National Biological Service
Environmental Education Consortium
In 1997 the Indiana Dunes Environmental Education Consortium formed in Northwest Indiana to promote greater understanding and stewardship for natural resources in the southern Lake Michigan region. The Consortium is a private, nonprofit organization which includes representatives from industry, environmental groups, and educators. The first major project of the Consortium was the reopening and operating of Camp Good Fellow in cooperation with the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Camp Good Fellow is an outdoor environmental education center within the national park. A residential program for elementary grades will be the primary use of the center on weekdays during the school year. The facility will be the base for teacher training and other uses, including special activities for proposed high school programs, during weekends, school holidays, and the summer. The camp is scheduled to open in the fall of 1998.93
Biological Resources Division
One of the federal agencies concerned with research and education is the Biological Resources Division of the USGS. The mission of the Biological Resources Division is to "work with others to provide the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources. A fundamental part of our mission is embodied in our deep commitment to make data and information on the Nation's biological resources more accessible to more people."
The Great Lakes Science Center of the Biological Resources Division is located on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. The Center engages in a variety of scientific activities relating to biodiversity and challenges posed by exotic species. Among its long-term databases are dynamic models of Great Lakes aquatic communities, including current studies of major fish prey and predator species. A field station of the Great Lakes Science Center, is located within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.944-H Services
One of the functions of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is 4-H. The focus of 4-H is upon the state's youth. School age participants advance their knowledge through a variety of processes, including the preparation of exhibits. Subjects addressed include entomology, forestry, and wildlife. The complexity of projects increases as a participant achieves a greater sophistication in a chosen area of study.
The Lake County 4-H is implementing an educational program developed by Sea Grant entitled "Wetlands are Wonderlands." Consideration is also being given to another educational program developed by Sea Grant to focus upon the challenges presented by the introduction into Lake Michigan and several northern Indiana lakes of zebra mussels.95
The Porter County 4-H is also reviewing Sea Grant efforts directed to wetlands and zebra mussels. These programs are designed to help young people understand how they can work with and learn from Sea Grant materials.96
The Illinois Indiana Sea Grant Program facilitates research and education of coastal issues. The program has been active in research and education about nonindigenous species. In particular, the program has developed the Zebra Mussel Mania Traveling Trunk to be implemented into fifth and sixth grade curriculums across the nation. In addition to learning about zebra mussels, Zebra Mussel Mania allows students to "learn about other aquatic invaders such as spiny water flea, sea lamprey, ruffe and purple loosestrife. . ." and understand "the serious problems that may arise when a new species is introduced in any ecosystem."97