Marine Extension Highlights – Education –March 2014

March 1 – Southern Stingray Bowl

Seven different teams from Georgia competed in the Regional competition for Georgia and Saouth Carolina high school students at The Southern Stingray Bowl hosted by Savannah State University March 1st, 2014.  Volunteers from MAREX included GA Sea Grant Interns Nick De Prospero, Katelyn Hunt, Daniel Rhiner, and MAREX faculty Dr. Mare Timmons.  Volunteers worked to ensure that all students who participated had a team of experts to maintain the success of the competition, despite the large federal cuts from the program this year.

March 1 – New Coastal Birding Public Program

MAREX educators and 12 participants took to skiffs for a winter morning on coastal waters. Several traveled from Atlanta and others from Richmond Hill to observe ducks, shorebirds, and dolphins around nearby coastal islands. The objective of the program is to connect people with nature and promote an awareness of birds and wildlife.

March 1 – Green Screen 

Dodie Sanders of the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service (UGA MAREX) presented a poster, “Using Marine Debris Surveys to Engage and Educate the General Public about Tidal System Vulnerability in the Southeast” at the 2nd Annual Jekyll Island Green Screen Event on March 1st , 2014. The poster highlighted the marine debris program, Project SORT, funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program and currently being implemented at UGA MAREX on Skidaway Island. The public event showcased two films, “Into the Gyre” and “Wings of Life”, reaching approximately 700 participants.

March 7 – 3rd Annual Georgia Scholarship of STEM Teaching and Learning Conference

MAREX faculty Dr. Mare Timmons and Mary Sweeney-Reeves presented a poster and session at the 3rd Annual Georgia Scholarship of STEM Teaching and Learning Conference at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.  Their presentation “Creating effective 21st Century educator through personal research experiences” was delivered to k-12 teachers, university professors, and administrators.  The program was well received and recruited teachers and graduate students to apply for research experience through the Improving Teacher Quality funded GA Shore workshop scheduled for June 8-22, 2014.

March 11-12 – Environmental Stewards Program

University of Georgia Marine Extension provided a 2-day program, “Environmental Stewards” for twenty two, 10 to 12 year olds. Hands-on activities included dock studies, live invertebrate observations, treks into the salt marsh, and marine debris investigations. A marine debris stewardship activity on both Skidaway and Tybee Islands was the highlight of the program. Support for this program was provided the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s Marine Debris Program.

March 8 – Natural Resource Discovery Day with US Fish and Wildlife

Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Intern Daniel Rhiner represented MAREX in the Natural Resource Discovery Day at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Approximately 1000 participants were reached. Participants were able to handle live animals from the aquarium (hermit crabs, whelks and spider crabs. Participants also learned about Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge and the types of educational trips that MAREX leads there.

Late submission for February

February 23-24 – Bliss attends Ocean Sciences Meeting

The 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting was held in Honolulu, HI Feb 23-28. The international conference population presented over 3,500 posters and 1,000 + oral sessions. UGA MAREX and COSEE SE was present with Bliss’s poster presentation on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based-tools known as the eBOB (elementary basic Observation buoy) and ROVes (Remotely Operated Vehicles for Elementary Students).  Additionally, Bliss co-present on two additional posters focusing on the Research-Educator Exchange Forum (REEF) project and regional collaborations and on one oral session focused on the elementary program known as the South Carolina Amazing Coast Project which eBOBs and ROVes have been an integral part.

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