Tuesday August 16, 2016
The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected. Over the course of our sail today it was evident that the Great Lakes affect many human lives. For example, they supply freshwater to more than 40 million people. The value of freshwater resources has become very evident on our journey from Milwaukee to Duluth. The Denis Sullivan’s fresh water tanks holds only 850 gallons of water. This finite quantity of water therefore needs to be conserved because of the 31 people aboard. As a result only lake water is used for bathing, deck washing and flushing the heads (toilets.) A phenomenon evident on our planet as only two percent of our world’s water supply is available for human consumption.
Programming today included a lesson about Ojibwa culture pertaining to Lake Superior’s origin. Janet Huewe from Bemidji, MN presented a lesson regarding the difficulties that Native American students can have with western science thinking and the rich history of Native American living in the Great Lakes region.
The evening session included a presentation by Tori Kiefer, a graduate student who is presently working with the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Sea Grant. Tori shared the story of Rouse Simmons, “The Christmas Tree Ship,” a three masted schooner that influenced the design of the S/V Denis Sullivan. This presentation and the other’s by Tori showed us how Maritime History still has a place in modern science education. For example, invasive species have had role in shipwreck preservation and the geological formation of the Great Lakes influenced the construction of Great Lakes Ships.