Thursday, December 4, 2008

Instructor Training Class to Begin in January

Learning about Great Lakes zooplankton.

The "Wet Run" Instructor Training Cruise


Come join us in our 2009 volunteer instructor training classes! Become an Inland Seas volunteer instructor & help us provide students with an exciting science & sailing adventure. Not sure if you want to become a volunteer? Come to the introductory session on January 6th to learn more about us. No experience required! Already an instructor? Come back for a review & an update on Inland Seas programs.

Training classes for volunteers will take place on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Glenn Loomis Elementary School (1009 S. Oak Street, at the intersection of Oak and 13th Street) unless otherwise noted. If Traverse City Schools are closed due to weather, no class will be held that evening. Classes will include an introductory presentation and hands-on activities led by ISEA staff and experienced volunteer instructors.

January 6: Introduction to ISEA and our Great Lakes Schoolship/Center Programs
Come learn more about ISEA and our Schoolship/Center Programs! This session will include an overview of our volunteer instructor training, an introduction to our various programs, and the responsibilities of volunteer instructors. You will also learn how to effectively promote Inland Seas. It is a great time to meet the ISEA staff and other volunteers that teach aboard the Schoolship and in the Center.

January 13: The Great Lakes & Global Freshwater
This session is designed to introduce you to the Great Lakes. We will explore topics including the formation of the Great Lakes watershed, physical and chemical characteristics of the lakes, and the food web. We will also discuss current issues affecting the Great Lakes such as lake levels, fisheries, contaminants, and invasive species, as well as Global Freshwater issues.

January 20: Sample Collections and Weather
What is a Van Dorn bottle and who was Fr. Secchi? In this session, you will learn how students collect samples of water, plankton, benthos, and fish aboard the Schoolship. You will also learn how to teach the weather station, by measuring wind speed and direction, visibility, cloud types, air and water temperatures, and water clarity.

January 27: Water Chemistry
What is the physical and chemical make-up of Grand Traverse Bay and how are organisms affected? In this session, you will learn how to teach the water chemistry station by measuring dissolved oxygen and pH, and discussing the thermal structure of the lake.

February 3: Benthos
What type of sediment is found at the bottom of Grand Traverse Bay and what lives there? In this session, you will learn how to identify sediment types and how to separate and identify bottom-dwelling (benthic) organisms. You will also learn about the role of these benthic organisms as nutrient recyclers in the bay.

February 10: Inland Seas Education Center & Wetland (Special time and location: Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay from 3-5p.m.)
The Inland Seas Education Association offers several exciting programs in addition to the Schoolship. At this session, you will learn about the ISEA Boat Shop, the invasive species exhibits at the Inland Seas Education Center, and the newly created Wetland on the waterfront in Suttons Bay. You will also learn effective methods to teach this material to different audiences.

February 17: Plankton
Plankton are microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) that float freely in the water column and play a vital role in the food web of Grand Traverse Bay. During this session, you will learn how to identify live zooplankton using our micro-video system and how to teach the plankton station aboard the Schoolship.

February 24: Fishes
In this session, you will be introduced to the life history, ecology, and economic importance of Grand Traverse Bay fishes. You will learn to teach the fish station aboard the Schoolship by identifying live fishes, discussing factors affecting fisheries in the Great Lakes, and learning some fun new fish facts.

March 3: Stewardship
What makes up the Great Lakes watershed and what can you do to help protect it? In this session, you will learn how to identify a watershed, explain what organisms make up the Great Lakes food web, and identify organisms with high contaminant levels. You will learn what stewardship means and how you can inspire students to become stewards of the Great Lakes.

March 10: Safety and Seamanship
This session will focus on ship safety and emergency procedures. You will also learn to teach the seamanship station by discussing the physics of sailing, navigation, steering, and maritime history.

March 17: Teaching Strategies
In this session, you will explore a variety of teaching strategies to help you relay all your new Great Lakes knowledge to students aboard the Schoolship. Understand why our hands-on approach is successful and learn effective ways to ask questions, motivate students, and create a positive learning environment. Here we will also discuss effective strategies for our research-oriented summer programs, as well as our center-based programs.

March 24: Review
We will tailor this week’s program to the material you would most like to review. All 6 Schoolship learning stations will be set up so you may practice with the equipment and ask questions of staff and experienced volunteers. This is also a great time to catch up on information you may have missed in an earlier session.

All-Day Inland Seas Training Program
April 7, 2009; 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
If you were unable to attend the volunteer training classes this winter, ISEA will be hosting an intensive all-day training class to prepare you for teaching on the ship, in the center, and at the Wetland. It will be held at the Inland Seas Education Center. Please register for this class in advance.

April 30, 2009(8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.) aboard the schooner Inland Seas

Finally, come sail aboard the schooner Inland Seas to see how the Schoolship program actually works! This will be a typical Schoolship program, but YOU and other new volunteers will become our Schoolship students for the day. You will assist in collecting samples, weighing the anchor, and raising the sails. You will rotate through the Schoolship learning stations as a student and see first-hand how you will use the material from the volunteer training classes when it is your turn to teach aboard the Schoolship. Please register for this program ahead of time by calling (231) 271-3077. Meet at the Inland Seas dock in Suttons Bay at 8:30 a.m. or 1:15 p.m.

May 4, 2009

For more information about becoming a volunteer instructor, please contact our Education Director, Christine Crissman, at (231) 271-3077 or

In order to help us prepare materials for the volunteer instructor training program, please register ahead of time by calling (231) 271-3077. You can also register the first night of class (January 6, 2009). Bring a friend!

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