About the Lessons

Many hands went into creating this educational resource about Great Lakes science, engineering, technology and math. The following have been instrumental in launching Great Lakes Lessons. Note: this page reflects contributors’ roles and positions at the time these lessons were created.

Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS)

GLOS supported the website development, teacher professional development and regional outreach efforts to promote the use of this resource. GLOS and supported a series of teacher professional development workshops, as well as other efforts to enhance and expand educational resources about the Great Lakes.


Eastern Michigan University (EMU) supported the development of Great Lakes data sets, working with the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratory and Michigan Sea Grant. Scientists at NOAA-GLERL, including Rochelle Sturtevant, Ph.D., Greg Lang, Ph.D., and Dave Schwab, Ph.D., assisted EMU students and Michigan Sea Grant in collecting, analyzing and displaying data. Michigan Sea Grant worked with EMU researchers and students to make the connection between the data sets and lessons.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension and Center for Great Lakes Literacy

The Center for Great Lakes Literacy (CGLL) supported the development of lessons, activities and assessment tools. Elizabeth LaPorte (Michigan Sea Grant director of communications and education services) and Steve Stewart, (Michigan Sea Grants senior extension educator and CGLL project coordinator), managed the original lesson development, as well as educator workshops in each Great Lakes state. Education specialists Nikki Koehler developed the original lessons and activities. Other Sea Grant staff refined lesson and data set content.

  • Mary Bohling, Michigan Sea Grant extension educator, assisted in the development of a lesson about marshes.
  • Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant extension educator, continues to support teacher professional development, using this website as a resource for place-based education projects.

Great Lakes Fishery Trust and FLOW

In 2005, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust provided support to Michigan Sea Grant to develop a suite of online lessons and activities, Fisheries Learning on the Web (FLOW). Several original lessons were based on content from the Great Lakes Education Program. At the time, FLOW was one of the first Great Lakes education curriculum sources available online. Anna Switzer, PhD, developed the original curriculum structure. Since 2005, Michigan Sea Grant has edited and updated many lessons. The FLOW lessons and activities have been incorporated into this website.

Michigan Sea Grant editors and contributors

  • Stephanie Ariganello
  • Autumn Poisson
  • Ellen Spooner
  • Todd Marsee

Regional Partners

  • Extension Educator Cindy Hagley, from Minnesota Sea Grant coordinated the development of lesson resources to explore Lake Superior data.
  • GIS Specialist David Hart, from Wisconsin Sea Grant coordinated the development of new resources to highlight the impact changing water levels and extreme storm events can have on coastal communities.

Curriculum Consultants and Reviewers

  • Dr. Rosanne Fortner, The Ohio State University and COSEE-Great Lakes
  • Dr. Rochelle Sturtevant, Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, NOAA-GLERL
  • Dr. Sandra Rutherford, Eastern Michigan University
  • Dr. Jennifer Read, University of Michigan Water Center
  • Elizabeth LaPorte, Project Director and Director of Michigan Sea Grant Communications and Education Services
  • Steve Stewart, Michigan Sea Grant Senior Extension Educator
  • Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator
  • Greg Lang, NOAA-GLERL
  • Dan O’Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator
  • Dr. Bruce Manny, U.S. Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center
  • Dr. Gerald Smith, University of Michigan Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • James Aho, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Teacher-reviewers: Keith Piccard (Allendale Schools), Steve Durant (Wyandotte Schools), Carole Gutteridge (Fenton Schools), Dwight Sieggreen and Isaac Cottrell (Northville Schools), Deb Zolynsky (St. Clair Shores Schools), Gary Dewey, Bill Hodges, Dave Huntington, Diane Huntington, J. Katt, Chris Kelly, Mara Matteson, Debra Miller, Keith Piccard, Joy Reynolds, Pam Simek
  • Captain Jim Fenner, Pequod Charters