Great Lakes Public Outreach: Boat Rides & ROV

Joan Chadde taking reservations for the boat ride

The public was invited to venture onto Portage Lake to learn how scientists assess the health of a lake during several free scientific excursions on the R/V Agassiz during the Chassell Strawberry Festival from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 7,at the Chassell Marina.

On each trip, a Great Lakes scientist demonstrated the use of sampling equipment to collect plankton, sediment and other information that reveals the health of lakes, Chassell Bay or Lake Superior, in particular. Participantswere shown the connection between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes, in general.

Displays on the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and educational materials were available for those on shore, along with sampling kits to investigate the coastal wetlands. In addition, Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center conducted demonstrations of how remotely operated vehicles are used to study underwater environments.

"We encourage Copper Country residents and visitors to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and what factors contribute to a healthy lake," said Joan Chadde, education program coordinator. "These scientific excursions have been offered for the past five summers and have been extremely popular. Youths and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and ask questions."

162 people from 8-80 years participated in one of 9 scientific excursions offered on MTU's Research Vessel Agassiz . PhD candidate, Marcel Dijkstra, was chief scientist aboard the Agassiz, and Joan Chadde coordinated the event. . Twenty-five minute excursions were offered every half-hour from 1-5 pm, and all were full! View the event here

In addition to the scientific excursions aboard the R/V Agassiz, Guy Meadows, Jamey Anderson, and Mike Abbott demonstrated a Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) showing how they could be used to study the Great Lakes.

When asked, "What did you like most about the Agassiz scientific excursion," participants had lots of positive comments:

  • I can make an impact
  • The science lectures
  • Presenter was knowledgeableI learned a lot
  • The presenter made it easy to understand
  • Well explained water health –algae effects
  • Getting to know the ecology of the Great Lakes and how to protect Lake Superior
  • Very great explanation of limnology
  • Presenter is a great teacher/speaker.
  • The explanation of thermo-stratification and why it is important to the ecosystem.
  • Demonstrated use of equipment; clear answers to questions.

This event was co-sponsored by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, with additional support from MTU's Center for Water & Society, and the Chassell Lions Club). The event met the objective of raising awareness for MTU's Great Lakes research and the need for stewardship of the Great Lakes.

For more information, contact Chadde at 487-3341 or .


See more videos

See More RV Agassiz Videos here.


For more information, contact:

Joan Chadde, Education Program Coordinator
Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education
Email: Tel: 906-487-3341


The Coast Guard was there with a helping hand, here with
Dr. Guy Meadows of the Great Lakes Research Center.

This is Michigan Tech's Jamey Anderson showing the ROV controls

Marcel Dijkstra research scientist talking about the Great Lakes.

And off they go for cruise

Here is the ROV in action -- Check out the video clip above.