Shipboard Science: From Land to Lake, August 6, 2019

August 6, 2019

The CGLL staff and educator team roused at an early 5:45am to begin their route from the Bad River Casino located in the Ashland, WI area to St. Ignace, MI. Along the way, educators met together in their mentor and mentee pairs to begin gathering ideas on how to connect their learning experiences from the workshop back to their practices, ranging from elementary to high school in formal and informal settings.

Upon arriving at Dock 2 of the Silver Line Marina in St. Ignace, the team was awed by the stature of the three masts of the S.V. Denis Sullivan, a replica 1850s tall ship, as it waited for its new passengers. Passersby stopped and asked questions about her past and future voyages.  As the crew prepared the ship for the passenger’s arrival, the CGLL team got to work taking various measurements of water quality in the marina.  Instruments used included a secchi disk, plankton net, Hydro Lab, and Eckman dredge for monitoring for transparency, dissolved oxygen, zooplankton and phytoplankton,  conductivity, temperature and pH.

Before embarking the ship, Bob Danielson, an elder of the Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa welcomed all passengers and crew to offer asemaa asking for a safe journey.  Nikki Crowe also a Fond du Lac band member and on board as CGLL staff, explained the role of women as water caretakers.

On board the ship, the crew, led by Captain Tiffany,  gave passengers a tour and walked them through safety precautions, including the use of immersion suits (aka “gumby suits”) due to the passage through Lake Superior’s frigid waters.  A ship’s routine is tightly managed. Passengers were divided into teams and given instructions on how to preform various duties, including 24 hour watch to keep safety as a priority on this exciting adventure.  The day wrapped up with an amazing taco supper prepared by Tina, the most amazing cook, and programming about storytelling and the night sky by Bob and Nikki.  For more information, check out the books ”Talking Sky” by Carl Gawboy and Ron Morton and Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide by Annette Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbetts and Carl Gawboy.