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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.

An image of Plankton, which is red/pink and on an angle

Center for Great Lakes Literacy Great Lakes Plankton Workshop: July 18th – 19th

  • Discover the microscopic world of plankton in the Great Lakes! Teachers and educators are invited to join New York Sea Grant, the Center for Great Lakes Literacy, and scientific experts for a two-day professional development opportunity on the shores of the Niagara River in Lewiston and on the water of Lake Erie in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor to learn how to collect and identify plankton as well as how they can introduce these fascinating species to their learners.

Space is limited to 20 participants.

  • When: Thursday July 18th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Fri July 19th 9:00-3:00 pm
  • Where: Lewiston, NY and Buffalo, NY
  • $200 Participation stipend and up to $200 travel reimbursement available
  • Plankton Sampling and Identification Kit for each participant

Register today at:


Three people play a watershed game at a table

Center for Great Lakes Literacy Coastal Resilience Workshops: August 2nd & August 5th

  • Join New York Sea Grant and the Center for Great Lakes Literacy for a tour a local coastal resilience projects on either Lake Erie or Lake Ontario to learn how these examples can be used in your classrooms as real-world phenomena and complex problems that requires science and engineering solutions. Participants will learn about unique challenges of the site, the design and implementation of the solutions, and play a watershed management board game that they will be able to bring back to their classrooms (all participants will receive a copy of the game).

Two workshops will be held but space is limited to 15 participants per workshop and participants can only register for one workshop.

  • When: Friday, August 2nd and Mon 5th
  • Where: Dunkirk, NY (8/2) and Sodus Point, NY (8/5)
  • $50 Participation stipend
  • Watershed Game Boards for each participant

Register today at:


3 photos, left, a educator holds a secchi disc, center; two teachers sit at a round table in a classroom looking at a lesson, right; a demonstration of aquatic equipment

Water Quality Workshop For Educators

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Urban Rivers have teamed up to offer a free, two-day training designed for 5th-12th grade educators. We will learn about the fascinating history, innovative design, and ecological significance of the Wild Mile along the Chicago River. We will explore the Wild Mile along its floating boardwalks and from inside a kayak to discover how to integrate water quality investigations into classroom curriculum. Participants should dress to be outdoors, bring water, a sack lunch, or money to purchase a lunch at a local eatery. After completing the workshop, participants will have access to water quality monitoring equipment through the Limno Loan program and be able to schedule a Wild Mile field trip. Plus, earn professional development hours!

Learn more about the Water Quality Workshop For Educators


Maadagindan! Start Reading! Book Club graphic showing 4 books with a wild rice plant in the background

Maadagindan! Start Reading! Book Club

Books provide a plethora of perspectives, and it is important for people from all walks of life to have access to books about their culture, language, and way of life. Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission have teamed up to host a book club called “Maadagindan! Start Reading!”, which aims to increase awareness of Ojibwe culture and teach kids, and educators, about the Great Lakes. It is open to anyone that loves to read with children. This event is monthly, on the second Wednesday of each month at 4:30 p.m., central time.

Learn more about the Maadagindan! Start Reading! Book Club


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 educators 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


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 2024 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


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