Science programs offered at National Lakeshore

2013-05-03T00:00:00Z Science programs offered at National LakeshoreTimes Staff nwitimes.com
May 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PORTER | Meet with researchers conducting scientific investigations at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Friday and Saturday for “Indiana Dunes, Science and YOU!”

These interactive programs are designed to be fun for all ages and are sponsored by the National Park Service and the United States Geological Survey. Indoor presentations at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center will be followed by special field trips in the national lakeshore. All programs and field trips are presented free of charge. To enhance the fun, free educational materials will be available through a generous donation by the Dunes National Park Association.

“Science is a trajectory toward understanding," said Wendy Smith, Education Coordinator for the Great Lakes Research and Education Center. “We need science so we’ll understand how best to care for our resources. This will be a great opportunity to learn how scientific investigations help park managers. At the same time, we hope it will encourage people to take an interest in science.”

At 7 p.m. Friday, scientists will highlight what some of the research results from Indiana Dunes may tell about the rest of the world. Presentations at the visitor center on Friday will explore stinging insects, what climate change might mean for dune environments, and how amphibians are responding to climate change. An outdoor, “Frog Frolic - Frog Call Adventure” will follow.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, get a look into the minds of scientists. Presentations at the visitor center that morning will focus on scientists’ use of inquiry throughout their investigations.

Researchers will share their work on water quality and swimmers’ health, invasive Oriental Bittersweet vines, Karner blue butterflies, and aquatic invertebrates. A lunch break will allow time for visitors to chat informally with scientists before a series of afternoon field trips. Participants should bring their own lunches.

At 1:30 p.m., join an outdoor field trip showcasing vegetation and environmental sampling, or a trip to sample aquatic invertebrates. At 3:30 p.m., visitors can select a field experience exploring microbes and water quality along streams and beaches, or one offering an investigative inquiry into wetlands.

These programs are designed for a general audience, but teachers attending can receive Professional Growth Experience Points. The indoor programs meet at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at 1215 N. Ind. 49.

For a detailed schedule of presentations and field trip locations, visit www.nps.gov/indu or contact Wendy Smith at (219) 395-1987 or by email at wendy_w_smith@nps.gov.

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