Free scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz will be held at the Strawberry Festival, 1-5 p.m., Saturday, July 12 at Chassell Marina. “How do scientists assess the health of Lake Superior?” is the focus of the excursions.
The public is invited to sign up for a free 30-minute excursion by calling the Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education at 7-3341 or coming to the Chassell Marina dock on Saturday between 12:30 and 4 p.m. Spaces go quickly. On-site sign-ups begin at 12:30 p.m. with first departure at 1 p.m. Half of the spaces will be saved for onsite participants.
On each scientific excursion, a Marcel Dykstra, a Michigan Tech Great Lakes scientist, will demonstrate how sampling equipment is used to collect plankton and sediment, evaluate water clarity, temperature and turbidity, which tell us about the health of Chassell Bay. Microscopes will be on shore so participants can view the organisms. Participants will investigate the connection between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.
Scientific excursions will depart from the Chassell Marina dock approximately every half hour. Space is limited to 15 persons per excursion (children must be at least 7 years of age and accompanied by an adult). Life jackets are available for all passengers.
Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) demonstrations will also be conducted from the Chassell Marina dock throughout the afternoon.
“Copper Country residents and visitors are encouraged to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and what factors contribute to a healthy lake,” explains Joan Chadde, education program director. “These scientific excursions for the public have been offered at the Strawberry Festival since 2006 and have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and get their questions answered.”
The event is coordinated by the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. This year, the program is funded by the GM Ride the Waves Program putting more than 500 Copper Country youth and adults on the water to learn about the Great Lakes and promote STEM careers, along with support from the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society and the Chassell Lions Club.
For more information or to sign up for an excursion, call 487-3341. More information on the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative is available online.