Maritime History Course

Great Lakes Maritime History – HS-205, is a four credit course offered by Northern Michigan University. I have taught it on campus and online. The most popular method is online.  All work is completed via the Internet and there is no need to visit the campus.  This use of technology allows students anywhere in the world the full opportunity to learn more about the maritime history of our Great Lakes.  The course is offered periodically as scheduled by the university.



Course Description & Overview

The purpose of this course is to help the student understand the broad scope of Great Lakes maritime history. It is intended to focus on the development of Great Lakes sail and steam vessels, trade patterns, cargo, cargo handling, lighthouses, life-saving, shipwrecks, the role of women, maritime museums and research sources. At the course conclusion, the student should have acquired a thorough understanding of Great Lakes maritime history.

Expected Standards and Competencies


Students will:

– demonstrate the ability to distinguish between the various genres of secondary historical literature, including textbooks, monographs and periodicals;

– be able to distinguish between a primary and secondary source and to evaluate the validity and objectivity of those sources;


Mechanical Skills

Students will:

– identify the central arguments in source materials;

– demonstrate appropriate footnoting and bibliographic entry;

– locate and retrieve appropriate sources (both primary and secondary) relative to a historical topic;

– master computer skills appropriate to the discipline.

Analytical Skills

Students will:

– demonstrate their ability to interpret actions and events within an appropriate context and to distinguish their significance within a larger scheme of historical chronology and evolution;

– be able to make inferences, form generalizations and draw conclusions based upon examined evidence.



Students will demonstrate the ability to:

– create, organize and support a thesis in written presentation with reference to supporting documentation; and

– write clearly, economically and persuasively about historical issues with appropriate notation and attribution of source material.


Assignments will be graded on completeness and detail. Students must adhere to the desired length of response.

Students are expected to search the web for additional Great Lakes maritime resources resources.

Note: This course is intended to use the web both as a method of delivery of information, from the instructor to the student and reverse, but also as an source of information. In the latter regard students are cautioned to exercise proper care in evaluating web sources. Students should read “Testing the Surf: Criteria for Evaluating Internet Information Resources” at



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maritime Historian, Author, Lecturer