Middle & High School Pilot Program: Lake Sturgeon Community Science

Wanted: Middle & High School Educators & Students to pilot a new Lake Sturgeon Community Science pilot program!

Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife faculty and staff, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Sea Grant, and MSU Extension are launching a Lake Sturgeon Community Science Program in 2021.
As part of this community science effort, students will help researchers better understand biodiversity and sturgeon predators in Michigan's Black River system. After learning about Lake Sturgeon and how to identify fish, students will apply these skills and ID fish from underwater video footage of the Black River system. Some of these fish may be predators of juvenile sturgeon during the spawning season, a critical time for this threatened MI species. 

Through the pilot, teachers will have access to a suite of instructional videos and lessons pertaining to lake sturgeon and ecological communities in the Great Lakes and their tributaries. This community science program builds upon past educational resources available at the Black River Lake Sturgeon Research website.

Selected applicants will receive a $200 honoraria and NGSS-aligned resources via Google Classroom including:
  1. Underwater video taken from the Black River, MI during the lake sturgeon spawning period in 2020
  2. A video by one of the project leaders that outline all general conceptual areas and goals of the lessons
  3. Slides of instructional materials for all conceptual areas
  4. Background text that provide references that students can use to discuss and answer lesson questions.
  5. Sets of learning objectives and desired outcomes

Teachers should anticipate 3 hours for training and their students spending 6 hours completing the lesson. Following the program, applicants will be asked to evaluate the program, including suggestions for program improvement.

Interested applicants should submit an application by December 4, 2020.  Teacher selection will be made by December 11, 2020.  Instructional materials and an orientation will be provided in the beginning-mid of January 2021. Classrooms should plan to complete the lesson and share their data with researchers by the end of February 2021 and an evaluation completed by March 15, 2021. This program is supported with funding from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Center for Great Lakes Literacy.

Registration for Attendee Registration is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on December 4, 2020.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information, contact Doug Larson at larso147@msu.edu or Meaghan Gass at gassmeag@msu.edu.