Ohio State Field Course on the Brig Niagara Puts Historical Twist on Environmental Science | Ohio Sea Grant

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Ohio State Field Course on the Brig Niagara Puts Historical Twist on Environmental Science

12:00 pm, Wed February 13, 2013 –

Put-in-Bay, OH Students interested in Great Lakes ecology, history, and policy have a unique option for a summer class this year: Ohio State University’s Stone Lab, Niagara University, and Penn State University are again offering “Environmental Science on the Brig Niagara”? now in its third year. The three-week trip across the Great Lakes will introduce students to hands-on lake science and Great Lakes policy issues while allowing them to experience life aboard an authentic wooden naval warship, a replica of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship from the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

“This opportunity to experience the Great Lakes first hand, to be a sailor and a scientist at the same time, won’t happen twice in a lifetime”? says Dr. Bill Edwards, Associate Professor of Biology at Niagara University and one of two lead instructors for the course. “To actually experience the Great Lakes first-hand, living on a sailing ship at the same time as you’re learning the science, you won’t get that anywhere else.”?

Students will travel through Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Huron, stopping at ports of call in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, including a two-day stay at Stone Laboratory. Much of the course includes sailing the ship, water sampling, fish trawling and dissections, and a general close-up on how lake science and ship handling works. Class discussions will expand students’ knowledge of current issues facing the Great Lakes, as well as apply newly learned materials to concerns about Great Lakes environmental policy.

While previous sailing experience is not required, students will be expected to help sail the ship (within their level of comfort). Students from any college or university are welcome to apply for this field experience, running May 18 — June 7, 2013. Stone Lab will be offering 2 semester hours of Ohio State undergraduate course credit for EEOB 3189: Field Experience. The application deadline is March 19; more information about the course is available from Dr. Edwards and on the Stone Lab website,

Located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor, Stone Laboratory is Ohio State’s Island Campus on Lake Erie and the research, education, and outreach facility of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Established in 1895, Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University’s teaching and research on Lake Erie. Stone Lab offers 25 college-credit science courses each summer for undergraduate and graduate students, advanced high school students, and educators. For information on Stone Laboratory, visit


Bill Edwards, Associate Professor, Niagara University,

Stone Lab Columbus Office,

ARTICLE TITLE: Ohio State Field Course on the Brig Niagara Puts Historical Twist on Environmental Science PUBLISHED: 12:00 pm, Wed February 13, 2013 | MODIFIED: 1:12 pm, Tue April 28, 2015
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Christina Dierkes
Outreach Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

As Ohio Sea Grant’s science writer, Christina covers research, education and outreach projects in the Great Lakes for a wide range of audiences. She also helps manage online events like Stone Lab’s Guest Lecture Series.