Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program

Lake Superior Youth Symposium Diane Podgornik, Proctor Schools July 7, 2009 Project No. B23138 Contract No. 306-STAR01-09

This project was funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act, NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management, in cooperation with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program.

The Proctor Public Schools and The College of St. Scholastica, in concert with many other agencies and organizations hosted the Eighth Biennial Lake Superior Youth Symposium for students, teachers, educators, and watershed professionals from throughout the Lake Superior watershed May 14-17, 2009. The symposium was held on the campus of The College of St. Scholastica. 337 students and adults attended the conference along with 95 presenters. The participants attended workshops and field trips to learn about the big lake, the tools and techniques for protecting and enhancing the natural resources within the Lake Superior watershed, and shared and expanded their unique perspectives of the lake. The symposium provided students with a broad approach to thinking like a watershed. The presenters shared environmental research, environmental stewardship techniques, field trips, and more in an attempt to broaden students’ understanding of the Lake Superior watershed and their role in its future. Educators attended workshops and were given curriculum to further teach about the Lake Superior watershed in their classrooms.

The purpose of this year’s symposium was to enhance the capability and motivation of middle and high school students, teachers, and parent chaperones to understand and act on the environmental issues facing Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes. The focus this year was on global climate change in the Lake Superior Watershed. While at the symposium, students became knowledgeable on the many environmental issues facing the lake and the careers involved in protecting Lake Superior/Great Lakes. The long-term goal of the symposium is to promote informed local and regional decision-making about the Great Lakes environment and its natural resources.

Work Completed
Task 1. Over 40 sessions are to be planned for symposium participants to choose from with each intended to connect and educate regarding environmental issues and impacts directly affecting Lake Superior.

My product deliverables will be our printed program. Our field trips and presentations that were offered are listed in our program. Some field trips and presentations were cancelled due to weather or lack of interest. The field trips and presentations that were held are listed below.

Field Trips Held C’mon Board – William A. Irvin and Marine Museum tour After the Flush – WLSSD tour Breaking Up is Hard to Do – L. Superior volcanic geology field trip Trapped By Ice – L. Superior glacial field trip A Lazy Day on the River – Stream Study The St. Louis River: Duluth’s Other Waterfront – Photography lesson on the Western Waterfront trail Turing Out Trout – French River Fish Hatchery tour Footprints in the Sand – Great Lakes Aquarium sand dunes field trip Forecasting Frenzy – National Weather Service Office and NRRI tour Uncovered: The US EPA’s Research Lab – EPA tour Warbler Walk – Birding on Park Point Hittin’ the Wall – Rockclimbing

Geocaching 101 – Geocaching instruction Keep On Trekkin’ – Hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail Buckthorn Boot Camp- Identification and removal of buckthorn Aquarium Adventures – Great Lakes Aquarium tour Marine Museum and OmniMax – Mysteries of the Great Lakes movie Presentations Held Mining Impacts in the Great Lakes Region Living with Wildlife - DNR Global Warming and Climate Change - Large Lakes Observatory A Lake Superior Adventure of a Lifetime – kayak trip around the Lake What do we do with all this stuff? - WLSSD Go Fly a Kite – Air Quality Issues Leave No Trace in the Wilderness – Superior National Forest 1854 Treaty Authority: Tribal Resource Management and Implications of Climate Change Waste Vegetable Oil: An Alternative Fuel – veggie car Common Sense Wilderness Survival and First Aid Partnering the Environment and Academics on the Keweenaw: (P.E.A.K.): The Class Outside the Classroom Painters of the Lake: Inspirations from Lake Superior Worm Watch – NRRI Flint Knapping

Blacksmithing over a Coal Fire Drop Spinning Fur Trade – Life of a Voyageur Fire Starting and Primitive Style Weaving Digital Data – LakeSuperiorStreams.org Trout in the City – City of Duluth Campus Sustainability Efforts at the University of MN-Duluth Forest Management – MN Power Vermicomposting Model Student Group Presentations – Ordean MS Monach Butterfly Project, Lake Linden Beach Clean-up, Hancock HS Outdoor P.E.A.K. Class, and Lake Superior Youth Symposium Youth Advisory Team Presentations Scientist Meet and Greet – for Teachers! – Large Lakes Observatory and EPA Lab

