Ecology of the Great Lakes course at Michigan Tech

2012 Lake Superior Water Festival
at Great Lakes Research Center
Friday, October 5, 2012

Water Festival Presenters Descriptions
Oct. 5, 2012 at MTU's Great Lakes Research Center

2012 Water Festival Activity Descriptions

All Day Sessions

1. Aquatic Invasive Species: Sea Lamprey & Others
Students will learn about aquatic invasive pests in the Great Lakes, including how they got here, their negative impacts on Great Lakes fishing,and what is being done to prevent their spread. Live specimens will be shown.

Rachael Guth & Chris Gagnon, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Location: GLRC 1st floor entry

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies & Mining in the Great Lakes Region
Mining companies are looking at the Upper Peninsula as a possible place to begin mining for minerals again. This activity gives students an opportunity to be a mining engineer who is interested in extracting valuable resources quickly, and safely for both the miners and the environment by using chocolate chips as the valuable resource to be mined out of a chocolate chip cookie. Students will be given the tools and will then have to create a process for extracting the resources safely and quickly while causing as little damage to the environment as possible.

Linda Rulison, Hancock Middle School Social Studies Teacher (retired)
Carol Ekstrom, Professor, Rhodes University (retired)
Location: B003 GLRC

3. Great Lakes Watery Movements
What do freeze tag, follow-the-leader, and telephone games have to do with the Great Lakes? Students will transfer Great Lakes subject matter into movements. For instance, can you concentrate closely enough to move with the group in the same way microscopic green algae, Volvox, moves? Can you rely on non-verbal communication to get teammates to form an aquatic food chain?

Clare Tallon Ruen, LakeDance, Chicago, IL
Location: 201 GLRC along windows

4. How to Catch A Fish
What sort of habitat do trout prefer? What do they eat? If you want to fish, how can you “trick” them into trying to eat your lure?

Tom Rozich, Jeremy Shannon, Bill Deephouse, Copper Country Trout Unlimited
Location: 316 GLRC

5. If You Were A Raindrop, Where Would You Go?
Stormwater can pollute lakes and streams. How can we restore the natural condition of stormwater before humans created buildings and parking lots? We’ll look at innovative ways to manage stormwater.

Brian Barkdoll, Professor, Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech University
Samantha Dunne and Craig Clarke, MTU Students, Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: Green roof (outside) on 2nd floor

6. Leave No Trace
Students will engage in activities that illustrate some of the Leave No Trace principles ---plan ahead, travel and camp on durable surfaces, leave what you find, dispose of waste properly, respect wildlife, minimize campfire impacts and be considerate of other visitors.

Evan McDonald, Executive Director, Keweenaw Land Trust
Location: GLRC 3rd floor balcony
7. Recycling Mania
Why is recycling important? What does it have to do with clean water? What is recyclable in the Keweenaw? Students will learn about recycling and then put their knowledge to the test with a hands-on recycling game!

Mollie Ruth, Logan Anderson, Jordan Mayer, Helena Keller, Becky Bender, Yibo Jiang, Rachel Huemphner, Molly Knappenberger, MTU Students for Sustainability
Location: 101 GLRC along windows

8. Remotely-Operated Vehicles (ROVs)
Sometimes it’s not safe to enter a body of water, or it’s too deep, so remotely operated vehicles are used. Try your hand at operating one of these vehicles and find out what it can show us.

Jamey Anderson, Doug Oppliger, Mike Abbot, Great Lakes Research Center
Location: GLRC docks on east side of building

9. Use of Native Medicinal Plants by Indigenous Great Lakes Peoples

In addition to giving us their intricate beauty, plants of the Great Lakes also give us supplies for shelter and clothing, nutritious foods to sustain us, and medicines to heal us. Become acquainted with 10 native plants growing in the Great Lakes region and how these plants can be used for first aid treatment. Students will use samples (harvested elsewhere) to assemble their own "first aid" kits.

Karena Schmidt, Naturalist, MTU School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences,

Location: SE garden in front of GLRC

10a. Visual Data of Lake Superior
Do you think numbers are boring? Imagine what changing water temperatures in Lake Superior might look like throughout the year, or currents moving around the lake? Data points are visually displayed on the geowall

Raseka Gawde, graduate student, MTU Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: Geowall in GLRC basement

10b. Remotely Operated Vehicles
Find out how this high school enterprise group designed their own remotely-operated vehicles and are using them to train Isle Royale National Park employees so they can monitor underwater for aquatic invasive species, especially the zebra mussel.

