Great Lakes Quests

Virtual and interactive tours of Wisconsin coastal cities as part of the Wisconsin Coastal Guide. Free. 

In collaboration with Wisconsin Sea Grant, Upham Woods has developed a series of virtual and interactive tours of Wisconsin coastal cities that feature natural, historical, and cultural assets of the area. These tours were developed using ArcGIS StoryMap and aim to:

  • increase awareness of natural, cultural, and historical coastal issues both locally and statewide
  • increase access to the relevant and on-going coastal issues for both local and non-local participants
  • engage all of Wisconsin and help develop Wisconsin’s identity as a coastal state
  • bridge virtual and in-person experiences using a novel approach to place-based learning

This project aims to engage the entire state of Wisconsin and bridge virtual and in-person experiences using a novel approach to place-based learning. Each Great Lakes Quest guides participants on virtual tours of a coastal city, featuring natural, cultural, or historical assets of the city. Examples of these tours include exploring ecological restoration projects in Wisconsin Pointplans to protect the sand dunes in Kenoshabeach restoration projects in Racine, and fishing heritage in Two Rivers.

The Great Lakes Quests contain interactive educational components including links to external content, inquiry-based questions, and quizzes. Each correct quiz answer reveals a clue that spells a final word that’s significant to the coastal area.

A screen capture of the Great Lakes Quest: Protecting the Kenosha Sand Dunes, using ArcGIS StoryMaps










To explore all the Great Lake Quests, follow the links below. From counties on Lake Superior, like Iron and Ashland, to counties along the coast of Lake Michigan.


Upham Woods’ virtual resources are developed following the North American Association of Environmental Education’s Guidelines for Excellence. In this time of remote programming, usability and depth of meaningful content are essential to the user’s experience. These two key characteristics from NAAEE are designed to engage participants in a productive experience. The hope is that the Great Lakes Quests will help users discover the depth of knowledge concentrated along Wisconsin’s coastal communities. Upham Woods is committed to community science and is a member of the Guidelines Trainers’ Bureau.

The Great Lakes Quests were developed by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center as part of a project to enhance the Wisconsin Coastal Guide, an interactive map that supports coastal heritage tourism along the Great Lakes coasts of Wisconsin. Enhancement of the Wisconsin Coastal Guide is funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management through the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Watch the tutorial: