Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) is a non-profit organization based in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Our mission is to promote stewardship of the Great Lakes through hands-on science education, and we do so through interactive exhibits in our education center and museum. The center is equipped with aquariums and a touch tank that feature native and invasive species of the Great Lakes. The exhibits are designed to give visitors a general understanding of the impacts invasive species have on our native Great Lakes species. Alongside these exhibits, we also have a reconstructed shoreline wetland, which is home to plants and animals of the region. Our aquariums and wetlands are stocked with many of the species that are native to this area, and are used for identification and to facilitate conversations about healthy, high quality habitat. All of our activities are designed to engage students with the water resources around them.
In addition to our shore-side educational opportunities, we also have shipboard educational opportunities on-board the schooner Inland Seas. During our Schoolship program (May through October), students of all ages become a part of the science crew, and a part of the sailing crew. Participants work along-side ISEA’s trained volunteers to collect fish, plankton, sediment, and bottom water samples. These samples are used at different learning stations aboard the schooner to discover the Great Lakes ecosystem, how invasive species have gotten into the lakes, and how these species have altered the environment. Participants also become part of the maritime sailing tradition by raising the anchor, hoisting the sails, and steering the schooner. Our sails are open to school groups (fourth grade and up) in the spring and fall, and the general public (ages five and up) during the summer. We also provide private educational charters.
ISEA is in the process of finalizing our 2015 summer sailing schedule, but once complete, it will be posted on our website, www.schoolship.org. If you are interested in any volunteer opportunities, please contact Emily Shaw, education and volunteer coordinator via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the ISEA office, (231) 271-3077.
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