Today began with the perfect weather for a boat trip out to Middle Bass Island for some exploration. We continued collecting data with the Hydrolab before heading into Middle Bass State Park.
Next we dove right into a lab activity teaching us sampling methods, which would be used later in the day for macroinvertebrate and fish sampling back on Gibraltar Island.
We headed over to the nearby glacial grooves and tried to determine the direction the glaciers traveled in comparison to those we viewed at Kelley’s Island and Gibraltar. Our guiding question throughout the week has been, “What evidence of glaciation and geologic processes can be found on the Great Lake beaches?”
Like in the classroom, sometimes a teachable moment presents itself. When someone noticed a Mayfly, it was the perfect time to discuss the annual Mayfly emergence. In just a matter of days the Mayfly’s appearance is anticipated, and will affect the surrounding area drastically for 2-3 days.
Our next stop was to the beach to discuss what causes shoreline erosion, and can it be stopped. We conducted an experiment using rocks, sand, and soil to determine the effect of water erosion on the shoreline. This was also the perfect stop to search the beach for interesting rocks, shells, and beach glass, as well as notice more marine debris.
With the help of guest speaker Jason Cervenec, researcher at the OSU Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, we graphed data and then discussed patterns and possible explanations for those patterns. Later we listened to his lecture presentation titled, “We All Have a Role to Play in Education.” Could it be more fitting as educators learning about the ecology of the Great Lakes and our role in its’ future?
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Beware world! Just like the mayflies ready to emerge and spread their wings, we are ready to emerge with a renewed passion for involving and engaging youth to make a positive impact on the environment.
Contributed by Ashley Dulin-Smith and Molly Triplett August 14, 2018