Great Lakes Education: Post 5

July 26, 2013

Great Lakes Education Workshop

FT Stone Laboratory
Gibralter Island, Lake Erie, Ohio State University
July 21-27, 2013

In and Around Old Woman Creek

1. Group Picture

Photo Credit: Cammie Jones

Science and Education Log:  Today we had an excursion to the mainland.  The first stop was at East Harbor State Park.  Eager to get started we hopped out of our vans in the same direction.  Ironically, we were checking to see if the glacial striations occurred in the same direction as other rock viewed earlier in the week.

2. Glacial Grooves

Educators check the angle of the glacial striations. Photo Credit: John Thomas

After that, it was off to the beach to snack on some peanuts using a lesson called “How big is a crowd?” In this lesson we learned about the human population found around each Great Lake.  The snack served as a good way to show the amount of fish and pollution found in around the respective lakes.

3. Peanuts

Each discarded peanut shell in this picture represents relative amount of waste found around Lake Erie. Photo Credit: John Thomas

From there, we more or less had a lesson on the beach.  In actuality it was a “More or Less” lesson entitled “Which Great Lakes factors will increase and which will decrease as a result of climate change?”.  In this lesson, where more could create less and less could create more, we described cause and effect relationships as related to beach litter.  See if you can see some of the relationships in the picture below.

4. More or Less

Can you see more or less what is going on? Photo Credit: John Thomas

5. Dr. FortnerThe next stop was Marblehead to “Fetch” a lesson on the Seiche that occurs on Lake Erie.  We once again examined the direction of the glacial grooves at Marblehead and collected a little more data to help out with this exercise.  We also saw a water snake, examined some fossils in the rock and visited a beautiful lighthouse.

We then returned to the car in a similar direction this time with sandwiches in hand.  It was off to the Huron Harbor we learned about the economic significance of the Harbor and the erosion and dredging that occurs there.

The last stop was Old Woman Creek to see an impressive nature center at National Estuary Research Reserve. This jaw dropping facility had impressive displays on invasive species such as the sea lamprey that happened to be jawless.  Speaking of invasive species we spent some talking about several of these and how they have affected the Great Lakes ecosystem using a lesson called “What do scientists know about aquatic nuisance species of the Great Lakes and effects that climate change will have on them?”.

We also learned about the health of Old Women’s creek using a recent publication that graded its health and a lesson called “How do estuaries impact nutrients entering a lake?”. Finally, we stepped outside to see the creek and found something more breathtaking than the nature center…the creek itself.  We followed a trail and then ended our trip at the source of creek.  We are not sure who the Old Woman is, but she sure is beautiful.  Albert Beltz and John Thomas

6.Old Woman Creek

Educators marveling at Old Woman Creek and Star Island in the middle. Photo Credit: John Thomas