The Flagship Niagara is one of the largest tall ships in North America. The ship is a reproduction of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victorious flagship from the Battle of Lake Erie. The current Niagara was built in Erie in 1988.
Famous Tall Ship partners with LHU
Three week voyage for students and the general public
March 14, 2012
One of the nation’s most well known maritime icons, the Flagship Niagara has partnered with the Lock Haven University to offer undergraduates an unparalleled environmental science field experience. Students will spend three weeks sailing on the historic vessel this summer from July 11-July 31. The voyage will take participants to some of the most environmental sensitive areas of the Great Lakes. In addition, thanks to a grant procured by SUNY professor, Dr. Sherry Mason, students will be engaged in a Plastics Pollution Research study.
The general public is invited to join the Lock Haven voyage as well as two other distinct voyages that will take place from May 31-June 19 and June 22- July 12. While the ship charges tuition for its three week voyages, the experience remains one of the most affordable opportunities of its kind in the United States.
The participants will live in an environment reminiscent of the original Niagara – a War of 1812 warship. Meals are cooked off of a real wood burning stove and everyone sleeps in hammocks. Students also learn how to sail the ship by participating in the day to day activities.
Last year, six Lock Haven University students took part in the inaugural Flagship Niagara environmental science voyage on the Great Lakes. One student has already signed up for this summer’s voyage, and more are expected to enroll very shortly.
Dr. Joseph Calabrese, professor and chair of the LHU biological sciences department, also participated in the 2011 voyage, helping to team-teach the interdisciplinary course developed especially for the three-week program at sea. “The summer program aboard the Flagship Niagara is an incredible experience for both students and faculty,” said Dr. Calabrese. “It is so unique in many ways and is one of only a few designed programs ever established in the U.S.”
The learning on board includes biology, ecology, chemistry and natural history – and a whole lot more. Dr. Calabrese commented, “Not only do students and faculty have to learn maritime law and particulars of sailing a tall ship, they also need to assist in every way of sailing this ship.” Students work in groups on a rotational basis during each 24-hour period, and must assist with outlook, night watch, steering, and other maritime duties. However, Dr. Calabrese is quick to reassure students, “You will not forced to climb the mast!”
This year, Dr. Calabrese will be on board for one week, teaching water quality analysis and dredge sample analysis. This will include both chemical and biological methodologies and will utilize samples from Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie.
The Flagship Niagara is one of the largest tall ships in North America, and is well regarded as the most historically authentic. The ship is a reproduction of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victorious flagship from the Battle of Lake Erie. The current Niagara was built in Erie in 1988. The ship is home ported in Erie, Pa., at the Erie Maritime Museum. She is operated by the Flagship Niagara League and owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“All in all, this is an experience of a lifetime,” said Dr. Calabrese.
Interested participants can lean more by calling the museum at 814-452-2744x223 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.