Cruise Activities

Hands-on activities are available throughout our cruises. Typically, we divide larger groups into teams of 3-6 for a series of linked "mini-labs". Select a package program, or create your own - click on the options below for activity descriptions. Lab Worksheets are downloadable PDF files (see below or to the right).

Plankton Sampling. Students use a plankton net to gather teeming hordes of tiny but diverse living organisms from the lake. (more...)

Plankton Microscopy. With scopes, available on-board, students can learn to observe and identify the plankton they've collected. (more...)

Water Clarity Analysis. How far does sunlight travel down into the lake? This is an essential measurement when we're monitoring the the environment under the water's surface. (more...)

Profiling the Lake At Different Depths. What changes happen when you start moving from the surface of the water down into the depths of the lake? Depth profiles help us understand how the structure of the lake is changing from one day to the next! (more...)

Sample and Investigate Aquatic Plants. There are so many different aquatic plants. Students can dredge up samples from the bottom of the lake and record data on what plant species they find. (more...)

Collect and Analyze Sediment Samples. The lake's ecosystem is more than just the water column. Keep going down below the sediment, and there is so much more to discover! (more...)

Cruise Program Options

Cayuga Water Lab features 4 stations on the boat at a deep water site, including field/weather conditions, GPS sampling location, Secchi clarity, Water temperature and pH profile, plankton survey. See "Elementary Worksheet.PDF"

Invasive Species Survey features shallow water stops at multiple locations and aquatic plant sampling and observation.

Shoreline Programs

Stream Study featuring a modified benthic macro-invertebrate indexing procedure, is available at Taughannock State Park and Myers Point locations.

Guided Hikes into gorges and along the shore are available at most locations.

Art Programs are available upon request!

Complementary Classroom Activities 

Our instructors can visit your class to help students interpret their lake cruise observations and experience. We also are happy to support classroom experiments and curricula that will enhance your students' experience on the lake.

ASSET Program modules are available in cooperation with the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine. These units guide your students through hands-on experiments that provide insight into plankton biology through the study of the ciliate, "Tetrahymena".

Climate Change and Cayuga. We will share 6 years of student data on water temperatures and other features, and explore the impact of climate change on our lakes and communities.

Trout in the Classroom

We offer Trout in the Classroom school-based programs from October-May. Trout In the Classroom is in schools throughout Tompkins County, and beyond!

Learn more about Trout In the Classroom

Get an inside scoop on all the details, at the Trout in the Classroom Blog!

More Curriculum Links

Incorporating scientific inquiry into your program: NSTA article on Floating Classroom experience

Curriculum Standards Applications

Teaching Great Lakes Science. Lesson plans, guided inquiry & datasets

Science on Seneca Datasets & Info

Community Science Institute Water Quality Database

Jeff Werner,
Sep 29, 2017, 11:39 AM
Jeff Werner,
Sep 29, 2017, 11:39 AM
Jeff Werner,
Sep 29, 2017, 11:39 AM