There’s a whole other world living and growing alongside Chicago’s busy streets in Lake Michigan. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) have teamed up to help acquaint local residents with this world as a part of the Museum of Science and Industry’s “Science Saturdays.”
“We hope to expose the public to some of the organisms living in the lake, how we sample them, what types of questions we are trying to answer, and what the answers mean for the management of the lake,” said IISG aquatic invasives specialist Pat Charlebois.
The tour—directed towards those aged seven and up—will be held on Saturday, July 18, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. It will take place at North Point Marina in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, where researchers from the Lake Michigan Biological Station, an INHS field station, will lead a shore-based exploration of aquatic life in Lake Michigan. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about—and at some stages touch—the invertebrates and offshore and nearshore fishes that inhabit the lake.
Science Saturdays are a part of a yearlong initiative, called Science Chicago, aiming to establish the crucial value of science and math in its residents. The museum initiative “brings together more than 140 of the area’s leading academic, scientific, corporate, and non-profit institutions to host thousands of programs that provide hands-on learning, spur thoughtful debate, and build enthusiasm for the pursuit of cutting-edge science.”
IISG, as a part of its on-going efforts to educate the public about water issues in the region, is organizing the Lake Michigan event. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase the lake and the work that researchers at the Lake Michigan Biological Station are doing to understand more about it,” said Charlebois.