DAY 5: Wetlands, Guts and Gay

July 24, 2011


After waking up from a taste of Houghton our day started while still docked with another delicious meal in the galley. Following the scraping of plates and filling of coffee mugs we headed to the wet lab for a lecture. Dr. Joel Hoffman inspired us with his enthusiastic overview of costal wetlands. The lecture came to abrupt halt as the boat pulled away from the dock and we headed to the O2 deck to marvel at the well engineered lift bridge. We clicked away with our cameras and chitter chatter as we peered at the massive columns of steel that the bridge was comprised of. Little did we know that the task of gut processing was in our near future.

Following a 15 minute float we docked at Michigan Tech and stepped off the ship onto the land of rebar. Michigan Tech is in the middle of a 40 million dollar building project complete with boat house, state of the art laboratories, and extra space for visiting scientists who will contribute to the research of the Great Lakes.


We met with Marty Auer who provided us with a tour of the new facility, still in progress and then headed over to a lecture and lab. Dr. Auer provided us with information about the new facility and current research at Michigan Tech. We found the lab to be engaging as we studied features of the lake bed, identified a variety of plankton and donned our purple latex gloves and dissected the stomachs of lake trout.

Dr. Charlie Kerfoot, from Michigan Tech, led us on a world wind tour of the historic copper mining sites of the area. We piled into two vans and headed to Gay, MI with several relevant stops along the way. Including the historic Quincy mine, Torch Lake and massive piles of Stamp Sands on the beaches at Gay.

The waters of Superior called to us and we answered. We arrived at the boat a few minutes after our scheduled departure and were elated the Captain Bob hadn’t sailed on without us. We headed out through Portage Lake and channel and met Mother Superior an hour later. We now await our first testing station and anticipate fun times on the back deck and in the labs.