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- Lake Ecology Field Program
- Special Projects Program


Lake Ecology Field Program on Board MV Namao

The Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium Inc. offers a unique Lake Ecology Field Program to students between grades 8 and 12 on board the M.V. Namao.

What does it involve? Students set sail from Gimli, Manitoba on a half-day excursion in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg to sample and analyze various components of the lake ecosystem including water, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos. Two recent additions to the program are the analyses of E. coli (a bacterium) and microcystin-LR (a common algal toxin). The program is filled with hands-on learning opportunities using a variety of sampling and analytical equipment, as well as microscopes and taxonomic keys. While on board, students are responsible for taking accurate field notes, including drawing specimens, and completing an on-board written and video assignment. The video assignment is intended to support in-class initiatives that extend the field trip beyond the classroom and into the school and community. All trips are preceded by a classroom visit, powerpoint presentation describing the changes in the lake ecosystem, and a reading assignment.

Who can apply? Any teacher or special education group interested in Lake Winnipeg. At present, the Lake Ecology Field Program is well-suited, but not limited to, the following clusters within the Provincial curriculum.
- Grade 6 Diversity of Living Things
- Grade 7 Interactions within Ecosystems
- Grade 8 Water Systems on Earth
- Grade 10 Science, Dynamics of Ecosystems
- Grade 11 Current Topics in the Sciences
- Grade 12 Interdisciplinary Topics in Science

How often is the program offered? The Lake Ecology Field Program is offered twice a year when funds are available - in the spring (after ice-out) and in the fall (following the fall science survey).

What is the cost? There is no cost to participate in this program except for transport to Gimli, Manitoba, which is the responsibility of the participating school.

To apply: Teachers interested in participating in this Program should contact Dr. Karen Scott at In the late winter (spring program) or early fall (fall program), those teachers will be sent an application form.

Application Deadlines: April 15th (spring) and September 15th (fall) provisional upon funding

What are the selection criteria? Priority will be given to classes that are engaged in a water stewardship outreach activity that extends beyond the classroom and into the school or community. For example, this may include student presentations to other classes or community groups, a video production, art projects, water sampling - the only limit is the imagination. Please review the application form for more specific details.

Successful Applicants -- General Information
Statement of Risks - all persons intending to board M.V. Namao must read this form
Waiver - all persons must sign or have signed (minors) this waiver before being permitted to board the ship. (Having trouble deciphering the waiver? Click here for an example.)

Field trip guidelines for schools - teachers, please read.

Map to MV Namao - how to get to the ship once in Gimli. Don't go down the wrong pier!

The Special Projects Program
This program is designed to facilitate and provide support to grassroots initiatives that are related to water, in both the arts and sciences. Anyone can participate - the more diverse the better. The ideas come from you and we help you to achieve your goals. Support by the LWRC may be provided in the form of a small financial contribution, equipment loans, class or group visits, expertise, and access to the research vessel Namao. In addition, your special project will be profiled on the LWRC website.

Check out the "What You are Doing" page to see what others are working on, or contact us ( to discuss your ideas.