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### Catholic School’s Long-Distance Research Trip for IB Students in Oakland County, MI

IB biology students journeyed to and from Suttons Bay this week to conduct research on wetlands in northern Michigan, braving the chilly and snowy conditions.

A group of eleven juniors from Laura Elwood’s IB biology 1 class embarked on a research expedition to Suttons Bay in northern Michigan, as depicted in the photos below.

Since 1989, the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) has been providing schools with various opportunities to engage students in hands-on learning experiences centered around the Great Lakes. ISEA’s primary focus is on educating students about watershed conservation, exposing them to potential careers related to the Great Lakes, fostering inspiration, and imparting practical skills and technological knowledge used in the field.

The juniors enrolled in Notre Dame Prep’s International Baccalaureate (IB) biology 1 class were truly invigorated by their whirlwind trip to Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Peninsula in northern Michigan this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Accompanied by upper school teacher Laura Elwood NDP’10, the group departed at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and returned late Wednesday.

“This excursion, part of ISEA’s Watershed Exploration Program, centered on the ecological aspects of wetlands, from the intricate food webs within them to the dissection of cattails and mussels,” Elwood explained. She emphasized that a food web illustrates the natural interconnectedness of food chains and serves as a graphical representation of the predator-prey relationships within an ecological community.

Elwood further elaborated, “The students also delved into the role of wetlands in safeguarding Lake Michigan. Their activities included an analysis of Leo Creek, an outdoor learning facility, nature reserve, and botanical garden in Suttons Bay, where they conducted a stream analysis and assessed canopy cover and ground-water absorption potential.”

IB Biology is a rigorous, two-year, college-level, laboratory-based course that covers a wide array of topics such as cells, plant structure and function, the chemistry of life, genetics, ecology, biotechnology, evolution, and human physiology.