Friday July 11, 2014
Friday started early for the crew of the R/V Lake Guardian with a 1:00 am Station and it started out in horrible fashion. The Manta Trawl we used for collecting plastics off the surface of the lake was suck under the ship and lost while it was being deployed. We spent an hour and half searching with spot lights to no avail. Friday afternoon a crew member took the rescue boat out to area where the Manta Trawl was lost and attempted another search but due to rough water was forced to return to the ship.
After getting very little sleep we woke to the welcome site of Cleveland Harbor. We spent the morning working to finish up our research and began working on their presentation of their research. The afternoon was spent looking at various curricula and trying some lessons that we could bring back to our own classrooms. The evening was spent finalizing our research presentations with the scientists in charge of each group.
I dragged myself from bed this morning having not slept but maybe a couple hours all night. You would think it would be the start to a horrible day ahead, you would be wrong. Today I got out of bed and the first thing I did was take a walk on dry land. Oh What a Feel’n. There was one small problem with taking a walk on dry land, if I stopped moving the world around kept moving. I hope this doesn’t take too long to correct itself because I got more nauseous standing still on land than I did bouncing around in the ship during the storm earlier in the week.
This has been one of the greatest opportunities of my education career and I very grateful to have been selected to participate. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some awesome scientists and educators from all around the Great Lakes. I came on this research cruise with an interest in the research being done on plastics in the Great Lakes. I really enjoyed the chemistry being used to separate the plastic from the water and shocked at how much plastic is floating around Lake Erie. It is sad to think that every piece of plastic ever made is still here on Earth and will be for the next 500 to 1000 years. We are a throw away nation and we don’t realize the damage we are doing to our Planet. I am leaving this experience with a new motivation and desire to get back in my classroom working with my students.