SOAR Dollar Bay High School Enterprise
Location: GLRC Boathouse

Morning ONLY Sessions

11. Aquaponics: Cleaning Water by Growing Fish And Veggies Together!
Aquaponics is a system of farming where aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) are combined to help both crops grow better than they could by themselves! We have started an aquaponics system in a greenhouse on campus that is growing tilapia and many different vegetables, while serving as a great teaching tool. See the aquaponics system and find out why this method of growing food is becoming very popular.

Robert Handler, Sustainable Futures Institute, Michigan Tech University
Location: 904 DOW

12. Can You Drink Your Groundwater?
Water-resources information is increasingly available from online web sources. Gather information from these state and federal agency websites to find out whether groundwater is a potential resource for homes, communities, and farms, whether the soils are suited for crops and forests, and where the water goes in the watershed in which you live.

John Gierke, Professor, and Emily Gochis, PhD student , MTU Dept of Geological Sciences & Mining Engineering
Location: 203 Dillman (computer lab)
13. Engineering to Stop Erosion
Learn about types of erosion and see them in action with a streambank model undergoing a simulated rainstorm. The negative effects of erosion will be discussed, and students will help plan how to mitigate it using a variety of techniques. Students will then be able to test these techniques on the model.

Kate Waring, Student, MTU Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: 104 GLRC

14. GUPPIE: An autonomous underwater swimmer
Students will learn about underwater gliders, the simple physics behind the vehicles' locomotion, and their applications. GUPPIE will be presented in action to the students and the role of itscomponents explained. Students will then try to design and deploy their own underwater vehicle.

Dr. Nina Mahmoudian, Dept of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Byrel Mitchell and Eric Wilkening, MTU Students,Dept of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Location: 204 GLRC

15. Land, Lakes and Sky: Lake Superior Creature Collage & Mural
Students will divide into teams to make individual creatures who live on the land, in the water and in the sky to make a mixed media mural to take back to their classrooms. They will work together to make a comprehensive list of “creatures” to be included and will create the mural with all of their individually-created elements. Colored paper, markers and pastels will be provided to create the 3 x 4 foot murals. Scale, color and composition will be discussed as well as the subject matter and the spirit of cooperation.

Cynthia Cote, artist, educator and Executive Director of Copper Country Community Arts Center
Location: Basement hallway artists’ cave

16. National Parks of Lake Superior

Our National Parks preserve some of the best of nature and history on Lake Superior. Participants will learn what and where these parks are and discuss their value in the protection of these special places and to our society. We will discuss the importance of "citizen stewardship" of our parks for their preservation for generations to come.

Mike Pflaum, Superintendent, Keweenaw National Historical Park
Location: 202 GLRC

17. Restoring Wetlands
Coastal wetlands provide enormous value by providing high quality fish and bird habitat, protecting shorelines from wave erosion, and filtering nutrients and sediments before they enter aquatic systems. Unfortunately, more than half of the original coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes have been destroyed or are in various states of degradation.Visit a new coastal wetland restoration site on campus to learn more about wetlands and restoration.

Rod Chimner, Associate Professor, MTU School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
Jim Bess, graduate student, MTU School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
Location: GLRC - meet at bottom of stairs in basement next to exterior door.

18. Sparkling Water
Students will define wastewater , identify the drains in their home and discuss the variety of wastes that go down the drain. Next, they’ll become “environmental engineers” and try to clean the wastewater. Would you drink this “cleaned” wastewater?!! They do in space and in Los Angeles!!

Anika Kuczynski and Rebecca Midkiff, graduate students, MTU Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: 102 GLRC Limnology Lab

19. Sturgeon Ecology

View live sturgeon and examine a the sampling gear used in scientific research. Learn about sturgeon ecology---food preferences, reproduction, life stages, and habitat requirements. We’ll discuss the important role of sturgeon in Native American culture and the relative abundance of sturgeon across the five Great Lakes.

Nancy Auer, Professor, MTU Dept of Biological Sciences
Location: 113 GLRC, Fish Lab

20. U.S. Coast Guard – Water Safety & Careers
The local Coast Guard station in Dollar Bay is responsible for keeping boaters safe on Lake Superior and connecting waterways which includes performing rescues when needed---in all seasons and in all weather. Ask them what they like about their job and what it takes to become a “coastie.”

Nowell Johnson, et al, USCG officers
Location: USCG boat will be displayed in the GLRC parking lot on the west side of the building

21. What Can Aquatic Critters Tell Us About Stream Health?
Students will identify aquatic invertebrates sampled from local stream and discover wthat different aquatic insect larvae can tell us about stream health and why.

