published April 28, 2010

Featured GLISTEN Cluster: Western Lake Superior

Five Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship through Education Network (GLISTEN) Collaborative Clusters have begun their GLISTEN activities, including integration of Great Lakes issues into STEM courses and collaborations with community partners. Beginning today, each issue of the eNews will feature a closer look at one of our Clusters. This week's eNews focuses on the Western Lake Superior Collaborative Cluster, which is led by the University of Minnesota Duluth. Cluster Coordinator Pat Schoff attended last week's Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session and disseminated the Duluth/Superior Cluster's future plans and their progress thus far.

The Western Lake Superior GLISTEN Collaborative Cluster is composed of STEM faculty, civic engagement, and service learning staff from four academic institutions (University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Wisconsin - Superior, Lake Superior College and Northland College), and representatives from a variety of environmental stewardship-focused community groups. By combining conventional classroom education with experiential learning, the Duluth/Superior GLISTEN projects will accomplish multiple goals. First, undergraduates from many backgrounds and on several different career paths will learn first-hand that human activities can cause or ameliorate harm in their environment. Second, the Stewardship Liaisons, select students who are committed to leadership in environmental stewardship, will experience the challenges and rewards inherent in directing civic engagement projects. Their academic training will be enhanced by mentoring they will receive from community leaders, formal leadership training, and by participation with their peers in cluster meetings and national workshops. Finally, the GLISTEN program will assist faculty to modify curricula to include environmental stewardship-focused civic engagement components, which will fulfill a common, but often unrealized, goal among many stewardship-minded STEM faculty.

The cluster projects identified thus far focus primarily on mitigation of human impacts on riparian landscapes, restoration of degraded habitat, identification and removal of invasive species, chemical and biological monitoring, and assessment of storm water runoff in Lake Superior and surrounding watersheds. Community partners who will be actively participating in the Duluth/Superior Cluster include the Great Lakes Aquarium, St. Louis River Alliance, Laurentian Resource Conservation and Development Council, Trout Unlimited and Bad River Watershed Alliance.

To learn more about the Duluth/Superior Cluster or any other GLISTEN Collaborative Cluster, please visit our website ( This site may be offline. ) . Pat Schoff's poster and presentation from the Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session can be found on the Washington Symposium page.

- Amanda Moodie, NCSCE Program Assistant