Gannon University Dean Sets Sail to Share Knowledge Along the Great Lakes

Published 06/09 2014 04:41PM

Updated 06/09 2014 04:44PM

Erie, Pa. -- This summer, Steven Mauro, Ph.D., dean of Gannon University’s Morosky Health Professions and Sciences, will
be teaching two shipboard classes: on the U.S. Brig Niagara in June, and as lead researcher on the R/V Lake Guardian, a
180-foot-long research vessel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the following month.

Mauro will be teaching on the first five days of a three-week voyage that will take Niagara from its homeport in Erie to
Duluth, Minn., sailing Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior. Students on Niagara will be enrolled in a three-credit biology course
entitled Microbial Ecology: Great Lakes Environmental Science. Subjects explored in the course include lake ecology, the
effect of micro plastic debris, microbiology, marine archaeology and the history and ecology of the Great Lakes. In addition
to their academic activities, the students will learn traditional seamanship on a square-rigged sailing ship.

In July, Mauro will once again take to the lake to lead a team of 15 high school science teachers in a shipboard science
workshop. Mauro will instruct the teachers in laboratory procedures associated with measuring water quality in a week-long
workshop that will take the Lake Guardian from the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland to Erie and then to Put-In-Bay,

Dean Mauro’s summer teaching initiatives are just one more example of why Gannon University and their experts in the
marine biology field are proud to announce the addition of the freshwater and marine biology Major in Fall of 2015. The new
program in freshwater and marine biology complements existing Gannon University majors in biology and environmental
science/engineering. The program will require a minimum of 19 credits in such courses as Aquatic Microbiology, Aquatic
Toxicology and Tropical Marine Biology, a course taught in the Bahamas. Mauro said that there are approximately 60
aquatic science programs in the U.S., very few of which specialize in freshwater biology.

The Lake Guardian workshop is supported facilitated by Pennsylvania Sea Grant, which is a joint effort a partnership
between Penn State University, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania and is part of the National Sea Grant College Network, which sponsors research, education, training, and
outreach projects to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of coastal resources. The
Environmental Protection Agency supports this collaboration between researchers and educators by covering all of the
ship’s operating costs for the cruise.

For more information about the Lake Guardian workshop, visit

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