Category Archives: marine education

NOSB national winners visit Skidaway campus

The winning team of the National Ocean Science Bowl visited the Skidaway campus in July. The four-person team from Santa Monica High School (California) was awarded a week-long trip as first prize.

Marine Superintendent John Bichy explains Skidaway Institute’s marine operations to the NOSB winners.

The four high school students spent the morning of July 18th visiting the aquarium. After lunch they walked across campus to Skidaway Institute, where Mike Sullivan gave them an overview of the institute. Brian Binder, from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences, described the marine science program at UGA. The team toured the campus and visited several labs. John Bichy showed them through the R/V Savannah. The afternoon wrapped up with research presentations from Liz Harvey and Cliff Buck.

An interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the NOSB tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, including cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. To qualify for NOSB finals, the 25 competing teams first had to win their regional competitions. The regional competition for Georgia and South Carolina was held at Savannah State University in early February. In total, approximately 392 teams, made up of 1,960 students representing 33 states, participated.

National award will allow more students to experience the Georgia coast

A $50,000 Hollings Award from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will pay for 850 fourth graders from Liberty and McIntosh counties to experience Georgia’s coastal environment and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary during field trips to the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island.

Marine Extension associate director Anne Lindsay shows a corn snake to a group of students.

“We are extremely excited about this opportunity,” said Mark Risse, director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, which oversees the education center and aquarium. “Reaching these historically underserved communities with hands-on, field-oriented educational programs is often difficult due to transportation and economic issues. This funding will allow us to target our efforts just for them and provide free transportation and programs.”

In addition, the grant will allow UGA and Gray’s Reef to offer free programs on Georgia’s estuarine systems and offshore habitats at a school in each county, extending the education to students’ families.

“These communities are located in watersheds that impact the waters around Gray’s Reef. We hope that our efforts will influence the decisions they make and benefit the coastal ecosystems surrounding the sanctuary,” Risse said.

Enhancements to the Gray’s Reef exhibit at the UGA Aquarium are also included as part of the project. A new wall-mounted monitor and graphics will feature underwater video footage of the reef and provide information to aquarium visitors about the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

The award is one of five 2017 grants totaling $215,000 from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Hollings Awards, an annual program designed to expand public awareness of conservation issues.

Georgia Sea Grant seeks applicants for 2018 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The Georgia Sea Grant College Program is taking applications for the 2018 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, which places graduate students for a year in various executive and legislative branch offices throughout Washington, D.C.

The fellowship provides a unique educational experience in the policies and processes of the federal government to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting these resources. The fellowship period begins Feb. 1, 2018 and ends on Jan. 31, 2019.

Any graduate student, regardless of citizenship, who on Feb. 10, 2017 is enrolled in an academic institution in Georgia, is eligible to apply. A full list of application materials and additional information on eligibility can be found online at

http://seagrant.noaa.gov/Portals/0/Documents/funding_fellowship/knauss_fellowship/prospective/NOAA-OAR-SG-2018-2004993%20Full%20Announcement.pdf

Applications must be submitted to Georgia Sea Grant by 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2017, via its online submission system, eSeaGrant, that can be accessed using the following link http://eseagrant.uga.edu/index.php

Potential applicants are also encouraged to contact Mona Behl, associate director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, at 706-542-6621 or mbehl@uga.edu to discuss application content and submission. For more information on applying for the Knauss Fellowship, please visit the Georgia Sea Grant website at http://georgiaseagrant.uga.edu/article/knauss_marine_policy_fellowship/

UGA Skidaway Institute grad student receives master’s degree

Now-former UGA Skidaway Institute and Savannah State University graduate student Ashleigh Price had a November she won’t forget.

On November 8, she successfully defended her master’s thesis before her committee and a public audience.

Ashleigh at her dissertation defense.

Ashleigh at her dissertation defense.

She officially received her degree on December 10. Ashleigh did most of her research as part of Marc Frischer’s lab at Skidaway Institute. The title of her thesis was Environmental Reservoirs and Mortality Associated with Shrimp Black Gill.

To cap off the month, Ashleigh gave birth to her daughter, Astra Jean Visconti at 7:10 p.m. on November 30.

Astra

Astra

Astra came into the world at 18.5 inches, and weighting six pounds and 10.6 ounces. Mother and baby are both doing well.

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:  http://marex.uga.edu/calendar/

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 kayla270@uga.edu or (912) 598-3345.