About ISEA

Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire Great Lakes curiosity, stewardship, and passion to people of all ages. Through hands-on, experiential learning activities aboard traditionally-rigged tall ship schooners, participants gain the knowledge needed to understand the commitment necessary for the long-term stewardship of the Great Lakes.

We provide an engaging and informative educational sailing adventure where our participants emerge with a personal connection and sense of stewardship for the Great Lakes. Every year, as many as 5,000 students sail and learn about the Great Lakes aboard ISEA’s science-lab equipped Schoolship Inland Seas and chartered Manitou. The lessons taught during Schoolship programs are aligned with the Michigan curriculum expectations for science and social studies, and go beyond what can be taught in a classroom. Programs offered throughout the summer are geared for individuals of all ages and cover a variety of Great Lakes related topics.

discovery-pierISEA was established in 1989 to provide aquatic science, environmental awareness, and sail training classes for learners of all ages. Over 115,000 students have already participated in ISEA’s shipboard programs, which are taught by over 120 volunteer instructors and ISEA’s professional staff. In 2014, ISEA became a member of Discovery Center~Great Lakes located in Traverse City, MI. The nonprofit members of Discovery Center~Great Lakes are creating a place that will awaken a sense of wonder in people of all ages by encouraging understanding and stewardship of Grand Traverse Bay. Discovery Pier, across from the Discovery Center, is the home to ISEA’s schooner Utopia.

After 27 years on the water, we are convinced that the scientists and citizens who will solve the Great Lakes’ problems of the future are sailing aboard Inland Seas’ ships today.


Each year Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) evaluates the Schoolship season from the perspective of the students, teachers, and volunteers. The students are tested after their participation in the Schoolship program with regards to their retention of Great Lakes food web vocabulary and concepts. Teachers are asked to evaluate the program and to share feedback regarding their students’ continued interest in science and the Great Lakes, as well as the usefulness of the available lesson plans. Volunteers are asked to evaluate all aspects of ISEA’s programming including training, communication, implementation, and evaluation.

The results from these evaluations are compiled into a report and are used to assist with the planning for the upcoming year. Please feel free to access our evaluation reports. If there are any questions, contact the office at (231) 271-3077.

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