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A Floating Laboratory

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Invigorating Presentations on a Cool Harbor

R/V Blue Heron University of Minnesota Duluth
The R/V Blue Heron is the largest university-owned research vessel in the Great Lakes. Built in 1985 for fishing on the Grand Banks, the Blue Heron was purchased by the University of Minnesota in 1997 and converted into a limnological research vessel. She is outfitted with state-of-the-art research equipment, has berthing for 11 crew and scientists, and can operate 24 hours per day for up to 21 days in between port calls.

UMD's Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) is bringing the Blue Heron research vessel back to the Twin Ports Harbor at the Great Lakes Aquarium for another year of "LLO Science Friday" events.

A boatload of scientists and researchers will drop anchor in the harbor and present topics to the public. The family-friendly events are free and will take place from 12:30-4:30 pm on May 30, June 20, July 18, August 22, and September 26, 2014. The May 30 presentation will be: "Changes in the Lake Superior Basin."  

The Large Lakes Observatory operates the largest university-owned research vessel (R/V) in the Great Lakes, the R/V Blue Heron. The Blue Heron is part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), and is chartered by research scientists on any of the Great Lakes. The R/V Blue Heron will tie up on "LLO Science Friday" in the Twin Ports Harbor at the Great Lakes Aquarium, 353 Harbor Drive.

At each session, one of LLO's scientists will provide a presentation from 3:30-4:30 pm on recent global large lake research. In addition, the broadcast of "Talk of the Nation-Science Friday", hosted by Ira Flatow will air. This two hour radio show is provided by KUWS-FM on board the R/V Blue Heron from 1 pm–3 pm on each of the LLO Science Fridays.

Located on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota, LLO is the only institute in the country dedicated to the study of large lakes throughout the world. They focus on the global implications of investigations in the areas of aquatic chemistry, circulation dynamics, geochemistry, acoustic remote sensing, plankton dynamics, sedimentology and paleoclimatology.

LLO has made available a slideshow of photographs from one of last year's presentations. Their website can be found here.

For more information contact Lisa Sundberg, Large Lakes Observatory staff, 218-726-8683,

Written by Zach Lunderberg, May 2014.


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