they would relate to the entire region. The resulting Great Lakes Literacy Principles brochure was published in July 2010. This new brochure, with its Great Lakes Literacy web site that will debut in September, highlights how the seven ocean literacy principles are related to the Great Lakes literacy. I am proud that many GLEAMS members were influential in ensuring that the Great Lakes were represented in the important ocean literacy campaign. Visit http://oceanliteracy.wp.coexploration.org to download a pdf of the brochure, or contact your state COSEE Leader for hard copy.
Another new resource for all marine and aquatic educators is an update for the Abstracts of Research in Marine & Aquatic Education. Rosanne Fortner compiled the original in 1990 and has updated it through spring 2010 with the support of NOAA. A citation list is available from Rosanne for the 200 new research abstracts, and NOAA will be putting the entire publication online soon. This resource will be a great asset for graduate students working on new research to build the field of marine education!
Finally, it has been a pleasure to serve as President of GLEAMS, and I am excited about new opportunities that await our chapter of NMEA. Best wishes for a wonderful Fall!
- Great Lake Erie Boat Float
- Cleveland, September 11, is the date for this exciting event. Boats built from plastic junk [aka Junkraft] will launch, race, and be judged at Edgewater Park starting at 9 am. Even if you can't be there, follow the news and see what creative groups use to build their entries, and note how such an event raises awareness of plastics pollution in waterways!
- Great Lakes Education Summit
- September 22-26, Maumee Bay State Park, OH
This COSEE culminating event will bring staff together with Advisors, education and science leaders to synthesize the project's work and design ways to continue collaboration into the future.
- NAAEE in Buffalo/Niagara
- September 29 - October 2, 2010
The North American Association for Environmental Education doesn't meet in the Great Lakes often, and this is one of those exciting years! Join us for a program on Building Bridges -- Bridging Gaps. Pre-registration ends September 15. Several COSEE/GLEAMS presentations are on the program.
- IJC Biennial Water Quality Meeting
- October 4-5, Dearborn Inn, Dearborn MI
Join scientists, policy makers, program managers, educators and other citizens of the binational Great Lakes basin community to discuss efforts by our two countries to restore and maintain the health of the globe’s premier freshwater ecosystem. Information from Bernard Beckhoff.
- Great Lakes Regional Calendar
- Organizations working for the lakes post their events at this link.
- What we did on our summer "vacation"
- It has been a busy summer for GLEAMS members! GLEAMS was well-represented at the 2010 National Marine Educators Association conference in Gatlinbug, Tennessee. We hope to see even more of you at NMEA 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. The conference theme is Cape to Cape: In the Hub of Marine Education. Mark your calendars now for June 29 - July 3, 2011.
GLEAMS members also organized two very popular COSEE experiences: the 2010 Lake Guardian Shipboard Science on Lake Michigan workshop and the Tropical Marine Ecology workshop. Read more about these exciting adventures inside.
- MORE 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! Beth and Lyndsey are back at work after a summer of getting to know their new family additions. Now we celebrate other births:
- Jackie Adams: Liliana, born May 21
- Nikki Koehler: Daniel, born May 28
- GLEAMS needs your support
- Elections will be in coming in the fall. If you would like to be a GLEAMS officer or state representative, or organize a regional or state meeting for GLEAMS in 2011, please contact Beth and Jackie with your ideas.
Other multi-state chapters have state or local meetings to gain momentum, and we hope you will help organize some of these. 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.
COSEE Great Lakes News
- This is the last year of our COSEE Great Lakes program. We're busy tying up loose ends, writing reports, and looking for ways to keep in touch with the great scientists and educators we've met through COSEE. There is still plenty to do in Great Lakes education! We didn't land the big fish [continued funding], but there are others out there waiting for the bait we offer ;-)
- Summer programs a huge success:
- The EPA's R/V Lake Guardian departed from Milwaukee on July 16 withfifteen teachers and nonformal educators who would work alongside scientists throughout the week. They sampled in the open water and made stops in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Traverse City, Michigan; and Muskegon, Michigan. The stops gave the educators an opportunity to sample in a variety of environments and also allowed for on-land excursions, such as a naturalist-led tour of Sleeping Bear Dunes (Traverse City) and a narrated visit inside the Silversides Submarine along with a tour of the Great Lakes Naval Memorial Museum in Muskegon. Check out their blog! According to Tomas Höök, a Purdue University faculty member and the workshop's lead scientist, "The teachers were helpful collecting data for my research," Hook said, "but what was more useful was learning how to effectively communicate with them." COSEE's two goals for the workshop were to make Great Lakes science more accessible and to increase Great Lakes literacy. The participants voiced that this was a success. Photos and more at http://coseegreatlakes.net/news/20100706.
- The Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop took educators along the shores of Lake Ontario, from the Niagara River to Rochester, Oswego, all the way to the ecologically sensitive sand dunes that mark the eastern edge of this Great Lake. Led by Helen Domske, the group interacted with ecologists, biologists, a Tuscarora Nation environmental scientist, a modeler, an ichthyologist, the state Aquatic Invasive Species coordinator, geographers and even a marine historian, in locations such as university laboratories, field stations, an aquarium, a bathysphere biological lab, a fish hatchery, maritime museum and several field locations in the watershed. Theirblog reflects the science they learned from 10 researchers, and the enthusiasm they shared for hands-on learning they could apply in their instructional settings! More at http://coseegreatlakes.net/news/20100725.
- Teaching with Google Earth and Google Ocean
- This graduate course at Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory, on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie, brought classroom teachers from 5 states together with Dr. David Hart from UW-Madison and COSEE's Rosanne Fortner for a week of developing skills to use new technological tools for teaching about the Great Lakes and oceans. Teachers reviewed existing curricula for opportunities to incorporate virtual globes, contributed to technology blogs, demonstrated creative skills in visualizing and implementing Google Earth applications, and explored local environments for ground truth and a break from keyboards! Some of the class projects will be published online soon, and we're excited to share those.
- Marine Immersion at its best in 2010!
- COSEE Great Lakes takes great pride in offering educators research opportunities on and under the waters of the Great Lakes and the oceans. Each year 20 teachers have been supported with scholarships for such experiences. Here are some of this year's stories.
Teachers who took part in the Tropical Marine Ecology workshop in Roatan, Honduras, in August were completely immersed in the marine environment from Day 1. Their blog reflects the wonders they observed and lessons they learned. Blogger Garry Dole wrote, "As we go on to educate the next generation of stakeholders, we need to make students realize the vital role that coral reefs play in the health of the world's oceans. That is another reason why COSEE Great Lakes teaches educators about Ocean Literacy principles. Without our oceans, our world would not be as healthy or as beautiful as it is. Here's to the coral reefs of the world...a small veneer that adds beauty and color, and feed the engine of the marine feed webs!" This year the teachers experienced the impact of invasive lionfish research first hand. For the first time since it was noticed in Roatan waters last summer, TME snorkelers and divers got to see these invasive fish and assist with a control program being carried out by the Roatan Institute for Marine Science. More at our web site...
- Sheila Lewicki and Sandi Cecelski -- immersed in each other's coast!
- Each year COSEE GL has supported one teacher from the GL to go to a workshop sponsored by COSEE Southeast, and the Southeast sends one to us! It is a great way for teachers to get immersed in ocean/Great Lakes science in a new setting. This year, high school teacher Sandi Cecelski from Wilmington NC participated in the Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop. Ohio's Sheila Lewicki attended a North Carolina workshop on climate change. Sheila's reflections are detailed in a web news story, but basically they can be summed up in her statement: "The main way this experience will impact my teaching is by giving me first hand experience with the ocean itself. Caring begins with knowing. How can you touch a sea turtle and see its nests and remain unchanged? How can you experience the power and energy of the waves without considering how this natural source can somehow be harvested in a way that will replace fossil fuels at least in part?" Thanks, Sheila, for representing us on the Atlantic Coast.
- Great Lakes Literacy Principles!
