Sail with the experts to learn about Lake Champlain this summer

UVM Courtesy photo
UVM’s research and education vessel Melosiraadjacent to the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory in Burlington, where it provides convenient and immediate access to Lake Champlain. The R/V Melosira is staffed with a full-time captain and deckhand experienced in all aspects of limnological, geological and fisheries sampling.

Interested in learning more about the history, culture and geology of Lake Champlain?

The public is invited to set sail this summer with lake experts from the University of Vermont Extension, the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program and ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.

Together, these organizations will run seven educational boat cruises this summer using UVM’s 45-foot research and education vessel, the Melosira.

Each trip will have a theme of either “stories of Lake Champlain” or “Lake Champlain live.”

Stories of Lake Champlain will provide a cultural and historical view of the lake. Those sailings will be offered July 24 from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. and Aug. 6 from 1-3:15 p.m. The discussion aboard will cover the geology and formation of the Lake Champlain basin and the history of the native tribes who populated the region, their culture and relationship with the lake, as well as the lake’s naval history following European settlement.

Stops will include Red Rocks Park, Lone Rock Point, Rock Dunder and the Horse Ferry shipwreck.

On the Lake Champlain Live sailings, participants will tow for and identify plankton, sample sediment from the lake bottom, monitor water clarity, and use and interpret data from the vessel’s electronic sensors. The discussions also will cover the geology and history of Lake Champlain. Those dates are July 18 and Aug. 17 from 9 to11:15 a.m., July 24 from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m., Aug. 1 from 5:30-7:45 p.m., and Aug. 6 from 9:30-11:45 a.m.

The cost is $25 per person and some scholarships are available for those with a financial need. Each sailing is limited to 20 participants, ages 8 and up. Registration is required.

The Melosira departs from the ECHO building at the foot of College Street in Burlington. Disability accommodations are available upon request at least three weeks in advance. More information registration is online at

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