Shipboard Science Workshops

Sea Grant’s shipboard science programs help transform teachers into motivated Great Lakes educators.

Sail away with us

Sea Grant's shipboard science programs transform teachers into motivated Great Lakes educators. These annual workshops, which occur on a different Great Lake each year, are part of the Center for Great Lakes Literacy. Over the course of a week and fueled by dynamic partnerships and the wind (real or virtual) in their sails, Great Lakes educators are exposed to the skills needed to navigate ship on a Great Lake, get to practice the science of lake ecology, and gain knowledge of the region’s seafaring history from a maritime archaeologist. These are trips of a lifetime.

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What is a shipboard science workshop?

2018 Minnesota & Wisconsin Sea Grant Shipboard Science Workshop

Shipboard science workshops are day to week-long, onboard or virtual Great Lakes professional learning opportunities for educators from Great Lakes states. Workshops take place aboard the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s research vessel, the Lake Guardian, the University of Minnesota’s Large Lakes Observatory research vessel, the Blue Heron, Discovery World’s sailing vessel the Denis Sullivan, and other ships of opportunity.

Project description

Shipboard science workshops help participant educators gain an understanding of Great Lakes ecology, get hands-on experience doing water science, and foster awareness and appreciation for the Great Lakes. In addition to amazing stories about their real or virtual sailing adventures, workshop participants will take home curricula and resources to use in their classrooms and other teaching environments. Participants can also earn science education and graduate course credit.

Project activities:

The 2022 Lake Guardian shipboard science workshops on Lake Superior and Lake Huron are canceled due to mechanical issues. Planning for alternative workshops is underway.

Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

Our shipboard science workshops support Sea Grant's mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.

What have we done lately?

Participants & audience

Shipboard science workshops are available to 4th-12th grade teachers and educators in the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York.


  • Extending Impact of United States Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes National Program Office Using Sea Grant Outreach Capacity, United States Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Award number: NA20OAR4170343. Project start date: 05-01-2020. Project end date: 12-31-2022. Award amount: $135,721.
  • Minnesota Sea Grant Omnibus - Denis Sullivan Traditional Ecological Knowledge Visioning. United States Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Award number: NA18OAR4170101. Project start date: 02-01-2018. Project end date: 08-31-2022. Award amount: $21,279.

Program Staff

Amy Schrank headshot
Extension Program Leader (2023); Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Educator


  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Tribal Government
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Academic Institution (College and University)
  • Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, Sea Grant Programs
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Simley High School, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, K-12