High School Watershed Science Apprenticeship

Each year, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum welcomes a cohort of motivated, curious local high school students to examine watershed science in the Champlain Valley. Led by Museum staff, students learn though self-guided research, small group activities, meet-ups with professionals, outings to local sites, and more. This free and flexible program is ideal for students who are interested in aquatic science, fisheries, environmental science, or conservation. Learn more about our 2020-21 program focus: Dams in the Champlain Valley >

This program is open to any high school student in the Champlain Valley in New York and Vermont. Credits for this course may be available in History, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Geology, as well as other subjects, depending on the student’s school or as a personalized learning course or project. Students may apply individually or together as a group or class to participate in this program. Teachers are welcome to submit an application for their whole class.

Now accepting applications for Spring 2021 semester! Apply today >

2020-21 Watershed Science Apprenticeship: Dams in Champlain Valley

There are hundreds of dams around Lake Champlain, ranging from small dams from the early 1800s to the large modern hydro-electric dams. These human-made structures were the earliest way to supply power to Champlain Valley industry, and have served important purposes in the past. Yet the introduction of dams into our ecosystem has had immense unintended consequences. The story of dams in the Champlain Valley is one of individual ownership, collective good, environmental impact, habitat connectivity, and more.

Our 2020-21 High School Watershed Science Apprentice program will investigate dams in our region to understand the complex history, impact, and management of these structures in the Lake Champlain watershed. The 2020-21 program will meet online over the course of each semester and have in-person trips and meetups when possible and safe. Our group will visit local dam sites (virtually or in person) and research the history and modern impacts of their local dams. We will meet with environmental scientists, dam managers, and scholars who are evaluating dams throughout the region and explore best practices in management and conservation. Throughout the semester, students will work towards gathering research and findings to contribute to a citizen-science effort to map these obstructions in our rivers and streams that will be published on the Museum’s website and shared with our community, schools, experts, and peer environmental organizations.

This apprenticeship program meets personalized learning and Flexible Pathways goals. Accepted participants will work with the Museum and school advisors to arrange their schedule to participate in course activities and will be sent a complete syllabus and detailed schedule.

The Spring 2021 Watershed Science Apprenticeship program will start the last week of January. Apply by January 25, 2021 to be accepted into the spring program.

View a sample syllabus for this program here: Dams in the Champlain Valley Syllabus Sample

This program is funded in part by Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Watershed Science Apprenticeship Instructors

Matt Harrison is the Educations Program Manager at the Museum, specializing in environmental history. Matt spearheaded our Stem to Stern curriculum and also leads after-school, summer camp, and Watershed Science programs. Matt is also a crew member on our replica schooner Lois McClure and a licensed Captain.

Elizabeth Lee is the Museum’s Director of Education and Interpretation. She has an MS in Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh and is a National Geographic Certified Educator. Elizabeth is also a licensed Outdoor Guide in the State of New York, and has decades of experience leading experiential outdoor education programs for all ages.


If you have any questions or would like to learn more before applying for this program, please contact Elizabeth Lee at ElizabethL@lcmm.org.