Regional Report–Southwest

by Dana on 2013/11/06

in Regional Reports, Southwest


Hello FMSEA members, here is an update for the Southwest Region (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Collier). Remember, 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. Thanks.

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

Upcoming Events

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

Aquatic Species Collection Workshop

  • WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL
  • WHEN:  November 11, 2013, 9–11 am
  • DESCRIPTION: The Florida Marine Science Educators Association and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have developed and implemented an aquatic species collection workshop for educators. Upon successful completion of the workshop, educators receive a 3-year collection certificate form the Florida FWCC. The purpose of the workshop is to educate teachers/educators regarding responsible collecting and to widen the restrictions imposed by recreational fishing regulations (size, numbers, area closures, etc).
  • REGISTER: Register online

Mote Science Café: Communication Through Color

  • WHERE: Darwin’s on 4th, 1525 4th Street, Sarasota, Florida
  • WHEN:  November 12, 2013, 6–7:30 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: Ever wonder why octopuses, squid and certain other sea creatures change color in an instant? Why are colors also important to landlubbers like us? Join our discussion about “Communication Through Color,” a new Science Café sponsored by Mote Marine Laboratory. Mote Science Cafés are informal, community discussions that give everyone the chance to participate. The Café will feature Brian Siegel, Mote Aquarist and Cephalopod Specialist, and will focus on human communication through art, animal communication using camouflage and skin coloration and on comparing and contrasting these concepts across the animal kingdom. Admission is free, but space is limited. Food and drink specials will be available. Come early to get a good seat!
  • REGISTER: Please RSVP to this event by calling Mote at 941-388-4441 ext. 172 or on Mote’s Science Café Facebook.

Florida Teen Science Café: Cuttlefish, Communication Through Color

  • WHERE: The Broadway Bar Restaurant,1001 Cocoanut Avenue, Sarasota, Florida
  • WHEN:  November 13, 2013, 4–5:30 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: Experience an exclusive look into the fascinating lives of cephalopods with Brian Siegel, an aquarist at Mote Marine Laboratory. Free pizza, games and prizes included. FL Teen Science Café is for teens.
  • REGISTER: More information.

Youth Ocean Conservation Summit and Film Festival

  • WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL
  • WHEN:  November 15–16, 2013
  • DESCRIPTION: The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit was created to provide youth of all ages (upper elementary-college) the opportunity to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally. This annual event also teaches participants about the ways other youth are currently working to protect marine ecosystems, and then allows them to work with their peers to develop action plans Youth Ocean Conservation Summit for their own ocean conservation projects. Workshops offered at the summit allow participants to gain the skills necessary to successfully implement conservation projects, teach participants about career opportunities in marine conservation, and expose them to opportunities they can take part in to help protect our planet’s oceans and their inhabitants.
  • REGISTER: Registration for the 2013 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit is closed. However, the companion 2013 Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival is open.

Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program—Nature Fest

  • WHERE: Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd./S.R. 776
  • WHEN:  November 23, 10 am–3 pm
  • DESCRIPTION: Enjoy the day exploring and learning about the natural environment of southwest Florida. The festival will once again be filled with activities and exhibits for people of all ages to enjoy, including more than 50 nature exhibits, local artists, and the Mote Marine Laboratory mobile exhibit with its touch tanks. The Children’s Discovery Zone will be packed with games and activities, including a fossil dig. Children will also learn about fish and fishing and then receive a free fishing pole while supplies last! Admission and parking are free. Refreshments and lunch will be available for purchase.
  • More information.

FMSEA Board meeting

  • WHERE: Panama City Beach, FL
  • WHEN:  February 1–2, 2014
  • DESCRIPTION: The FMSEA Board meets several times a year at locations across the state and the meetings are open to all members. Taking place over a weekend, the extended time allows the board to fully cover the many items on the agenda, as well as take-in some behind-the-scenes exploring of the host site.

BLUE Ocean Film Festival 2014

  • WHERE: St. Petersburg, FL
  • WHEN:  November 3–9, 2014
  • DESCRIPTION: The BLUE Ocean Film Festival is an international film competition and festival that screens over 100 of the world’s ocean films in more than 20 award categories.
  • More information.


FSU seeking faculty in coastal or marine systems
Florida State University is searching for up to nine faculty working in coastal or marine systems. This is a VERY BROAD search and applicants doing relevant research in any coastal or marine system are encouraged to apply. This includes (but is not limited to) conservation biology, plant, vertebrate, invertebrate, benthic or algal ecology, community ecology, ecosystems ecology and fisheries biology.
See FSU website for more details.

Mote Marine Laboratory hiring an Education Exhibit Coordinator
This position is responsible for coordinating the activities, messaging and content of Mote exhibits.  The exhibits this position is responsible for include: the Mote Mobile Exhibit, a mobile tank display with biofacts, interactives and a touch tank that travels to venues including, but not limited to: schools, fairs, festivals, private engagements and other public events; SeaTrek Exhibits, small traveling exhibits combining informative and intriguing displays on ocean themes with SeaTrek’s award-winning live interactive programming; and onsite exhibit content for temporary and permanent displays.
See Mote’s website for more details.

Environmental Literacy Plan for Florida: Call for Public Review and Feedback
The overarching goal of the Florida Environmental Literacy Plan (FLEP) is an increasingly environmentally literate population brought about through high quality environmental education (EE). To achieve environmental literacy through environmental education, the FELP relies heavily on a strategy that includes three elements: 1) build on existing mandates and missions of the key players; 2) promote continuity, coordination, and where appropriate consolidation to better measure and aggregate results at the state level; and 3) recognize the value in small, practical and no or low-cost steps that yield measurable results in the near term. Your constructive feedback is welcome. Please share this site with others you feel would have an opinion on creating a more environmentally literate citizenry. Closes January 31, 2014.
Access survey here.

The Bridge ocean science education website needs your help
For 15 years, The Bridge has been connecting educators with data, lesson plans, background, and other resources for bringing ocean sciences to students. Now, they are gearing up for a site redesign and considering adding new features to the site. They need your input. Please take a survey and help make sure The Bridge continues to meet your needs. As a thank you for taking time to help out, those who complete the survey will have the option to enter a drawing for a Google Nexus 7 Tablet.
Access survey here. 

Free SeaTrek interactive video programming available for schools in SW Florida
Mote Marine Laboratory received funding from the Mosaic Company Foundation to offer free SeaTrek interactive video programs to regional Florida schools. SeaTrek is an award-winning Interactive Videoconference (IVC) program that compliments and enhances existing STEM curricula. Scholarships are available to schools in Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Charlotte, Lee, Polk and Hillsborough counties. These scholarships have a value of $125 each. Scholarships are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Limit of up to five scholarships per site.
See the SeaTrek website for more details.

The Shark Whisperer
Dr. Ellen Prager is releasing a new middle grade fiction series that combines humor and adventure with learning about the ocean and marine life. Dr. Prager was a keynote speaker at our 2012 conference in St. Petersburg. The book is being published by Scarletta Press and will be on shelves May 1, 2014, but can be pre-ordered on Amazon. If you have events planned for the summer or next fall and are looking for a speaker, she is available. A website with educational links and information is coming soon.
The Shark Whisperer by Ellen Prager.

Sea Urchins Magazine
Sea Urchins Magazine is a children’s marine wildlife magazine full of ocean facts and fun for kids. It is available for digital subscription on Android, Amazon, Apple iOS and more.
Sea Urchins Magazine website.

That’s all for this update. In the meantime, feel free to send me your news so I can spread the word. Thanks.

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