East Central Regional Update April 2016

by Brandon on 2016/04/02

in East Central, Regional Reports

There is lots of exciting news to report in our region including lots of news on the NMEA conference. And don’t miss out on our next Regional Outing happening April 24. Read below for these and more great information and opportunities.

NMEA 2016 – Registration Open!

Join hundreds of fellow marine science education enthusiasts in sunny Orlando for a week filled with learning, sharing, and exploration! Classroom teacher? Informal educator? Government or agency outreach personnel? Volunteer? Researcher? No matter your connection to marine science education, NMEA16 has something for you!

In addition to daily plenaries and concurrent sessions, the always-popular Exhibit Hall, and the NEW Ocean Science Research Track, some of the week’s highlights include:

  • Monday, June 27 – Pre-conference Workshops, Buddy Welcome Reception, Tweet-up, Conference Kick-off Event
  • Tuesday, June 28 – NMEA Youth Conference, Evening Event at SeaWorld
  • Wednesday, June 29 – Chapter Basket Auction, Silent Auction, Banquet, Live Auction
  • Thursday, June 30 – NMEA Business Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Stegner Lecture, Ticketed Evening Event at SEA LIFE Orlando
  • Friday, July 1 – Enjoy deeply discounted experiences at some of the best attractions Florida has to offer with field trips around the state!

The Renaissance Orlando is home to NMEA16, so make your reservations today! This family-friendly, premier location is offering a conference rate of only $129/night, but reservations must be made by May 25, 2016 at 5pm.

Looking to bring your family? The Renaissance has tons of amenities for both kids and adults and is just a stone’s throw from the iRide Trolley (shuttle to a variety of area attractions). NMEA16 field trips offer several options for children and SeaWorld is offering a $100 discount on its popular Camp SeaWorld. For more information on these and other family-friend activities, visit the NMEA16 Family Friendly Opportunities page.

Be sure to visit the conference website for updates. In addition, there are a number of volunteer positions needed for the NMEA conference in Orlando. If you are interested in voluneteering, please e-mail Kerri at: southeast@fmsea.org.

Going, Going…. SOLD!

Do you have an eye for what everyone wants? Does the last few minutes of an Ebay auction get your blood racing? Do you have lots of connections to organizations with great merchandise? How would you like to assist with the auction for the NMEA conference. You don’t even have to attend the conference to be of assistance (though you’ll be missing out on other great events as well if you don’t go). You can help us gather donations for the conference auction, both live and silent, by using the 2016 NMEA Auction Donation Letter to help us solicit the places you like to shop and visit for your marine life fix. Popular auction items include:  education resources, jewelry, outdoor gear, crafts/artwork, gift certificates, charter fishing trips, vacation packages, or guided tour events.  Any treasures that may bring a high bid are welcome. If the organization you represent wants to donate or you have collected thing on our behalf please fill out the online donation form, so we can properly credit and value the donations. email me at eastcentral@fmsea.org with any questions or to let me know what places you have solicited so we don’t duplicate our efforts.

Turtles And Trash Can Mix

Normally you want to keep your turtles and trash separate but not when it involves a FMSEA East Central Regional Outing to the Brevard Zoo. Join us on Sunday, April 24, 9:00 am at the Brevard Zoo, located at 8225 N Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32940. We will start the day with a behind the scenes tour of the Turtle Hospital as well as some of the zoo’s other conservation efforts. You can even join in by planting a mangrove and creating an oyster mat. Then you can get trashy as we tour the Washed Ashore exhibit, which uses marine debris to create amazing sculptures and raise awareness or the problems of ocean pollution. FMSEA will then provide lunch from the Zoo’s Flamingo Cafe. After lunch you’ll be allowed to explore the rest of the zoo on your own, though we may have another surprise or two in store for you. Please contact me at eastcentral@fmsea.org to register for the regional outing or with any questions. This is open to any current FMSEA members. Have a friend or colleague that would love to join you? Have them register to become a FMSEA member for only $10 since we are past the half year mark and they can join in on this amazing outing as well.

