Shipboard Science Day 1, Lake Huron 2017

July 8, 2017 | 5 Comments

Ahoy! Welcome aboard the Lake Guardian.  This communication is coming to you from two scientists – well, science teachers – Karla Schuessler and Molly Schuld.   We are Wisconsin educators, but we are also joined by thirteen other science teachers from throughout the Great Lakes region.  We are currently navigating Lake Huron on day 1 of our week long learning adventure.

Today began at Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, where we met our fellow teachers and crew.  We were instantly welcomed to ship life via a safety briefing, which included an entertaining fashion show of immersion suits.  Post-briefing, we enjoyed lunch while docked between Detroit and Windsor.  Towards the end of lunch, we heard our signal for departure.

We spent the afternoon cruising on the Detroit River, to and through beautiful Lake St. Claire, and into St. Claire River. During our jouney we were blessed with sunny skies and calm waters. We spent the time absorbing expert knowledge from two guests – Patrick Livingston and Mark Crowley. They taught us about many components of the Great Lakes including Detroit shoreline restoration, history of aquatic habitats, sturgeon spawning, passing freighters, sea ports and cargo, and more. After these engaging presentations, many of the teachers are eager to learn more about the history of the Great Lakes and plan to read Dan Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.

We transitioned to our next part of the day – planning for the week ahead. We learned about the three research focuses for the week: Dr. David Jude will be leading a team researching fish food webs and benthic organisms, Steve Hensler will head off the zooplankton and larval fish research, and Derek Ager will guide a team researching algae and water chemistry.

We (Karla and Molly) are excited to wake up bright and early tomorrow on the Lake Guardian to begin working under Derek’s mentorship as we collect and analyze water quality samples. The entire group of teachers is eager to be students for a week and to then take our new knowledge and skills back into our classrooms. Please check in to see where our adventures take us!

The 2017 Shipboard Science Crew!




  • Mark Crowley July 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the plug, Karla and Molly. May you have fair winds and following seas up there on Huron.

    • Cynthia Hagley July 13, 2017 at 9:39 am · Reply

      Hi Mark Crowley! Long time no talk…..glad to see you are still really engaged in stuff Great Lakes!

      Cindy Hagley

  • Rosanne Fortner July 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm · Reply

    You are so fortunate to be on Lake Huron with CGLL! Wonderful lake, wonderful organization! Which of the Sea Grant educators are accompanying this week’s trip?

    • Cynthia Hagley July 13, 2017 at 9:37 am · Reply

      Hi Rosanne:

      Michigan SG is running the cruise this year, along with Kristin TePas. Justin Selden, who is actually not paid by SG, rather by Extension, is leading his first one. Looks like things are going well!

    • Mark Crowley July 17, 2017 at 8:21 pm · Reply

      I’m sure they learned loads from the researchers on board but what I really want to know is if they learned to sing Pat Daily’s “The Great Lakes Song” in harmony as we did on COSEE’s Superior workshop in 2011.

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