After a week in Wyoming with our Earth Camp veterans, it was time to welcome a new class to Ann Arbor for their first summer experience. After checking into the dorms, we got right to work getting to know each other during the low-ropes course and climbing wall activity at the U-M Challenge Program.
Day 2 – We focused on water quality today – comparing macroinvertebrate distribution and chemistry in two different water bodies (macroinvertebrates are a proxy for stream health), then headed out on the Huron River in kayaks to explore and enjoy the resource we just studied.
Day 3 – We spent our last day in Ann Arbor on campus. Students built solar cells in the morning and used GPS units to find their way around campus on a scavenger hunt. We had a special treat when our Michigan-bound Earth Camp alumni on campus before their freshman fall semester joined us for lunch.
Day 4 – We left for the west side of Michigan to see and explore the sand dunes and Lake Michigan – this was the first time for many of our students visiting the sand dunes, and for some, hanging out on the beaches of one of our 4 Great Lakes. We started with a dune ride to cover a larger area than we can on foot, then headed up north and promptly got in the (cold!) water – lots of fun on the beach and walk out to the lighthouse.
Day 5 – We lucked out with weather – it was gorgeous our whole time up north. We mapped Sleeping Bear Dunes, took measurements to create beach profiles, and ended the night with a bonfire on the beach. Another great trip with a superb group of new students – excited to explore and learn more in the future with them!