Pinellas County Formal Education Activities
Chris Simoniello, GCOOS/MBON O/E is working with three schools in Pinellas County to incorporate IOOS and MBON into the curricula. The Lakewood High School Academy for Aquatic Management Systems and Environmental Technology (AMSET) Program lead is working with Simoniello to enhance their STEM content and establish a mentoring program for the AMSET students. Bay Point Elementary and Gulf Beaches Elementary schools are working with Simoniello on an ocean-themed curriculum for the 2016-17 gifted program, which includes five field work trips. Support for the field work is anticipated from the NOAA Climate Stewards Program, providing a strong link with IOOS, MBON, NOAA Climate Stewards and Weather Ready Nation efforts.
Two ONMS Videos Highlight Monterey Bay MBON Research
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) ‘Earth is Blue’ video series produced two videos which highlight MBON research and activities in Monterey Bay. In “Exploring the Davidson Seamount” Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Research Coordinator Andrew DeVogelaere gives an overview while on the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada during a research cruise with MBON collaborators. DeVogelaere highlights the research activities and several advanced technologies used to study the biodiversity of fish, sea birds and other marine life in the MBNMS.
In the short video titled “Pelagic Red Crabs,” pelagic red crabs (Pleuroncodes planipes) are shown washing up on the beaches of southern Monterey Bay, while Andrew DeVogelaere discusses the possible cause of this unusual event. MBON is highlighted as an important partnership helping the sanctuary to better understand changing ocean conditions and the influence on wildlife in the sanctuary.
New Video Series To Highlight Sanctuary Condition Reports
MBNMS and ONMS Conservation Science program staff are working on the first video in a new ONMS video series that will highlight important new findings from a sanctuary’s condition report. The MBNMS video will touch on areas with improving conditions and areas of concern. It will highlight the importance of science collaboration for assessing health of the sanctuary, including MBON’s role in helping to develop new and improved assessments of biodiversity.
MBON at Sanctuary Film Event
May 6th, 2016 Monterey Bay sanctuary research coordinator Andrew DeVogelaere took part in an expert panel discussion that followed a screening of the film ‘Racing Extinction’. Part of the Sanctuary Exploration Center's First Friday series, the family art and science event focused on Monterey Bay's threatened and thriving species. The event was attended by 115 members of the public. During a brief introduction before the film, Andrew (right photo) emphasized the importance of tracking the abundance and diversity of animals, and of MBON for developing new techniques and technologies, such as environmental DNA, for monitoring biodiversity.
Engaging Youth at St. Petersburg Science Festival
GCOOS O/E lead and MBON collaborator Chris Simoniello conducted a number of youth outreach activities. At the October 2015 St. Petersburg Science Festival, Simoniello conducted hands-on learning activities with approximately 200 elementary school children (grade 4 and 5) on Friday, the school day and approximately 5,000 people on Saturday, which is open to the general public.
The SP Science Festival is held in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's annual open house, Marine Quest. Click here to download the Posters/signs. Students extracted DNA and created “Bottles of Awesomeness,” played with polymers, learned about the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, laminar and turbulent flow and the large-scale challenges of dealing with marine debris. GCOOS members participating in the event included scientists from the University of South Florida, Florida Sea Grant College Program, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Duke Energy, Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and Bay Point Middle School Center for Advancement of the Sciences and Technology.
In April 2016, MBON-related activities were conducted for approximately 400 GK-5 students and their families during the annual Bay Point Elementary Family Science Night, coordinated by Chris Simoniello GCOOS/MBON O/E. Five classroom lessons with hands-on components related to marine biodiversity and the MBON project were given to G3-5 students.
Ranger Rick and MBON
Simoniello is working to raise awareness of O/E efforts within the MBON sanctuaries by having student-led work highlighted in the magazine Ranger Rick.
Hillsborough County H.S. Educator Professional Development Day
In August 2016, MBON PI Frank Muller Karger, USF graduate student Megan Hepner, and Simoniello will give lectures on Sanctuaries MBON research, conduct portal demos and collect input from high school teachers during the county's annual professional development day. Hillsborough County (FL) is the eighth-largest school district in the U.S., with 28 high schools.
Recent MBON Outreach Activities in Monterey Bay and Florida
The U.S. MBON projects are funded under the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP RFP NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2014-2003803) in partnership between NOAA, BOEM, and NASA, with the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS) program pioneering the implementation.
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