Trash Talking

While we are on the subject of marine debris, how would you like to cut it off at the source? Come join us at Riverwalk Nature Center on April 30, from 10:30a.m. – 11:30a.m. to learn how you can combat plastic pollution through the Litter Quitter program! Litter Quitter is a new Keep Brevard Beautiful program — backed by Brevard Zoo and the local Surfrider Foundation chapters — that encourages local businesses to become sustainability trendsetters by reducing use of common litter items, like single-use plastics, plastic bags and Styrofoam, in exchange for free marketing related to their eco-efforts. Litter Quitter program coordinator Allison Arteaga will be training public outreach volunteers to help recruit new businesses and grow the program, so be sure to register online for your chance to get involved!

Cyber Turtles

And to keep on the topic to turtles as well, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a non-profit sea turtle hospital located in Juno Beach, Florida, has received grant funding that will support a limited number of free Virtual Field Trips scheduled anytime now through December 31, 2016.

With just a computer and internet connection, Virtual Field Trips allow your students to journey through our sea turtle hospital. The staff uses Skype to connect to classrooms worldwide for a lesson on sea turtle ecology, an introduction to each of the sea turtle patients, and a look into thier hospital.

The programs are private (one classroom at a time), so there is plenty of time for student questions.  The entire Virtual Field Trip, about 40 minutes in length, is live and interactive. They are happy to customize each lesson to suit your needs and the interests of your students. If you are interested in booking a Virtual Field Trip, or have any questions, please contact Demi Fox at 561-627-8280 ext. 107 or dfox@marinelife.org.

Dig Into the IRL

Florida Tech will be hosting The Indian River Lagoon Teachers’ Workshop Monday, June 13 – Thursday, June 16, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. It will provide tools, lesson plans and continuing education credits for teachers working in counties which border the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Over the course of four days, teachers will be engaged in a series of lectures, classroom demonstrations and field activities to expand their knowledge of the IRL. Example topics may include: history of the IRL, the presence of invasive species, trends in seagrass health, impacts of nutrients, resources for species identification, management strategies and much more.

All educators within Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties are eligible to attend. The material covered during this four-day workshop will be applicable to those teaching middle and high school students. The cost is $75 to attend or $260 if you also want sleeping accommodations and meals provided.  Register at the link above. Questions should be sent to Dr. Kelli Hunsucker: khunsucker@fit.edu The workshop is sponsored by the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, Marine Resources Council and the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Dig Even Deeper into the Coast

Why stop at learning about the IRL when you can learn about the entire coastal environment. University of Florida IFAS Extension Brevard County will be offering the Florida Master Naturalist Coastal Module starting on May 26. The class includes 40 contact hours of classroom lectures and field experience in various marine habitats around Brevard County. Visit the Master Naturalist Website to see the entire syllabus and to register.

Wish for a Fish

Have you wanted to collect and keep marine life in your classroom for education? Don’t wait for the beginning of the school year to get your collection permit. Riverwalk Park is offering a collection workshop on May 7, from 11-2. The cost for the class is $25 and includes a permit that is valid for 3 years and will allow you to house various marine and freshwater fish and invertebrates for education. Register today as space is limited. If you can’t make that day we will also offer a permit class with the FIT IRL Workshop mentioned above. We’d encourage you to apply for the entire workshop but if you can’t commit for the whole week there are very limited number of extra spaces available to attend just the collection class held on June 14 at 8:30 am.

On the Job Hunt?

If you are looking for some part time or summer work in marine education look no further. Riverwalk: A Family Park is looking to hire a temporary rec aide to assist with environmental education programs, aquarium maintenance, and maintenance of our 6 acre nature preserve along the Indian River Lagoon. The position pays $10.22/hour and hours will vary between 8-25 hours per week depending on programing needs. To apply just send me your resume and a cover letter at eastcentral@fmsea.org.

Looking for more hours but can only work during the summer? Consider working as a camp counselor for our marine Biology Camp. Assist with 13 campers ranging from grades 5-11 for four weeks of camp spread through June to August. In between camp weeks you’ll be assisting with our summer outreach programs like our traveling touch tank and sea turtle obstacles course. Training for camp begins in May. The pay is $9.36/hour and will be 43 hours during camp weeks and will vary on the weeks in between. To apply please send your resume along with this application to eastcentral@fmsea.org.

Until next time Best Fishes! Also, don’t forget to send me any information you’d like me to share in the next regional update.


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