- As you read in the Helm message, scientists and educators from each Great Lakes state have developed Great Lakes Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts with support from COSEE California. Our GL Literacy web site will have standards matched and resources listed for each of our 8 principles when it goes live in September.
- Each Great Lakes state still has some 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].
- National Fossil Day, October 13 2010
- Time travel is in your future! The National Park Service and AGI are collaborating to kick off the first annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2010. On Wednesday, October 13, you and your students can participate in events and activities taking place across the country at parks, in classrooms, and online. Look for fossil-themed activities in the Earth Science Week 2010 Toolkit.
- NOAA Online Exploration course
- In light of all of the interest in background information related to the Gulf of Mexico and the recent oil spill, NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the College of Exploration are offering a Deep Sea Ecosystems- Gulf of Mexico course, October 11-29, 2010.
- Oceanic Research Group Marine Scholarship
- The Oceanic Research Group, Inc. is accepting applications for the 2010 scholarship [$1000] to help an individual pursue an educational goal. Undergraduate students entering their junior or senior year, or graduate students, in a marine major at an accredited university, and with an overall GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 and demonstrated financial need, are eligible for the scholarship. Deadline for application is October 1, 2010. The Oceanic Research Group cultivates marine awareness and conservation through the creation and distribution of educational media for schools and public television.
Great Lakes News
- Michigan oil spill
- The bad news about oil in water is not unique to the Gulf of Mexico. On July 27, the rupture of a pipeline caused the release of some 820,000 [some estimates say 1 million] gallons of crude oil, with much of it leaking into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River, which flows to a Lake Michigan freshwater estuary near Saugatuck and Douglas. The oil pipeline, which runs from Griffith, IN, to Sarnia, Ontario, is owned by Enbridge Liquids Pipelines. Enbridge Energy [Houston based] is a subsidiary of Calgary, Canada based Enbridge Inc. According to the company, it is the largest transporter of oil from western Canada. The company estimates cleanup and other costs from the spill could be US$300 million to $400 million. The charges include the emergency response, cleanup costs, repairs, claims by third parties, lost revenue and other items. It excludes possible fines and penalties. Nevertheless, the company announced an expansion of its pipeline system on August 25.
The International Joint Commission reiterates the importance of the findings in its 2006 Report on Spills in the Great Lakes Basin. Specifically, it notes that better monitoring, accurate detection and speedy notification are required to reduce harmful human and ecosystem impacts.
- Asian Carp update
- With detection of Asian carp DNA in the Lake Michigan watershed last winter, attention has stepped up both regionally and nationally as governments and fisheries managers struggle to keep the voracious fish out of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Then a 34-inch live Asian carp was discovered in June in Lake Calumet, about six miles from Lake Michigan and past the electric barriers that were intended to be the last line of defense. Senators and Congressional representatives from MI and IL have introduced the Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act of 2010, a bill that would accelerate the move toward permanent separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The bill would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine the feasibility and the best means of achieving hydrological separation of the two watersheds. No action was taken during the summer term of Congress.
On August 23, a Michigan judge scheduled hearings in an Asian carp case for September – a move that will allow five Midwestern states to call on expert testimony. The five states are bringing a lawsuit to close two Chicago canal locks [except in emergencies] to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Shipping and other economic interests in Chicago and the Great Lakes are opposed to the canal closings. Read more in an excellent article in the Christian Science Monitor.
For one possible scenario regarding the fish's potential impact on the lakes, check out the radio story of recreational fishing in Lake Erie. This is surely a worst case scenario, but provides a lot of food for thought.
- Lake Superior warming
- Jay Austin of the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, one of our fine COSEE scientists aboard the Guardian, was interviewed by the New York Times for his work with information from buoys in Lake Superior. "This year is just tremendously anomalous," he said. "This year ranks up there with the warmest water we have ever seen, and the warming trend appears to be going on in all of the Great Lakes." He reported in July that several buoys were reporting water 15 degrees warmer than expected at that time of the year. EPA officials suggest that this is indicative of what is happening at a global level.
