CHESTERTON | On Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, youth, students, teachers, individuals – everyone – can meet with researchers conducting scientific investigations at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore! “Indiana Dunes, Science, and YOU!” is designed to be fun for young adults up through senior citizens, and is sponsored by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the USGS Great Lakes Science Center Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station, the Dunes National Park Association, and the Great Lakes Research and Education Center. A series of short, interactive presentations will be held at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center on Indiana State Road 49, just south of Hwy 20 in Porter, Indiana. Presentations will be followed by special field trips. To enhance the fun, free educational materials will be available for everyone courtesy of the Dunes National Park Association!
“Science is a trajectory toward understanding”, says 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 Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. At the same time, we hope it will encourage people to take an interest in science.”
Scientists speaking Friday evening beginning at 7:00 pm will highlight what science in the Indiana Dunes tells us about the rest of the world. The programs they present will also explore singing insects, what climate change might mean for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and how amphibians are responding to climate change. An outdoor “Frog Frolic -Frog Call Adventure” will follow.
On Saturday, May 4, the fun begins at 10:00 a.m. with a look into the minds of scientists! Presentations that morning will focus on scientists’ use of inquiry throughout their investigations. Researchers will share their work on water quality and swimmers health, bittersweet lianas, Karner blue butterflies, and aquatic invertebrates. A lunch break will allow time for visitors to chat informally with scientists before afternoon field trips begin. (Participants should bring their own lunches.) At 1:30 p.m. program participants can join in an outdoor session showcasing vegetation and environmental sampling in wildlands or a session to sample aquatic invertebrates. At 3:30 pm visitors can select a field experience exploring microbes and water quality along streams and beaches or an investigative inquiry into wetlands.