HOUGHTON -- "How do scientists assess the health of Torch Lake?" is the focus of FREE scientific excursions to be offered at the 4th of July festivities in Lake Linden Village Park and Marina. The public is invited to sign up for FREE 30-minute scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech's research vessel Agassiz by calling the Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education at 487-3341 or coming to the Lake Linden Marina dock between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.on Friday, July 4th.
Spaces go quickly. On-site sign-ups begin at 11:30 a.m. with first excursion departing at noon, and at 45-minute intervals until 3 p.m. (noon, 12:45, 1:30, 2:15, 3 p.m.) Spaces are on first-come basis. The Agassiz capacity is 14 participants.
On each scientific excursion, Dr. Noel Urban, a Michigan Tech Great Lakes scientist, will demonstrate the use of sampling equipment to collect plankton, sediment, and other water quality information in order to learn about the health of the lake.
Microscopes will be available on land for participants to view the aquatic organisms. Participants will investigate the connection between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes. Participants must be at least 7 years of age and accompanied by an adult. Life jackets are available for all passengers and required for those under 90 pounds.
Amy Keranen, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Remediation and Redevelopment Division, will be on hand to answer any questions about the work being conducted by MDEQ and Michigan Tech on and adjacent to Torch Lake in Lake Linden, Hubbell, and Tamarack City.
"Copper Country residents and visitors are invited to learn how scientists study Torch Lake 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 Chassell Strawberry Festival since 2006 and have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and ask questions. We wanted to make this available to Lake Linden residents, too."
The event is coordinated by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education (http://wupcenter.mtu.edu/) and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center (http://greatlakes.mtu.edu/). 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, along with support from the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society.
To sign up for an excursion, call (906) 487-3341.