Regional Report—Southwest

by Dana on 2013/07/22

in Regional Reports, Southwest

Greetings FMSEA Southwest. It’s been a busy summer. Please take a moment to enjoy this update.

Hello, My Name is…

Jason Robertshaw, FMSEA Web DeveloperMy name is Jason Robertshaw and I am the new Southwest Regional Director for FMSEA. You may remember me from my previous appearances on this website as The Webmaster and The Listserv Moderator. If you live in the following areas, I am here to help you: Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Collier. Like many of you, I began life swimming in my local waters. In my case, those were the shores of Tampa Bay. Later in life I attended the University of South Florida and in 2001 began work as a marine science educator at Mote Marine Laboratory. At Mote I am responsible for designing and directing their digital learning projects. I live in Sarasota with my wife and miniature dachshund. I occasionally tweet marine science links under the pseudonym @cephalopodcast.

If there are events in our region that you’d like to see promoted here, please let me know. Also, if you are having an event and would like someone from FMSEA represented there, I can help you with that too.

Upcoming Events

Here are some events coming up in our area in the next few months.

Mote Marine Laboratory Science CafeSci Cafe

  • WHERE: River City Grill: The Tavern, 131 West Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, FL 33980
  • WHEN:  7/24/13, 6:30 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: SENSE-ational Manatees with Dr. Joe Gaspard, Mote’s Manatee care and training program coordinator. Join us as we discuss how Mote’s training programs help to uncover ways this protected species perceives and navigates its environment.
  • REGISTER: Admission is FREE. RSVP required to Rachael Kraemer at 941-205-3970 x. 103 or For more information visit

Southwest Regional OutingRookery Bay

  • WHERE: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113
  • WHEN:  8/2/13, 9:00 am—2:00 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: Join us for a backwater bay trawling trip in the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve! This free trip is limited to the first 18 registrants. After the trawl (weather permitting) we will venture out to Key Island, a non-bridged 7-mile long barrier island, for lunch and beach exploration. When we return from the boat trip we’ll head back to the Rookery Bay Learning Center for a short tour of the facility. Please note that due to safety concerns, participants must wear close-toed shoes that can (will) get wet!
  • REGISTER: Click here to register online. Contact Dave Graff (, 239-417-6310 x 408) if you have any questions or concerns.

FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshops

  • Fort Myers, August 2, 4:15 pm—6:15 pm at Rutenberg Park, 6500 S Pointe Blvd, Fort Myers, FL  33919.
  • Sarasota, November 11, 9:30 am—11:30 am at Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Park, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) Education Program

  • WHERE:  Mote Marine Laboratory, Keating Marine Education Center, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL
  • WHEN:  September 6, 2013, 9:00 am—4:30 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) is a partnership working to protect the natural environment from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. We would like everyone with an interest in environmental education in southwest Florida to attend in order to Network | Collaborate | Brainstorm | Learn.
  • REGISTER: Please register by 3:00 pm on Friday, 8/15 at:

Florida Master Naturalist Program—Coastal Systems CoursesFlorida Master Naturalist Program

  • WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
  • WHEN:  September 10—25, 2013
  • DESCRIPTION: Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Coastal Systems in Florida – Coastal Uplands, Estuarine, and Nearshore Marine Environments. The program also addresses society’s role in coastal areas, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics. The total training consists of 40 contact hours, the scheduling of which will vary among different Instructors. The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects. Classroom learning includes four instructional videos and 12 presentations.
  • REGISTER: For more information and to register, contact Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski (kasey @, 941-388-4441 x 263) or visit


  • WHERE: Ken Thompson Park, Sarasota, FL
  • WHEN:  November 2, 2013, 10:00 am—5:00 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: The purpose of the water festival is to celebrate the importance of Sarasota Bay to our region’s environment, economy and quality of life. Live music, food and vendors.

2013 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

  • WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
  • WHEN:  11/16/2013
  • DESCRIPTION: Students of all ages can learn from marine scientists and conservationists about threats to marine ecosystems. Students work with their peers, as well as scientists and conservationists, to develop ocean conservation projects. Training on topics including fundraising, working with the media, and filmmaking are designed to give them the skills necessary to make their projects a success. New workshops and opportunities will be available for returning participants. In conjunction with this year’s summit, the second annual Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival will be held at Mote Marine Laboratory on the evening of Friday, November 15th.
  • REGISTER: For now, mark your calendars and plan to join us for the 2013 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit. Information, registration details and a complete summit program will soon be posted at


  • Congratulations to Katrin Rudge, a Sarasota teacher at Riverview High School and one of the finalists for Florida Teacher of the Year. Many of us had the pleasure of touring Katrin’s classrooms and Aquadome last year. If you are in Sarasota County, you can schedule a field trip for your students to the Riverview Aquadome and Planetarium.
  • The Ocean Literacy Campaign ad-hoc committee is pleased to announce the publication of a new version of Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of Ocean Sciences for Learners of All Ages.  This guide replaces the version first published in July 2005. Download  a PDF copy online.

That’s all for this update. I’ll be posting some more news after our next FMSEA Board meeting in August. In the meantime, feel free to send me your news so I can spread the word. Thanks.

Jason Robertshaw
FMSEA Southwest Regional Director
rd-southwest @
941-388-4441 x 250

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