Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station and Campus

The Inland Seas Capt. Thomas M. Biological Station is open to the public free of charge during business hours. Exhibits in the Education Center are designed to complement shipboard activities and involve many science and historical aspects of the Great Lakes. Try your hand at raising the sail or securing a line on the pin. Watch plankton videos or view bugs under the microscope. Crawl through the benthos tunnel or learn more about invasive species. Don’t forget to check out the Zebra Bike taken out of Boardman Lake! Our hands-on, interactive exhibit space is available for scheduled programs as well as self-guided tours.

The centerpiece of the Bio Station is Our Inland Seas” Mural Learning Station, painted by local artist Glenn Wolff. Covering an entire wall, this giant Great Lakes watershed mural incorporates elements of the history, ecology, and economics of the Great Lakes. In addition to being a wonderful work of art, “Our Inland Seas” is an effective teaching tool, leading to thoughtful discussion of the many aspects of life in the Great Lakes regions. 

Our exhibits include: [View photos of Center]

  • The Great Lakes Food Web 
  • Great Lakes Plankton
  • Benthos 
  • Great Lakes Invasives
  • Great Lakes Fish – Freshwater aquariums with Great Lakes fish
  • Who is Inland Seas?
  • Turtle Tank
The David Garber Great Lakes Science Room (Lab)

The David Garber Great Lakes Science Room is the perfect lab space for teachers and their students, as well as researchers, to analyze samples and data gathered on the ship or on shore. The space is flexible to accommodate students learning different scientific theories and concepts to university professors working on specific research projects. Science lab equipment is available. Contact Inland Seas at 231.271.3077 for more information on using this space.


Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station Campus

Great Lake Circle

The Great Lakes Circle is an area of the campus where school groups gather to discuss the Great Lakes and its watershed. Public guests can sit in this area to take a break from shopping in Suttons Bay or to enjoy the Great Lakes mural.

Wetland Walk

The Shoreline Restoration and Wetland Demonstration Project was constructed along our waterfront behind the Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station. These wetlands offer a unique opportunity for educational programs. Guests can learn about the role of coastal wetlands in Michigan as well as what plants and animals call the wetlands home. Interpretive signage is placed along the wetland path and informative wetland brochures are available.

Sign-up for news, events and other ISEA information

Subscribe