Dr. Amy Schrank, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences, Michigan Tech University (PM)
Julie Padilla, Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech University (AM)
Bill Deephouse, Fisheries Biologist, Copper Country Trout Unlimited
Location: 304 GLRC

Afternoon Sessions (Noon-2:50 PM)

22. Aquatic Wildlife Games
Aquatic wildlife need food, water, and shelter. What happens if they don’t get enough?

Bob Wild, Chief Interpreter, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Location: GLRC parking lot on west side of building

23. Caribou Hunters Beneath Lake Huron
Advanced underwater sensors are used to discover secrets of Lake Huron that have been covered for the past 8,000 years. Find out how Paleo-Indian cultures hunted Caribou over this now submerged landscape, as the glaciers that formed the Great Lakes wereretreating.

Guy Meadows, Director, Great Lakes Research Initiatives
Location: 202 GLRC

24. Dirty Water: Stream Erosion & Sediment
Damage to watersheds increases erosion and input of sand into streams. We will explore how streams naturally form from the processes of erosion and sedimentation and how they are affected when more sand is added due to natural causes or human activities. Lastly, we will test if increased sand appears to influence macroinvertebrate behavior.

Casey Huckins, Professor, MTU Dept of Biological Sciences
Brian Danhoff, MTU graduate student, MTU Dept of Biological Sciences
Location: 113 GLRC, Aquatic Ecology Lab

25. How Do You Make A Lake Trout?
Students will explore the role of the Lake Superior food web in providing the energy and mineral nutrition required to grow a Lake Trout. Hands on activities will include microscopic examination of the plankton, examination of the creatures who inhabit the lake bottom mud, and dissection of lake trout stomachs.

Marty Auer, Professor, MTU Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: 102 GLRC Limnology Lab

26. Invasive v. Native Plants
Why are native plants better for water quality and better for wildlife? Join a botanist as she explains the role of native plants in maintaining a healthy watershed.

Adrienne Bozic, Upper Peninsula Stewardship Organizer, Michigan Nature Association
Location: GLRC SW Garden Bed

27. Lake Superior Floor Map
Ever think about how the Lake Superior watershed resembles a “bowl” or “basin”? We will create the watershed of Lake Superior in 3-D. Next, we’ll discuss some of the pollutants that enter Lake Superior and see if students can work together to do a “cooperative clean up.”

Joan Chadde, Western UP Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education and Michigan Tech University
Location: GLRC 3rd floor balcony

28. Secret Lives of Trees
You might be surprised at all that’s going on inside a tree that appears to not be doing anything. We’ll make a tree out of people to learn how it works and look at the mystery of how water is moved to the leaves at the top of a tree leaves without a pump. Hopefully, we’ll change the way you look at trees.

Steve Kickert, Environmental Education Coordinator, Ottawa National Forest
Location: GLRC – meet at bottom of stairs by basement door

29. Water Sampling on the Great Lakes
How do scientists assess the health of the Great Lakes? Join an environmental engineer as he demonstrates how to sample water from different water depths, collect plankton from the water column, sample the lake bottom sediments, and assess water clarity with a secchi disc.

Marcel Dijkstra, PhD student, MTU Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: GLRC dock aboard R/V Agassiz

30. What Can Aquatic Critters Tell Us About Stream Health?
Students will identify aquatic invertebrates sampled from local stream and discover what different aquatic insect larvae can tell us about stream health and why.

Dr. Amy Schrank, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences, Michigan Tech University (PM)
Julie Padilla, Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech University (AM)
Bill Deephouse, Fisheries Biologist, Copper Country Trout Unlimited
Location: 304 GLRC

31. Water Infiltration Races
Some of the water that falls as rain and snow infiltrates below thesurface and becomes groundwater, an important source of water for drinking, agriculture, and industrial uses.The type ofsurface material affects how fast water infiltrates and how much runs off. Students will conduct infiltration tests on different types of soils and surface materials, and compare the results.

Emily Gochis, PhD Student, MTU Dept of Geological Sciences & Mining Engineering
Michelle Cisz, M.S. , MTU School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
Location: 104 GLRC

View/Print Presenters PDF


Water Festival Flyer

Invitation to Teachers to Attend

Invitation to Presenters

Volunteers Needed

Great Lakes Teacher Resource List

The Water Festival is made possible with grants from the
Michigan Space Grant Consortium,
Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative,
MTU Center for Water & Society,
and Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition