Science Programs Offered at National Lakeshore

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Date: April 30, 2013
Contact: Wendy Smith, 219-395-1987

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Meet with researchers conducting scientific investigations at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on May 3 and 4 for "Indiana Dunes, Science, and YOU!" These interactive programs are designed to be fun for all ages and are sponsored by the National Park Service and the United States Geological Survey. Indoor presentations at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center will be followed by special field trips in the national lakeshore. All programs and field trips are presented free of charge. To enhance the fun, free educational materials will be available through a generous donation by the Dunes National Park Association.
"Science is a trajectory toward understanding", says Wendy Smith, Education Coordinator for the Great Lakes Research and Education Center. "We need science so we'll understand how best to care for our resources. This will be a great opportunity to learn how scientific investigations help park managers. At the same time, we hope it will encourage people to take an interest in science."
On Friday, May 3 at 7:00 pm, scientists will highlight what some of the research results from Indiana Dunes may tell us about the rest of the world. Presentations at the visitor center on Friday will explore stinging insects, what climate change might mean for dune environments, and how amphibians are responding to climate change. An outdoor, "Frog Frolic - Frog Call Adventure" will follow.
On Saturday, May 4 at 10:00 am, get a look into the minds of scientists. Presentations at the visitor center that morning will focus on scientists' use of inquiry throughout their investigations. Researchers will share their work on water quality and swimmers' health, invasive Oriental Bittersweet vines, Karner blue butterflies, and aquatic invertebrates. A lunch break will allow time for visitors to chat informally with scientists before a series of afternoon field trips. (Participants should bring their own lunches.) At 1:30 pm, join an outdoor field trip showcasing vegetation and environmental sampling, or a trip to sample aquatic invertebrates. At 3:30 pm visitors can select a field experience exploring microbes and water quality along streams and beaches, or one offering an investigative inquiry into wetlands.
These programs are designed for a general audience, but teachers attending can receive Professional Growth Experience Points. The indoor programs meet at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at 1215 North State Road 49 in Porter, Indiana. For a detailed schedule of presentations and field trip locations, visit or contact Wendy Smith at 219-395-1987 or by e-mail at

 Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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