Virtual Learning

Even with uncertainties due to COVID-19, we remain committed more than ever to our mission to develop and share science-based knowledge to benefit the environment and economies of the Lake Champlain basin. Lake Champlain Sea Grant is currently working to transition workshops and educational resources to virtual formats to promote scientific investigation, and the education of tomorrow's scientists, in the Lake Champlain basin.


Fall 2020 Virtual Programs 

All programs are FREE

Stream Monitoring and Stewardship - Virtual Stream Exploration 

In lieu of our most popular in person program, we have developed a remote learning experience that engages students in an interactive virtual exploration of a small stream in the Lake Champlain watershed. Through this guided virtual stream assessment, we focus on biologic indicators and ecosystem health. 

Apply Online


Lake Champlain Live - Virtual Lake Exploration 

In an effort to provide the "floating classroom" experience, students can take a virtual tour on the R/V Melosira. This program provides a deeper look at lake ecology, water quality sampling, and local water quality challenges. 

Apply Online



Keeping the Balance - Virtual Fish Dissection

This guided virtual fish dissection features fisheries sampling techniques and short videos: a "fish files" series to highlight a few fish species found in Lake Champlain. 

Apply Online



Watershed Explorer Challenge 

The Watershed Explorer Challenge is completed using a booklet with 11 activities, rooted in NGSS practices, for young people to learn about watershed science.

Participants will be asked to make a watershed model, identify the connections in an aquatic food web, determine stream health from benthic macroinvertebrate samples, and more.

This is a learning experience for students and their families to complete at their own pace. Teachers can assign this booklet for students to work on independently. Those that complete all the activities in the booklet will be awarded the title of Watershed Explorer and receive a certificate. 

Apply Online

Teachers, would you like to use the booklet with your class? View an informational webinar on  to review the booklet and get familiar with this resource - recorded webinar can be viewed on our YouTube page. 


Zoom a Scientist

The Lake Champlain Sea Grant team hosts  "Zoom a Scientist"  sessions, focused on watershed and aquatic science. This virtual webinar series features scientists from the University of Vermont Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, SUNY Plattsburgh, the Lake Champlain Research Institute, and our partner organizations. Sessions are open to all participants from school age to adults. To view archived sessions visit our resources page.


Upcoming Sessions: All sessions begin at 3:30pm. Click on the title of the talk to register. 

  • ​Friday, October 2, Remotely Operated Vehicles with Cody Warner from Deep Trekker (watch recorded session) 
    • Cody Warner with Deep Trekker, Inc., in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, will lead viewers on a tour of how his company's aquatic drones are used to visually inspect underwater environments, a useful tool for aquatic research, inspections by public utilities and other purposes.
  • Tuesday, October 13, Climate Change in the Champlain Basin with Curt Stager from Paul Smiths College (watch recorded session) 
    • Global climate change is not only about polar bears and far-off places: we are experiencing it here in the North Country, too. The evidence comes from a wide range of sources including weather data, ice-out contests, and nature diaries, and the changes are already being noticed by regular folks as well as experts. We'll discuss the nature and causes of those changes as well as what they could mean for the future of the region.
  • Friday, October 30, Restoring Landlocked Atlantic Salmon in Lake Champlain with Bill Ardren from US Fish and Wildlife Service (watch recorded session) 
    • By the 1850s, dams, habitat degradation in rivers, and other factors had eliminated (extirpated) landlocked Atlantic salmon (LATS) from the Lake Champlain Basin. Restoration efforts, including hatchery culture, stocking, and sea lamprey control, have been successful in restoring the lake fishery valued at more than $200 million, but depends on ongoing stocking. Dr. William (Bill) Ardren has developed a series of large scale, adaptive management experiments to restore naturally reproducing LATS with the goal of fish returning to multiple tributaries, migrating up river, spawning, and producing fry that will lead to self-sustaining populations.
  • Tuesday, November 10, Managing Lamprey in the Lake Champlain Basin with Stephen Smith from US Fish and Wildlife Service (watch recorded session)
    • Participants will hear from Stephen Smith, a fish biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Essex Junction, about what is being done to control sea lamprey populations in Lake Champlain.
  •  Friday, December 4, Impacts of Road Salt in the Adirondacks with Brittany Christenson from ADKAction (watch recorded session)
    • Brittany Christenson will describe the work that her organization, ADKAction, has done to address pollution of waterways by road salt runoff, including developing recommendations for reducing road salt pollution and promoting alternative deicing products, techniques and best management practices to protect water resources.


