Science Institute 2011 Lesson Plans and Resources

The 2011 Science Institute was made possible by Great Lakes Aquarium, Minnesota DNR MinnAqua Program and the Fulbright Canada Eco Leadership Program.

Water quality in the St. Louis River Estuary

Land and water use around this large freshwater estuary has negatively impacted water quality and ecosystem health. Comparison of historic and current research results shows signs of improvement while raising questions about residual impacts.

Download the lesson planactivity cardsestuary map and human influences map .

Decoding Diatoms

Scientists use microscopic plankton found in lake sediment to understand  environmental changes over time.

Download the lesson plan and worksheet.

Climate Change in Lake Superior

Research indicates that water temperatures in Lake Superior have been increasing twice as fast as the air around it. Lake ice cover has been decreasing around the great lakes during the last century. Many human and natural systems are affected by these changes.

Download the lesson plan, worksheet and ice cover images.

Forest Management

 There are many interest groups and environmental factors involved in creating a management plan.

 Download the lesson plan and cards.

Lake Superior Steelhead

Steelhead have adapted to life in Lake Superior, and the DNR uses research to guide management practices.

Download the lesson plan and fishing regulations scavenger hunt  .

Mercury deposition

Mercury deposition from the atmosphere comes largely from emissions cause by human activity. Once in the aquatic ecosystem it can change forms and move through the food chain.

Download the lesson plan.

Marine Debris

Freshwater ecosystems are at risk from plastic litter in the water.

Download the lesson plan, worksheetwater column cross section, plastic density table and Lake Superior feeder cards.

Lake Superior Geology

The history of Lake Superior contains dramatic chapters of fire, ice and inland seas.

Download the lesson plan.