Outline of the Cruise
I. Before Coming To The Vessel
II. At Dockside Before Boarding
One of the science instructors will:
The other science instructor will take the group leader aboard the vessel to meet with the Captain to confer about the trip logistics. The group leader will provide one copy of the participant list for the instructors and the total passenger count (adults and students) for the Captain.
When the group boards the vessel, the science instructors will assist anyone wishing to wear personal floatation devices (life jackets). Under certain conditions, everyone can be required to put on life jackets. A science instructor will point out the various areas of the vessel including the:
Note that areas D through G are off limits except with specific permission. Permission must be granted by a crewmember to cross any yellow lines.
IV. Aft-Deck Orientation To Equipment
During the cruise, a science instructor will orient the participants to the equipment used on the aft (rear) deck:
Most of the above equipment is for sampling. However, the Secchi Disk is used to measure water transparency and the Forel-Ule Color Scale is used to determine the color of the water.
V. Scientific Equipment Used In The Main Cabin
The equipment for analysis of samples is located in the main cabin. Navigation equipment is found in the Pilot House as well as the main cabin. The group will receive an orientation session on the purpose and use of this equipment.
VI. Underway And On Station
Generally two stations are sampled and analyzed on a cruise for the purpose of comparing different bodies of water. The science instructors provide commentary on lake dynamics, river ecology, and shoreline structures/activities as the vessels travel between stations. While underway, one of the science instructors will divide the participants into groups to accomplish specific tasks at each station. A typical way the science instructor normally assigns jobs is as follows:
There is flexibility as to the number of people for each task and new assignments are made at the second station. If participants have already been assigned to tasks, please inform one of the science instructors at the beginning of the trip.
An important element of the D.J. Angus and W.G. Jackson experience is the summary of what participants have learned on the cruise and an interpretation of the data they collected. The stations sampled are chosen to illustrate differences in water quality.
The science instructors will facilitate the:
The stations are compared using a specially designed scale that rates the lakes as oliotrophic (O), meostrophic (M), or eutrophic (E).
Follow the instructions from the crew for disembarking. Remind the group to be certain that they have collected everything they brought onto the vessel and come back again!
Extension of the Vessel Experience
Through this "hands-on" science experience, participants will gain a better understanding of our fresh water resources. The knowledge gained can be put to use in a variety of ways through individual, classroom, and community activities. Connections with Great Lakes research and issues flow from this experience. College and university students may work on special research projects related to their vessel experience. Also, college and university instructors have designed specialized sampling cruises for their classes, and integrated the experience into their laboratory sessions. AWRI researchers can serve as resources for more in-depth studies.
GVSU-AWRI is a partner of the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program and is the Michigan coordinator for Project WET (Water Education for Teachers). GLOBE protocols are used on the vessels to take water quality measurements and for quality assurance.
Educators are invited to visit the vessels prior to their scheduled trip for orientation and assistance and are urged to show the AWRI Exploring the Lakes DVD to their students. Additionally, the AWRI aquatic science staff can make on-site visits to assist educators with pre- or post-vessel activities. Facilities at the Lake Michigan Center are available for aquatic education training including visits by classes. AWRI holds periodic teacher workshops in GLOBE, Project WET and other topics, which are funded by a variety of sources.
AWRI has produced documents that align the vessel experience with the current Michigan education content expectations. Student assessment questions have also been developed.