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Professional Learning

The Center for Great Lakes Literacy (CGLL) serves to offer explorations of Great Lakes topics and issues, with particular emphasis on human impacts on the Great Lakes. CGLL field experiences increase participants’ knowledge, comfort with the material, and confidence in sharing it with students.

CGLL education efforts support a variety of professional learning opportunities for educators that focus on participatory learning and place-based education practices. These Sea Grant-facilitated programs and workshops include shipboard science experiences, shoreside educator workshops, virtual learning, educational resources and more.

Freedom Seekers graphic showing those looking for freedom and a photo beneath the waters they would have to traverse.

Freedom Seekers Educator Workshop

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and Openlands are pleased to offer a free workshop for 5th-12th grade educators. “Freedom Seekers: The Underground Railroad, Great Lakes, and Science Literacy Activities For Middle & High School” curriculum will be presented on October 7, 2023. The curriculum reflects the intertwined narratives of the freedom seekers, their connection with the land, and the impact on environmental justice education.

Learn more about the Freedom Seekers Educator Workshop


Two students explore a bog along Lake Huron

Teaching Great Lakes Literacy (TGLL) – Paid Opportunity for Grades 6-12 Math, Science, and Other Educators in Michigan

The 2023-24 cohort will explore topics, issues, and data Lake Huron fisheries and food webs, aquatic invasive species, vernal pool wetlands, weather and climate, and other Great Lakes observational data.

Learn more about the TGLL Opportunity

Workshop Attendees of the R/V Lake Guardian stand in front of the docked research vessel.

R/V Lake Guardian

Through a partnership with the US EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, educators spend a full week alongside researchers aboard the US EPA R/V Lake Guardian. Facilitated by Great Lakes Sea Grant Network educators, the Shipboard Science Workshops, one per year, rotate among the five Great Lakes and are designed to promote Great Lakes sciences while forging lasting relationships between Great Lakes researchers and educators. Past participants have described the experience as a “once-in-a-lifetime, professional learning opportunity.” 

Learn more about the R/V Lake Guardian


left: educators looking at a sample from the water, right: two educators writing notes during a workshop in a conference room. Right photo: Ohio Sea Grant, left photo: Michigan Sea Grant

Shoreside Educator Workshops

Sea Grant programs in each state conduct workshops for educators each year. These shoreside learning opportunities range from one-day ‘Teachable Moments’ workshops to longer, deeper-dive immersive experiences. These workshops inform educators, and as a result their students, about issues affecting the Great Lakes ecosystem, cutting-edge science from researchers or outreach professionals, and new Great Lakes-focused curricular resources.

Learn more about Shoreside Educator Workshops


View of expansive Lake Michigan from atop a dune. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

Great Lakes Literacy education exploration (GLLee)

GLLee opportunities are an introductory collection of resources and partners assembled in three easy steps to help teachers and youth explore Great Lakes Literacy through place-based education and stewardship opportunities in your school and community!

Learn more about the GLLee collection of resources


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