Shipboard Science Day 4, Lake Huron 2017

July 11, 2017

The Lake Guardian crew, scientists and visiting teachers woke up this morning shrouded in fog. Most of the teachers tumbled from their bunks to the sound of a long horn every two minutes. The horn served to warn other vessels (especially those without radar) that we were coming. It’s a surreal experience to be on the bridge deck of a ship as it plows through morning fog on Lake Huron.

We spent the morning working in the lab, identifying zooplankton and fish larvae. It is challenging to work outside your comfort zone. Fortunately, we had a lot of help from Lake Guardian veteran scientists Dave and Steve! The view from our lab stations looked much like this:

Some of the zooplankton we’ve collected on our voyage

We examined, identified and measured fish larvae. Tiny!












Measuring larval fish











We also learned about Great Lakes curriculum we can bring to our classrooms. Teachers became students as we compared the geography and biology of the Great Lakes. An inquiry lesson about the relationship between pressure and volume allowed us to record parameters of foam cups before and after they were sent to the depths of the lake to be compressed by water pressure.

How much do you know about the Great Lakes?

Gathering accurate data about cups before they were smooshed under 82 m of water!









Our afternoons were filled with more sampling and lab work. Check out the Day 2 blog for a quick recap of the sampling we do aboard the Lake Guardian.

HERE is a quick tour of a day in the life of sampling, labs, and FUN aboard the R/V Lake Guardian.  As you can see, there are many roles to keep us all busy – out on the fantail deck collecting samples, in the biology labs analyzing specimens of zooplankton, larval fish, and deep water sculpin, or at the console as the Rosette transmits live water column data from the depths of the lake.  And, even though it’s empty right at this moment, another favorite place is the galley, where we have enjoyed some brilliant meals and late night snacks.

Your guest bloggers today have been Phil and Lori. It’s been our pleasure to share a slice of our day with you!

Phil is the biology and chemistry teacher at the Area Learning Center / Academic Excellence Online High School in Duluth, MN, and so honored and grateful to get to share this adventure with so many great educators, scientists, and ship crew.

Lori is a high school biology teacher at Simley High School, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a water resources professional before she started teaching, so she is LOVING her time on the Lake Guardian! The Shipboard Science Workshop combines her twin passions of protecting fresh water and inspiring teenagers to love science. Follow her on Twitter @ms_haak!