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Ohio Sea Grant College Program
and Stone Laboratory

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

Teacher Awareness of Great Lakes Issues

Project Number: E/TE-001, Completion Report

Start Date: 9/1/1988

Completion Date: 8/31/1990

Revision Date: 3/12/2012

Classified Under: Education

Principal Investigator(s)1.Rosanne W. Fortner, COSEE Great Lakes*
Co-Principal Investigator(s)2.Victor J. Mayer, Educational Theory & Practice The Ohio State University*
This shows the current affiliation and may not match affiliation at time of participation. *

Funding Record

Source: Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Source FundState MatchPass Through
Total$ 56,545.00$ 93,056.00$ 0.00


To assess the level of awareness of junior high and high school teachers of global issues as manifested in the Great Lakes region.
To expand with the IJC a database of instructional materials for teaching about these issues.
To introduce teacher leaders to these issues through their professional organizations.
To cooperate in bilateral education efforts of various Great Lakes agencies.
To continue the outreach of the education program of Ohio Sea Grant.


Research shows that teachers who do not know about the importance of a topic do not feel it has a high priority for their students' curriculum. The first year's work will serve as a needs assessment for the subject matter of continued efforts in teacher education, focusing more on teacher knowledge of critical aquatic issues than on characteristics of aquatic environments. Results of Year 1 will shape the teacher training programs in Years 2 and 3. A focus on critical issues is consistent with a resurgence of interest nationally in the quality of the environment.


Task 4, Year 1: develop and administer a teacher information survey in the Lake Erie Basin jurisdictions and coordinate similar efforts among other basins. The survey will be developed and distributed with assistance of the IJC, Great Lakes Commission and Ohio Coastal Resources Management Program (OCRMP). Task 2, Objectives 4 and 5, Years 1-2: provide some outreach support for the investigators as leaders of Great Lakes education and of the national organizations that deal directly with marine education and science teaching. The project director will be president of the National Marine Educators Association in 1988.

Benefits & Accomplishments

Rationale was established for new directions in issue-oriented Great Lakes education. Revealed useful information on materials used and training desired by teachers.

Conducted two types of assessment of teacher knowledge of Great Lakes issues, one among random Ohio 5th and 9th grade teachers, and one among regional science teachers at professional meetings. Worked with the IJC to update its database of instructional materials and to introduce Great Lakes environmental education through a regional teleconference. Demonstrated leadership in national marine education.

Tested 300 teachers at science education conferences. Identified topics they wished to teach but felt they had inadequate knowledge. Identified short workshops as most desired method of inservice. Teachers knew more about oceans than Great Lakes.

Publications & Media

Deprecated: Miscellaneous documents
Deprecated: Miscellaneous documentsBrothers and Fortner. 1991, Eating like a bird
OEAGLs. EP-030
Deprecated: Miscellaneous documentsBrothers, Culver and Fortner. 1991, Lake layers, Stratification
OEAGLs. EP-028
Deprecated: Miscellaneous documentsBrothers, Culver and Fortner. 1991, Phosphorus and eutrophication
Peer-reviewed reprints
Peer-reviewed reprintsFortner, R.W. and V. Mayer. 1989, Marine and aquatic education: A challenge for science educators
Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-109.
Peer-reviewed reprintsFortner, R.W. 1988, Teaching about local environmental issues with an adapted board game
Science Activities. 25(1): 25-30.

Supported Students

StudentChristine C. Brothers (Graduate, M.S. - 1990)
The Ohio State University
Title: Impact of television on public environmental knowledge of Great Lakes issues.
StudentGeorgia Blum (Graduate, M.S. - 1992)
The Ohio State University
Title: Fisheries recruitment. The Ohio State University School of Natural Resources.
StudentJung-Sook Yoon (Graduate, Ph.D. - 1990)
The Ohio State University
Dissertation Title: Analysis of time-series data for OEAGLS.
StudentMarcia L. Seager (Graduate, M.S. - 1988)
The Ohio State University
Title: Priorities for and constraints to teaching selected Great Lakes and oceanic topics: Indicators of needs and directions.
StudentSusan Pflaumer (Graduate, M.S. - 1989)
The Ohio State University
Title: Educational games for adult leaning about the Great Lakes.