published May 12, 2010

Featured GLISTEN Cluster: Gary

The Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship through Education Network (GLISTEN) focus for this issue of the E-News will be on the Northwest Indiana Collaborative Cluster. Located in Gary, Indiana on the Southern shore of Lake Michigan, this Cluster includes faculty from two four-year undergraduate institutions (Indiana University Northwest and Valparaiso University) and a two-year institution (Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.) Local non-profit environmental groups (Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, NIRPC-Northwest Indiana Planning Commission, Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy and NICE - Northwest Indiana Consortium for the Environment), environmental consultants, and government groups (Weaver Boos Consulting, JFNew, Lake Michigan Coastal Program, and USGS Great Lakes Science Center) join faculty and students from each institution in an effort to design ways to work with campus career centers to initiate programs that include access to "green" employment opportunities.

Cluster Coordinator Erin Argyilan from Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana has begun her GLISTEN initiative with curriculum implementation in her newest course, G107: Environmental Geology. The course will specifically focus on Great Lakes curriculum. To complement changes and developments in course curricula, a public monthly Great Lakes Science Seminar Series, hosted by the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, aims to increase the scientific literacy. Invited speakers will present the science of water quality, shoreline erosion, invasive species, and restoration in the area. Topics addressing science education include the application of mathematical modeling to environmental issues and stormwater education.

Beginning next month, Undergraduate Stewardship Liaisons from each institution will participate and collaborate in service-learning experiences that directly serve the needs of local non-profit organizations. Stewardship Liaisons will be mentored by non-profit personnel, university faculty, and environmental consultants. Stewardship Liaisons will contribute to public understanding and undergraduate education by presenting their projects at a session of the Great Lakes Science Seminar (GSSS) and by contributing to the implementation of service-based curricula.

To learn more about the Indiana Northwest Cluster or any other GLISTEN Collaborative Cluster, please visit our website ( This site may be offline. ) .

- Amanda Moodie, Program Assistant for GLISTEN and SENCER

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