Borrow Water Quality Equipment 

Contact us at watershd [at] to request water quality equipment to conduct your own stream study! 






Special Topics - Live Session 

Meet up with our education team and get more information on specific water quality topics. Students have a chance to ask questions about water quality in the Lake Champlain basin. 

Apply Online


Apply Online for the Watershed Alliance Programs listed above 


Stormwater Education Methods Seminars 

As a part of our Stormwater Education Methods Course, we are hosting a series of webinars on stormwater this fall. The series will provide participants with information about opportunities and steps to implement and maintain various green stormwater infrastructure practices. Registration required. For more information contact: Ashley Eaton, akeaton [at] (subject: Stormwater%20Education%20Methods%20)  


Additional Resources 


  • Benthic Sampling with a Kicknet: This video by LCSG education staff walks you through what it is like to gather a benthic macroinvertebrate sample with a kicknet. 
  • Lake Champlain Basin Program Clean Water Videos: Explore animations and videos to learn why phosphorus is a problem, what the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is, and how people working on the landscape in a variety of ways are helping to achieve the goals of the Lake Champlain phosphorus TMDL plan.
  • Dive In Series: This page on the Lake Champlain Basin Program website has a variety of videos of people participating in activities varying from aquatic invasive species removal to water quality sampling. 
  • Bringing Back Salmon: This is a three-part, short series on the history, current research, and restoration activities related to the land-locked Lake Champlain Atlantic Salmon.


Virtual Resources List

  • Sea Grant Learning at Home Resources by Region 
  • NOAA Live! Webinar Series for children in grades 2-8. Webinars are live-streamed via GoToMeeting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 am EDT until June 12. 
  • The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is offering a 30-day free membership.
  • Center for Great Lakes Literacy has several lessons and activities on freshwater fish. This is relevant, as many of the species that inhabit the Great Lakes also live in Lake Champlain. 
    • Fish Identification Lesson: Each family of fishes in the Great Lakes region has physical traits that set it apart from others, called distinguishing characteristics. These characteristics help fish survive in their environment. By observing and comparing these features, students learn that fish, like other living organisms, can be organized and classified into meaningful groups for identification and further study.
    • Fashion-a-Fish: Younger students might enjoy this lesson to create a fish and explore adaptations for survival in various fish species. 
  • Skype a Scientist: This program matches classes/families with a scientist to meet on Skype for a question and answer session.

Get Outside

  • Virtual Canoe Race: Free 3-week learning game for upper elementary and middle school students (starts April 6). 
  • 50 Environmental Activities (kids can do at home): This is a great article that outlines specific actions students can take on a host of environmental challenges, from waterways to climate change and healthier communities. 
  • Story Walk: Though Audubon Vermont programming is canceled in response to COVID-19, their nature trails remain open. 
  • Sit spots: Find a quiet spot in your yard and try to count how many animals you see, what kinds of birds you hear, what you observe, etc. You may be surprised. Try at different times of the day, too.
  • Nature Walks: Project Learning Tree has some great ideas on ways to engage with nature during a walk in your place.
  • Phenology: Start tracking the seasonal cycles of plants and animals to become more in tune with the rhythm of the Champlain Valley while collecting data for the greater good. 


Looking for something specific or need help regarding virtual watershed science activities? Reach out to our team at watershd [at]