This excellent article from July 19 also describes potential for increased impacts of invasive species and threats to the cultural identity of the region. Climate change is expected to bring lower water levels to the Great Lakes, for instance, and tribal harvest of wild rice is affected when water levels are too low for canoes. Wild rice itself may be at risk. The article concludes with a description of the Obama administration's Great Lakes Action plan for adapting to climate change and restoring some negative impacts.
- Shipping brings good economic news!
- According to the Lake Carriers Association, U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters ("lakers") carried 10,550,379 net tons of cargo in July, an increase of 2 percent compared to June, and an increase of 40 percent compared to a year ago. Iron ore cargos in July increased 70 percent compared to a year ago. Coal loadings were up 16.2 percent. Limestone cargos increased 40.2 percent. Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargos stand at 43,437,768 net tons, an increase of 53 percent compared to a year ago, but 9 percent behind the 5-year average for the first seven months of the year. Iron ore cargos are up 119 percent. Coal is 5.7 percent ahead of last year's pace. Limestone cargos are up 38.7 percent.
- Dead Zones appear in Atlantic and Pacific
- The Great Lakes took their dead zone hits early, in the 1970s and 80s, and learned that nutrient enrichment was at the bottom of the issue. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is well known, fed by nutrient-rich waters from the Mississippi River. Now other coastal areas are seeing anoxia threaten their ecosystems. In July, the New York Times reported that 60 saltwater ponds and estuaries along Cape Cod were choked by nitrogen-enriched algae and seaweed. The nitrogen source is apparently from septic system wastewater that runs through sandy soil into the estuaries. "Faced with a federal mandate to fix their polluted waterways, Cape Cod towns have spent years creating plans to clean up the wastewater, largely through sewers and clustered septic systems. So far, most of the efforts have been to no avail, stifled by disputes over science and over who should pay for such a sprawling and expensive public works project," reports the Times.
The source of the problem for Oregon's dead zone is not as clear. There is not much farming or coastal development to provide nutrients. After evaluating near-shore options, such as changing winds and phytoplankton communities, Oregon State researcher Francis Chan examined Oregon's offshore permanent deep oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). According to Discovery News, "This environment sits so deep under the ocean surface, between about 2,000 and 4,000 feet down, that it rarely mixes with the oxygen-rich shallow waters. Chan suspects global warming as the cause, because numerous climate models predict that there will be between one and seven percent depletion in oxygen levels in the world's oceans over the next century. There is also evidence to suggest warmer oceans won't mix their waters as well. Deep water will become increasingly oxygen-poor, and when it does finally circulate up into coastal areas, it will wreak havoc with marine ecosystems." The article was based on a scientific report in Nature News.
- More sea turtle info needed
- Government agencies do not have enough information to produce accurate population estimates for any of the species of sea turtles that live in U.S. waters, according to a new report from the National Research Council. "The biggest obstacle to assessing the status of sea turtle populations is that we know little about key characteristics of these creatures, such as what size they are at different ages, the average proportion of turtles that will survive through each year, and their growth rates," said the University of Florida's Karen Bjorndal, chair of the committee that wrote the report, in a press release.
Currently, NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimate sea turtle populations primarily by counting nests and mature females on beaches. But the report's authors point out that this paints an incomplete picture. The report recommends an increase in studies of sea turtles in the open ocean, in the form of tagging and aerial and boat surveys, expediting the permitting process for such research and developing a program to safeguard and make accessible as many sea turtle databases as possible.
- Google the Gulf Oil Spill
- While it is a daily task to keep up with changes in the news about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some unusual sources of information have emerged. Google had developed a crisis response page at www.google.com/crisisresponse/oilspill that links immediately to news, videos, how to help, and most interestingly to Google Earth files! Download various kmz files to overlay on Google Earth for different perspectives on the changing problems in the region.
