Category Archives: citizen-scientist

R/V Savannah crewmate has whale named for him

Marc Frischer and his team went out on the R/V Savannah to hunt tiny doliolids in February, but they made a new and considerably larger discovery.

Just off of Wassaw Sound they saw what they thought was a right whale. They reported their sighting to the North Atlantic Right Whale Project of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The right whale researchers identified the whale as a humpback, and one that had not been previously documented.

Jordy the Humpback Whale

A few weeks later, the Florida whale watchers spotted the same whale again off of Nassau Sound, just south of Fernandina Beach.

“It didn’t match any of our previously identified humpbacks from this season, so we collected photo documentation and a genetic sample from the animal, said Laurie Leech from the North Atlantic Right Whale Project. “On arrival back at our office later that night, we matched the animal to the one that you (the Skidaway team) saw up in Georgia!”

The Skidaway team asked for the right to name the whale “Jordy” in honor of R/V Savannah first mate Jordan Solomon who was the first person to spot him. Although the Florida whale watchers responded that they do not have the right to give a whale an official name, they agreed that as far as Florida and Georgia are concerned, the whale will unofficially be named “Jordy.”


Registration is now open for the 2017 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

yocs-savannahUGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant is hosting Georgia’s third annual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island. This summit, one of several taking place across the country, empowers students with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to successfully implement ocean conservation projects.

The event will include skill-building workshops, brainstorming sessions, citizen science presentations and panels featuring professionals working on coastal issues in Georgia. At the end of the day, students will work together to develop and present ideas for conservation efforts that they can lead in their local communities. The event is being organized by the 2016-2017 Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Interns Kira Krall, Hannah Kittler, Hannah Edwards and McKenna Lyons.

Online registration is open now and closes Jan. 18. The summit is limited to 50 students on a first-come, first-served basis. A $10 registration fee includes lunch and all materials. To register, complete the online registration form and payment.

For more information, visit the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant website


Alexander lab in GIS Day Savannah


Mike Robinson demonstrates GIS to two visitors.

The Alexander lab participated again as a sponsor with the GIS Day Savannah event hosted by Savannah Area Geographic Information System (SAGIS) on the Savannah State University campus.  This year marked the 10th year for the event which introduced 450 8th grade students along with area business owners, staff, GIS users, and citizens from the local community to demonstrations of real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. GIS Day is celebrated internationally as part of National Geographic’s International Geography Week. The National Geographic Society has sponsored Geography Awareness Week since 1987 to promote geographic literacy in schools, communities, and organizations, with a focus on the education of children.

UGA grad students solicit citizen-scientists help to track invasive seaweed

Two UGA grad students working in the Byers Lab at Priest Landing are asking citizen- scientists to help them track invasive seaweed. Kaitlin Kenney and Linsey Haram devised the project that asks visitors to the Jay Wolf Nature Trail dock to take pictures of the shoreline and post them on social media.

“We hope citizen scientist will to assist our lab in tracking the fine scale changes in abundance of Gracilaria vermiculophylla, an invasive seaweed to the Georgia coast,” Kaitlin said. “They will take a photo of the sandbar site using the bracket to ensure that every picture is from the same angle and then post the pictures with a specific hashtag to social media sites or by emailing their pictures to us. Once collected, the pictures create a time-lapse image of the selected site.”Dock poster W

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