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Swab the Deck and Grab the Microscope: Great Lakes Educators to Sail Lake Michigan

Photo: S/V Denis Sullivan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

NEWS EDITORS: Educators, workshop presenters and organizers will be available for interviews Aug. 17 in Manitowoc and Aug. 18 at the Port of Milwaukee. Details follow the release. #Sullivan17

A dozen educators from Minnesota and Wisconsin are to set sail on a one-of-a-kind professional development workshop that includes time aboard the sailing vessel Denis Sullivan August 13-19, 2017 from the Port of Milwaukee.

The participants will study Lake Michigan's food web by collecting, analyzing and interpreting water quality, sediment and zooplankton data. They will also learn about a proposed national marine sanctuary that would protect 37 known historic Lake Michigan shipwrecks.

"A connection to the big lakes can make science, history, biology, physics, and reading and writing, relevant," said Kristine Kolenz, a fifth-grade teacher from Lester Park Elementary School in Duluth, Minnesota and one of the participating educators. "It is our charge as teachers to continually offer students true connections to what they are learning in the classroom."

The Center for Great Lakes Literacy and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs, in partnership with the S/V Denis Sullivan and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, are sponsoring the workshop to promote Great Lakes literacy and provide information about the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary. Port stops in Sheboygan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin will provide opportunities for the educators to share their shipboard experiences with the public.

"This collaboration exemplifies the kind of unique and enriching experience that marine sanctuaries can help catalyze in neighboring communities and beyond," said Kathleen Kline, Wisconsin Sea Grant education outreach specialist and workshop co-coordinator.

The S/V Denis Sullivan is the world's only re-creation of a 19th-century three-masted Great Lakes schooner and provides a glimpse into the rich maritime history of the freshwater seas of the Great Lakes.

"The educators and instructors will work alongside the S/V Denis Sullivan crew raising and lowering sails, dropping and retrieving the anchor, swabbing the decks and even cleaning the bathrooms - also called heads," said Cynthia Hagley, Minnesota Sea Grant environmental quality extension educator and workshop co-coordinator. "They'll participate in and learn about the three "S"s - science, shipwrecks and sailing, and they'll be blogging on the Center for Great Lakes Literacy website."

Financial support for the workshop comes from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.


  • Kathy Kline, Education Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Sea Grant kkline@aqua.wisc.edu, mobile: 608-334-8418
  • Cynthia Hagley, Environmental Quality Extension Educator, Minnesota Sea Grant, chagley@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8713
  • Moira Harrington, Assistant Director for Communications, Wisconsin Sea Grant, moira@aqua.wisc.edu, office: 608-263-5371, mobile: 608-512-5066, @UWiscSeaGrant, seagrant.wisc.edu
  • Marie Thoms, Communications and Public Relations Specialist, Minnesota Sea Grant, methoms@d.umn.edu, office: 218-726-8710, mobile: 907-460-1841, @MNSeaGrant, www.seagrant.umn.edu

Media Ports of Call:

Port of Manitowoc. Aug. 17, 2017, arrival about 2:00 p.m. Educators and organizers will be speaking with the public during free deck tours of the S/V Denis Sullivan starting at 3:00 p.m. at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, Wis. Contact: Kathy Kline, kkline@aqua.wisc.edu. Mobile: 608-334-8418

Port of Milwaukee. Aug. 18, 2017, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Discovery World, 500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, Wis. Contact: Marte Kitson, mobile: 218-310-3756, mkitson@d.umn.edu or Cindy Hagley, chagley@d.umn.edu, or Kathy Kline, kkline@aqua.wisc.edu, mobile: 608-334-8418.


The Minnesota educators are:

  • Bruce Frutiger (Century High School, Rochester, Minn.)
  • Kris Kolenz and Sherry Williams (Lester Park Elementary School, Duluth, Minn.)
  • Susan Nelson (Friedell Middle School, Rochester, Minn.)
  • Bo DeRemee (Ely Memorial High School, Ely, Minn.)
  • Cory Kolodji (Chisholm High School, Chisholm, Minn.)

The Wisconsin educators are:

  • Jessica Cook and Eric VanRemortal (Eisenhower Elementary School, Green Bay, Wisc.)
  • Carly Ziegler (St. Maria Goretti School, Madison, Wisc.)
  • Patrick Keelty (Palmyra-Eagle High School, Palmyra, Wisc.)
  • Sarah DeZwarte (Camp Y-Koda Outdoor Skills and Education, Sheboygan Falls, Wisc.)
  • Lynn Kurth (Prairie River Middle School Merrill, Wisc.)

Additional Information:

Posted on August 8, 2017

This page last modified on August 08, 2017     © 1996 – 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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