Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) has been conducting its Schoolship programs for over 30 years. On each program students turn into sailors, scientists, and stewards for the day as they help collect data while also hauling on lines and learning how to speak up or take action for the Great Lakes. There are many other vessel-based operations like this on the Great Lakes, however, ISEA is unique in that all of this collected information has been recorded, kept, and digitized. With 30+ years of scientific monitoring, and a program stronger than ever, the record has entered into the realm of being a decades-long dataset with unique potential to tell one part of the story of Grand Traverse Bay.
As part of a larger effort currently underway, (outlined in the recently released ISEA 5-year Strategic Plan) ISEA is evaluating its entire science data process in order to set the stage for the next 30 years worth of data collection. In order to do this effectively, ISEA has teamed up with the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, participating as a community client within Dr. Paul Seelbach’s theme-based course titled: Water Resources and Communities. A team of four Master’s students has been assembled to take this project to the next level over the course of this summer and the next academic school year. The project’s current working title is ‘Maximizing the value of Schoolship data: designing a long-term citizen science program for the twenty-first century.’ The goal of the project will be to assist ISEA in creating a robust, enduring science monitoring strategy that maximizes the value and use of the unique platforms available, while streamlining the process of collection and sharing.
U of M Master’s Students Working on Project
I grew up in an urban area in Beijing, China but still have a long fascination with fish and biology since I was young. I earned a degree in biological sciences from University of Pittsburgh. Through my undergraduate study, I have found interest in ecology and environmental sciences. After taking a gap year and volunteering in Florida, I got accepted into University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. Currently, I am in the UM research team working with ISEA to find the best database management strategy.
In my free time, I love to experiment with cooking and explore trails. It is my pleasure to meet everyone!