Friday, July 08, 2011

Free scientific excursions on "Agassiz" research vessel at Strawberry Festival July 9

CHASSELL -- "How do scientists assess the health of Lake Superior" is the focus of four free scientific excursions offered at the Strawberry Festival on Saturday, July 9. The public is invited to sign up for the free 45-minute scientific excursions aboard the research vessel "Agassiz" by calling 487-3341 or coming to the Chassell marina dock on Saturday. Spaces go quickly. On-site sign-up begins at 12:30 p.m.

The "Agassiz," a Michigan Tech research vessel, docked in Chassell at a previous Strawberry Festival scientific excursion event. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

On each excursion, a Great Lakes scientist will demonstrate the use of sampling equipment to collect plankton, sediment and other water quality information indicating the health of the lake, or in this case, Chassell Bay. Microscopes will be on board so participants can view the organisms. Participants will learn the connection between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

The excursions will depart from the Chassell marina dock at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eighteen persons may participate on each trip (must be at least 7 years of age). Life jackets will be available for all passengers. Displays on the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI), educational materials and sampling kits will be available for the public to investigate the coastal wetlands along the shore.

"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 coordinator. "These scientific excursions have been offered for the past five summers and have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and ask questions."

The event is coordinated by the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, in partnership with the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative. The outings are funded by the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society and the Chassell Lions Club.

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