Researchers aboard the Melosira. Photo by J. Ellen Marsden.

Public Boat Trips on Lake Champlain Aboard the R/V Melosira


Join Lake Champlain Sea Grant, UVM Extension and ECHO for our Summer on the Lake educational boat cruises! On three occasions during July and August 2017, the public is invited aboard the UVM research and education vessel, the Melosira, to build geologic, cultural, and historical knowledge about Lake Champlain and its watershed, and for some of the trips, to try their hands as limnologists (those who study lakes, streams and other inland waters). Each trip will focus on one of two themes, either Stories of Lake Champlain (July 17, 9:30-11:30 AM) or Life Underwater (August 17, 9:30-11:30 AM and August 23, 5:30-7:30 PM).

Stories of Lake Champlain will provide a cultural and historical view of Lake Champlain. Following an interactive introduction to the geology and formation of the Lake Champlain Basin and the lake by Lake Champlain Sea Grant staff, participants will learn about the culture and history of native tribes in the area, and their relationship with water from Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe. Later in the trip, participants will learn about the lake’s naval history following European settlement. The trip will conclude with an optional hands on sediment assessment, in which signs of historical land uses and practices on the lake will be sought. Stops and sights on the trip include:

The R/V Melosira on Lake Champlain

  • Red Rocks
  • Lone Rock Point
  • Rock Dunder, a small rock island, which embodies the spirit of Oodzee-hozo, the creator of Lake Champlain in Abenaki legend
  • The Horse Ferry Shipwreck, located off of north beach

Life Underwater will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about and try their hands as limnologists (i.e., those who study inland waters). Following an interactive introduction to the geology and formation of the Lake Champlain Basin and the lake, participants will learn about biological, chemical and physical measurements limnologists make to improve our understanding of the lake, its watershed, and our impacts on them. Participants will engage in such activities as:

  • Towing for plankton
  • Identifying plankton
  • Sampling sediment
  • Assessing for invasives species
  • Using and interpreting a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth meter
  • Monitoring water clarity

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in any of these programs, please contact Kris Stepenuck at 802-656-8504 or at no later than three weeks before your chosen date (i.e., June 26, July 27, and August 2, respectively) so she can assist you.

Minimum age: 8 years (sorry, no exceptions)

What to Bring: Trips will go on unless there is extreme weather (lightning storms) in the area. Participants should come prepared with rain gear, sun hats, sunscreen, warm clothes (it can be significantly colder on the water than on the land), water, and closed toed shoes.

Cancellation Policy: 

  • If you cancel more than 1 week before your scheduled trip departure, a full refund will be available for each participant.
  • If you cancel within 48 hours of your schedule trip departure, no refund will be provided.
  • No shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees

Use the following links to register for one or more of these Summer on the Lake educational events:

Stories of Lake Champlain: July 17, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Sorry. This event is full.

Life Underwater: August 17, 9:30 - 11:30 AM

Life Underwater: August 23, 5:30-7:30 PM

Note that each of the three events has a separate registration page, thus use caution when selecting a date above.

The fine print: Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.