Task 2: After deciding on the field trips, tours and activities to be offered during the symposium, we will be able to determine the costs of offering the experiences to students. Note: The Coastal Grant is being used to cover the costs of the field trips, not the workshops. The breakdown of the costs of equipment, bus transportation, and admission or costs for the field trips, are enclosed in the Spreadsheet Breakdown enclosed in this report. A brief explanation of each category is as follows: Equipment Costs: $525 Bus Transportation: $2527.64 Field Trip Costs: $1030.00

Performance Measures Government Coordination and Decision-Making Does your project involve educational activities? Describe the number of activities by performance indicator(s) and the number of participants.

Thursday, May 14th Evening Program with two keynote speakers – 145 Participants

Friday, May 15th 12 Field Trips – 337 Participants, 20 Presenters 30 Presentations – 337 Participants (Each participant attended 2 presentations) 1 College and Career Fair – 337 Participants, 20 Presenters Evening Keynote Speaker – 337 Participants, 1 Presenter

Saturday, May 16th 5 Field Trips – 137 Participants, 6 Presenters 19 Presentations – 137 Participants, 25 Presenters (Each participant attended 3 presentations) Evening Lake Superior Tile Project – 137 Participants, 2 Presenters

Sunday, May 17th Keynote Speaker – 137 Participants, 1 Presenter

All participants were given a pre- and post-surveys to determine their knowledge about Lake Superior with six questions. The results are as follows. Question #1. Could you list five facts about Lake Superior? Pre-Survey No Way Maybe Possible Sure No Problem 3% 31% 19% 24% 22% Post Survey 1% 10% 16% 35% 38%

• Participants showed an increase in knowledge about Lake Superior. Question #2. Your overall knowledge about Lake Superior’s nature, culture, and history is? Pre-Survey Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent 13% 27% 43% 16% 1% Post-Survey 0% 12% 37% 38% 13%

• Participants showed an increase in knowledge about Lake Superior’s nature, culture, and history.

Question #3. Lake Superior is the largest lake in the world by volume. Pre-Survey True False 53% 47% Post-Survey 29% 71%

• Tough Question – The answer is false, Lake Superior is the largest by surface area, not volume. More participants answered the question correctly in the post-survey.

Question #4. Lake Superior is the most polluted of all the Great Lakes. Pre-Survey True False 21% 79% Post-Survey 9% 91%

• More participants answered this question correctly in the post-survey.

Question #5. Are there invasive species in Lake Superior? Pre-Survey Yes No 88% 12% Post-Survey 86% 14%

• This question did not improve but the participants were asked to name invasive species in both the pre- and post-surveys. They were able to correctly name the sea lamprey, zebra mussel, spiny water flea, and the round goby in the post-survey.

Question #6. What types of environmental jobs are available to you? Pre-Survey Number of jobs listed 15 Post-Survey 39

• The jobs listed in the pre-survey were general but the jobs listed in the post-survey included: campus sustainability director, worm watcher, trout raiser, arctic explorer, weather forecaster, environmental educator, butterfly monitor, forest manager, frog toxicologist, EPA scientist, biochemist, and bird watcher.

Participants were also asked about what they learned about Lake Superior during the event. The following were some of the responses: • • • • • I learned how the sand dunes were formed. How fast the lake temperature is rising Water temperature changes with air temperature. The amount of effect it (Lake Superior) has on the world I learned that many different people care for Lake Superior and each one is trying in their own way to make sure that the lake is here for future generations. The lake needs to have ice on it and there is less every year. Worms were not originally here. Lake Superior was the only one of the Great Lakes to be initially formed by a rift. Lake Superior was formed the same as East Africa rift lakes–Malawi and Tanganyika. That it’s approximately 1200 miles in perimeter, and can take about 90 days to kayak. There are a lot of different moods of the weather, all because of the different geology of the lake. Lake trout are almost extinct.

