Day 1 – S/V Denis Sullivan – Milwaukee, WI by Robin and Leanne

August 8, 2018

Today was a day of learning and getting to know each other. We spent the day at the School of Freshwater Sciences on the UW-Milwaukee campus. Our day was filled with several guest speakers and participating in inquiry based activities.

The day started with an introduction to scientific inquiry, around the question, “Which water will melt the ice more quickly?” Our observations of a glass of freshwater and a glass of saltwater led to a lively discussion on density, stratification, and convection currents. Titus Seilheimer shared his expertise in the area of Great Lakes fisheries. Dr. Cuhel demonstrated how upwellings in Lake Michigan and the increase in ammonia have affected algae and the ecology of this great lake. Dr. Aguilar showed us the affect that quagga mussels have on water clarity and fish populations.


David Hart presented us with a preview of our future days ashore in the communities of Port Washington, Sheboygan, and Two Rivers. Cindy Hagley introduced us to SeaGrant’s Watershed Game that challenged us to think about real world issues regarding the effects of point and non-point source water pollution. Marte Kitson shared a Great Lakes food web activity that demonstrated how energy transfers through the food chain connecting all species.


Our a-ha moment, early in the day, came from Josh. It’s a way we feel our students will start to make sense of the centigrade temperature scale.

“30 is warm, 20 is nice, 10 is cold, 0 is ice.”

We’re looking forward to sharing these learnings with our sixth graders this fall.

Looking forward to setting sail on the Denis Sullivan tomorrow. Bon voyage!