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Teachers Learn How to Connect Students to Their Local Watershed

Teachers around the Great Lakes have an opportunity to learn how to connect their students to their local watershed through the Great Lakes Watershed Field Course (GLWFC). The course is offered by the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) at no cost to educators and will take place August 15-18, 2021 in Suttons Bay, MI. Applications are due April 30, 2021.

Teachers will learn how to engage students in local environmental issues, investigate solutions, devise a plan, and take action. Training in the course includes watershed and environmental concepts, and place based education and environmental education pedagogy. “During our four days together, we visit projects in the Grand Traverse region that improve watershed health,” shared Juliana Lisuk, Volunteer Coordinator at ISEA. “These projects may include invasive species control and prevention, native species habitat improvements, nutrient run off reductions, and keeping the Great Lakes clean.” Teachers will also have time for curriculum development.

In addition to the four-day professional development, educators will receive a scholarship to bring their students on a Schoolship experience (a $825 value) and a grant to implement their student stewardship action project (up to $300). ISEA also supports teachers throughout the school year with additional training, online forums, and other forms of assistance. Space is limited so teachers must apply to be considered for the program.

The GLWFC is open to teachers in all content areas from the Great Lakes region, but teachers who participate are required to implement a watershed-based stewardship action project with their class. Ms. Lisuk added, “Former participants from Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana have created amazing watershed projects with their students where they connect their local water issues to the Great Lakes.” Educators from the 2017 and 2019 programs reported the course to be life changing, reinvigorating, and motivating to them in their careers.

“We are grateful to The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation for funding the GLWFC this year,” stated Fred Sitkins, ISEA Executive Director. “The Great Lakes Watershed Field Course really amplifies our mission. When teachers learn the knowledge and skills to implement watershed projects with their students, they are impacting generations of new stewards for our Great Lakes.”

More information, the application, and videos about the program can be found at schoolship.org/glwfc. Questions about the GLWFC can be sent to Juliana Lisuk at jlisuk@schoolship.org.

Inland Seas Education Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Suttons Bay, Michigan, dedicated to STEM education on the Great Lakes. Its shipboard and shore-side education programs are designed to inspire people of all ages to provide for the long-term stewardship of the Great Lakes. ISEA offers programs to schools, groups, and the public. For further information, contact Inland Seas Education Association at (231) 271-3077 or on the web at www.schoolship.org.