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

Posted: June 9, 2014

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, Ohio.

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.

More information about the Lake Guardian workshop is available here.

Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK)

Gannon University announces the launch of the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK).