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Science on Deck

The R/V Blue Heron
July 19, 2016

Tour two research vessels and hear about exploring tiny organisms in a large lake

News Release — For info contact Lori Melton,, 218-726-8830.

The scientists and staff of UMD's Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) invite the public to board and tour the Blue Heron research vessel on Friday, July 22, in the Twin Ports Harbor near the Great Lakes Aquarium, 353 Harbor Drive.

The LLO Science on Deck event is free and will take place from 12 noon-4 pm. LLO Assistant Professor Dr. Cody Sheik will present "Microbial Life in Lake Superior: Exploring tiny organisms in a Large Lake!" from 3:15–3:45 pm.

In addition, the Lake Explorer II, owned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will provide guided tours on board at the same time. This vessel is being used to conduct research on environmental stressors affecting the Great Lakes -- things such as toxic and nutrient pollution, invasive species, habitat loss and degradation, and polluted runoff. The Lake Explorer IIserves the EPA as an important tool in protecting the environmental health of the Great Lakes.

A new exhibit at the Great Lakes Aquarium may also be of interest. Named "Unsalted Seas," the exhibit showcases a replica of the R/V Blue Heron and information about the UMD Large Lakes Observatory’s research on lakes.

LLO operates the largest university-owned research vessel (R/V) in the Great Lakes, the R/V Blue Heron. The Blue Heron is part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) and is chartered by research scientists on any of the Great Lakes. Located on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota, LLO is the only institute in the country dedicated to the study of large lakes throughout the world. They focus on the global implications of investigations in the areas of aquatic chemistry, circulation dynamics, geochemistry, acoustic remote sensing, plankton dynamics, sedimentology and paleoclimatology.

Contact Lisa at for questions or to confirm group attendance. See