Lake Champlain Live

Good news! Now you can take your students out on Lake Champlain! Aboard UVM’s Research Vessel, the Melosira, students will learn about current research and then apply scientific tools and techniques to collect data. By using the scientific method as a guideline, students will be challenged to raise questions and apply critical thinking skills in order to analyze data they have acquired on site and will be able to discuss the challenges and opportunities of lake stewardship.



How do scientists study the complex ecosystem and environmental problems in Lake Champlain?

  • Understanding the natural history and unique regions of the lake
  • Introduction to water testing procedure and equipment
  • Understanding how human activities can affect the lake


Worksheets will be provided for students that are designed for either introductory or intermediate groups. Depending on the previous knowledge of the class regarding graphing data and water quality testing, teachers can choose to use an introductory or intermediate data sheet and lesson plan.


  1.  Physical and Chemical Characteristics: Lake water clarity, dissolved oxygen and temperature measurement from lake surface to bottom through secchi disk testing and on-boat graph
  2. Lake Ecology: Overview of Lake Champlain ecology by collecting and analyzing a plankton sample, including Scientific Method overview
  3. Zebra Mussel Story: Learn basics of zebra mussel life cycle, collect zebra mussels to estimate population density

Click here for more program details


MS-LS2-1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-2: Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

MS-ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

MS-ESS3-4: Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. 


HS-LS2-6: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

HS-ESS3-1: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity. 


Trips will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis from May through October, weather permitting (trips may be rescheduled if openings exist).

Grade Level: High School (10:1 student to adult ratio), Junior High (8:1 student to adult ratio); other interested groups may be accommodated.

Fee: $300.00 per boat outing (2-3 hours on average, for a maximum of 22 participants, including instructors/chaperones)

What to bring: Wear comfortable, stable shoes, and dress warmly as conditions on the lake are typically cooler than on land on any given day. Other suggested items depending on the weather: sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, rain coat. Also, please bring a notebook and a pen or pencil. Lastly, you may want to bring a camera and/or binoculars, and motion sickness medicine if you require it.

To register, contact: Ashley Eaton, (802) 859-3086 x340.


The Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, ECHO, University of Vermont, UVM Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Lab, UVM Extension, and Lake Champlain Sea Grant.