Resources for Teaching: Great Lakes
- Lake Calumet carp fact sheet
- A new report attempts to determine the life history of the bighead carp captured on June 22, 2010, in Lake Calumet , just 6 miles from Lake Michigan . Great Lakes United, in partnership with Alliance for the Great Lakes, Healing Our Waters Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Prairie Rivers Network have produced a factsheet to unravel the science and clear up some of the misconceptions behind the bighead carp found in Lake Calumet.
- Teaching with Great Lakes Data
- According to Elizabeth LaPorte, Director of Communications and Education Services, Michigan Sea Grant, a new web portal has been developed for K-12 educators. Teaching with Great Lakes Data, www.greatlakeslessons.com, is a free, comprehensive web portal is designed to serve educators in the Great Lakes region and includes physical and biological data sets, lessons, a glossary, and pedagogical tools. All lessons are matched with standards, and researchers are invited to submit additional data sets for inclusion in the materials! There are three primary components to the Teaching with Great Lakes Data website:
- Great Lakes Water data sets: Hydrology; Physical and Chemical Properties; Weather and Climate; Species Diversity; and Aquatic Invasive Species.
- Inquiry-based teaching methods: Tools for guided inquiry projects to help develop higher-level thinking skills through the use of real-world data, collected by Great Lakes scientists
- Structured Lessons:
- Dead Zones (Water Properties, Lake Layers, Temperature, and Dissolved Oxygen);
- Fish Finders (Surface Water Temperatures, Fish Populations, and Fish Habitat);
- Storm Surges and Seiches (Wind and Water, and Lake Level Changes); and
- Climate and Weather (Water and Heat, Microclimates and Agriculture).
- Geo-caches on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail!
- Now you can experience the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in a whole new way - discover Geocaching! Approximately 75 caches are located along this National Scenic Byway. Find 10 caches in any one region and you can earn a collectable Great Lakes Seaway Trail GeoTrail Coin. There are 5 regions which means there are 5 different coins to collect! For information on where to pick up logbooks, visit http://www.seawaytrail.com/geotrail.html.
Resources for Teaching: Marine
- New Ocean Gazing Podcast
- Scientists, teachers and artists, oh, my! Right now, in the middle of the Pacific, a team of scientists, educators, animators and artists are hunkered down on a ship together. For two months straight. The idea is something big, and it's not a reality TV show. Produced by COSEE NOW (Networked Ocean World), ocean gazing podcasts can be downloaded to iTunes or other digital media.
- CLIMATE CHANGE WEBINARS FOR TEACHERS
- (Next Webinar Sept. 22) Join Windows to the Universe educators this fall for free 90-minute live seminars highlighting science content and classroom activities on topics related to climate change. Offered through the National Science Teachers Association, these seminars are a part of the NASA-funded Global Climate Change Educator Professional Development Network. Upcoming seminars:
- Sept. 22 – An Introduction to Earth’s Climate
- Sept. 28 – Clues to Climates of the Past
- Oct. 6 – Global Climate Change and the Earth System
- Oct. 14 – Effects of Climate Change: Oceans and Ice
- Oct. 20 – Effects of Climate Change to Life on Earth
- Oct. 28 – Predicting Future Climate and Considering Solutions
All Webinars start at 6:30 P.M. EDT. For more information, registration and other climate change education resources associated with the project, please visit this site.
- Remaining resources shared by NEOSEC Newswave [New England Ocean Science Education Consortium]:
- Plankton blooms, library of images
- Ocean Acidification video, high school level.
- Oil Spill bibliography
- In support of research on oil spills, response, and restoration, the NOAA Central Library published the Oil Spills Bibliography in pdf and docx format. Included are electronic resources, selected videos, select journal articles, and more.
- Online game for Loggerhead Conservation
- NOAA's National Ocean Service and Fisheries Service launched the second online educational game in the WaterLife series, "Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest," on July 8. The web-based game encourages and explains loggerhead sea turtle conservation through a series of games and animations aimed at fourth through seventh grade students. "Quest to Nest" was developed through a partnership with Montgomery College's Computer Gaming and Simulation Program based in Rockville, Md. More information can be found in NOAA's News Release and the game can be accessed directly at http://games.noaa.gov