Category Archives: MAREX

Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant offers December public programs

Check out the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant events calendar for new public programs offered this winter and spring:

December Events

December 10: SEA program: Holiday Hike with John Crawford, 1-4 p.m., cost $22

December 14: Full Moon Night Hike, 6:30-7:30 p.m., cost: $10

December 21: Junior Aquarist, open to youth 10-15 years old, 9 a.m. – noon, cost: $22

Registration is required one week prior to any program. For more information or to register, contact Kayla Clark at or (912) 598-3345.


UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant welcomes Emily Woodward

emily-wEmily Woodward is UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s new public relations coordinator. She’ll be taking over the communications program in place of Jill Gambill, who was recently promoted to UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s coastal community resilience specialist and public service assistant. Woodward will be based on Skidaway Island at the Shellfish Research Lab.

In her role, she will work to improve the visibility of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant not only on the coast, but across the state of Georgia by promoting the latest marine research, educational opportunities, and outreach events on behalf of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

Throughout her professional career, Woodward has communicated the importance of science and natural resource conservation for government agencies, non-government organizations, and academic institutes. She understands the need to educate coastal communities about marine research and how it can be used to inform public policy and coastal management. She believes in the importance of helping humans understand natural systems by explaining their connections to them and the benefits they derive from them.

Most recently, Woodward served as the Communications Specialist at the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, a program managed through a state and federal partnership between NOAA and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management. Some of her projects involved leading a communications and outreach campaign promoting the use of living shorelines for erosion control, writing articles focused on marine ecology and water quality research, and assisting with K-12 educational programs and training workshops designed for technical and real estate professionals. She has her bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina State University.

Ribbon cutting, education activities draw a crowd to UGA Aquarium for World Oceans Day

As about 60 children and adults looked on, the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant officially dedicated a covered pavilion at the UGA Skidaway Island campus on Wednesday, June 8th.

Pavilion photo w

The pavilion was made possible by a gift from Gus Arrendale, III and Springer Mountain Farms, which paid for construction materials for the pavilion. Volunteers from The Landings residential community on Skidaway Island, who call themselves the Barn Builders, constructed the facility.

“I want to express deep gratitude to Gus Arrendale of Springer Mountain Farms,” Jennifer Frum, UGA vice president for public service and outreach, told the crowd. “His gift was really the catalyst that allowed us to complete the pavilion. I want you all to go home and eat either wild-caught Georgia shrimp or Springer Mountain Farms’ chicken.”

Frum also acknowledged the contribution of the Barn Builders, led by Lars Ljungdahl, who spoke at the ribbon cutting.

The celebration was part of a day of educational activities that drew nearly 300 people to the aquarium to celebrate World Oceans Day. Visitors were treated to a behind the scenes look at the aquarium, educational programs on reptiles and ocean preservation, and animal feedings. Guests who attended the pavilion dedication were admitted to the aquarium for free from 3 p.m. until closing.

The Springer Mountain Farms Pavilion, named for the company founded and run by Gus Arrendale III, has running water and electricity and provides a much-needed space for outdoor education.

Private funding is critical for further aquarium expansion, said Mark Risse, director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

“It was the local community that really made this happen,” Risse said. “We hope the kids will get a chance to enjoy it. ”

Ruth Bartlett, UGA Alumni Association president, presented an additional gift to Marine Extension from Arrendale for Marine Extension. Bartlett is a long-time friend of Arrendale, who was not available to attend the ribbon cutting.

“The main thing is it helps all these children that come to the summer camps and throughout the school year,” Bartlett said. Gus “was really tickled about that.”

June 8 is designated by the United Nations as World Oceans Day to celebrate conservation of this important resource around the world.

Learn more about the UGA Aquarium at

Skidaway Marine Science Day attracts crowds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkidaway Marine Science Day was another success this year. The campus-wide effort attracted approximately 1,800 visitors. You can view pictures of the event on the Skidaway Institute Web site.

Diverse team sails on black gill cruise

The Marc Frischer and Dick Lee labs sponsored their second annual black gill cruise on October 22 on board the Research Vessel Savannah. The purpose of the cruise was to survey the shrimp population just offshore of Wassaw Island, inside Wassaw Sound and in the Wilmington River.

In addition to Skidaway Institute researchers, the cruise included a sizeable science party with representatives from Georgia Sea Grant, UGA Marine Extension, Georgia DNR, South Carolina DNR, Troy University, Mercer University and the shrimp industry. One additional goal of the cruise was to bring representatives of the wide-ranging constituencies together to discuss mutual issues and concerns.

One purpose of the cruise was to bring different constituencies together. In this picture are (l-r) Marc Frischer, Mark Risse (Marine Extension), Amy Thurman (Southern Tides Magazine), Drew Ambos (Ambos Seafood), Crawfish Crawford (partially hidden) and Pat Geer (Georgia DNR). .

One purpose of the cruise was to bring different constituencies together. In this picture are (l-r) Marc Frischer, Mark Risse (Marine Extension), Amy Thurman (Southern Tides Magazine), Drew Ambos (Ambos Seafood), Crawfish Crawford (partially hidden) and Pat Geer (Georgia DNR). .


Pat Geer from Georgia DNR assists John Bichy with a trawl net.


Sorting through the results of a trawl.


A shrimp with clear evidence of black gill.


Three summer interns at MAREX

Three new summer interns have started work at MAREX.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Kathryn Savidge is no stranger to many here on campus. The daughter of Skidaway Institute faculty members Bill and Dana Savidge, Kathryn and her twin-sister, Helen, spent many years romping around the woods and marsh surrounding the campus and the aquarium when they were younger. Kathryn is now a rising sophomore at Susquehanna University where she is majoring in graphic design. She is working at the aquarium.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChrissie Brady is also working as a summer education intern with MAREX. She is a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Georgia. She plans to graduate with two degrees. — in wildlife and fisheries, and mechanical engineering.

“My goal is to use my unique skill set to integrate robotics into wildlife management,” she said.

At school, she is transitioning into her new role as the president of the UGA chapter of the Xi Sigma Pi National Forestry Honor Society. During the 2014-2015 school year, she was selected as a Public Service and Outreach Student Scholar, and had the opportunity to work with MAREX to create a short, self-guided education program to be used on the Jay Wolf Nature Trail. Chrissie also volunteers with the Girl Scouts and the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Nick Sinks is working on the oyster hatchery program in the Shellfish Laboratory. He is a rising senior at the University of Georgia, majoring in wildlife and fisheries biology. His hobbies include bird watching, fly fishing, camping and “anything else outdoorsy.”

“I decided to intern over the summer because this was a project that was within my area of study,” he said. “I knew that it would give me valuable experience in my field of interest.”

Sea Grant interns aim for grad school

Two Sea Grant/MAREX interns plan to enter graduate school later this year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaeve Snyder will pursue a M.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Her anticipated research will focus on the effects of climate on the biogeography of marine intertidal invertebrates.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACara Lin will enter the Doctoral program at Georgia Tech for a Ph.D. in Biology with a concentration in ecology and evolution. Her interests are in aquatic chemical ecology