• • • • • • •

• • • •

Composting is a very important thing to do for society and saving the Earth. The EPA cannot help you unless requested by the state. At 4 degrees the density of the water switches and turns. Lake Superior is more diverse than I thought, it is also changing faster than I knew. • Some fish get confused if they’re male or female from the chemicals that get into the lake. • Monarchs migrate all the way from Mexico, they have weird genes that make them develop. • Lake Superior is the second largest in volume.

Leveraged Dollars
Environmental Protection Agency Salaries Supplies Student Participant Scholarships Layout and Printing Postage Presenter Honorariums Feature Presenter Stipends Model Student Groups Indirect Charges $43,874 $17,500 $3,269 $10,280 $2,380 $800 $2,850 $1,750 $4,200 $845

The Lake Superior Youth Symposium was such a worthwhile event and I would not hesitate to hold the event in the future, although I would not want to be the project manager again. It is a lot of work! I look forward to taking many groups of students to the event every two years. Two major groups or people were instrumental to the project. One is a reliable, hard-working steering committee. We were very fortunate to have a group of 12 individuals that were committed from the start to the completion of the project. This group was diverse in talent and was essential to our success. Two of these individuals were paid positions for 7 hours a week. This was also important because the co-chairs kept the whole group moving and were important to the overall organization of the tasks throughout the planning stage. The second group was our Youth Advisory Team. This was a group of 12 high school students that met throughout an entire year to organize many aspects of the symposium. They were amazing during the symposium itself. They split themselves up and had one or two members attending each and every presentation, field trip, and event throughout the 4 days. They greeted the presenters, took care of their needs, distributed the evaluations, carried first aid kits and other supplies and other duties that are too numerous to list. They also organized and led all of the social events during the symposium. Their job continued after the symposium by tabulating the evaluation results. They were amazing. The toughest task of the symposium was securing the funds through grant writing and participant registration fees. The economy at the time of the symposium was poor and schools were not able to contribute much toward registration fees. Each individual school group had fundraisers to earn their money to attend. The symposium steering committee raised a considerable amount of money to lower the registration costs of attending the symposium. Without this hard work, the participant numbers would have been much lower.

We also tried something new this year at the 8th biennial Lake Superior Youth Symposium. We held a one day event and a four day event. The one day participants attended all day on Friday. We found that the one day participants did not learn as much and also were not as behaved as the four day participants but they still learned quite a bit about Lake Superior. The biggest advantage to the one day event is that the schools that attended for one day had never attended the symposium in the past and they expressed interest in coming for the full four days to the next symposium. This should help to expand the base of schools that come back year after year.


Dissemination of Project Results 1. Direct Mail • • • • 2. Radio • Radio Interview in Hancock, MI – May 8, 2009 10 months before – mailed postcard (enclosed) 7 months before – mailed sponsorship letters with flyers for promotion 6 months before – mailed flyer (enclosed) 3 months before – mailed booklet with registration materials (enclosed)

3. Newsletters • • • • • • GLEAMS – Great Lakes Educators COSEE Sweetwater Seascape– Center for Ocean Sciences Educational Excellence Minnesota Sea Grant Association for Women in Science Proctor Rail Review Proctor school newsletters

4. Newspapers • • Proctor Journal, November 2008, March 2009, May 2009 Duluth News-Tribune, December 2008, May 2009

5. Websites • • • • • • • Lakesuperioryouth.org (Symposium webpage) Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society Duluth News Tribune Website www.youtube.com/user/lakesuperioryouth Environmental Education in Wisconsin (eeinwisconsin.org) University of Wisconsin Extension Basin Educator Minnesota sustainable Communities Network

6. Presentations • • Proctor School Board, May 2009 CERTS, Clean Energy Resource Teams, April 2009

7. Magazine • Lake Superior Magazine, April 2009, October 2009

8. Symposium Website • Lakesuperioryouth.org

This website has been active from previous symposiums and was undated continually throughout this symposium. It contained general information, photos, schedule of events, registration forms and contact information.

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