East Central Regional Blog – May 2016

by Brandon on 2016/05/11

in East Central, Regional Reports

First of all in case you didn’t make it through your last email from me we are trying to organize a regional outing to go on a guided sea turtle walk in Melbourne Beach in the larges loggerhead nesting beach in the world, The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. If you are interested in going please select your availability on the following Doodle Poll to see what night works best for most and if we have enough people to reserve a group walk. The walks start at 9 and go until we find a turtle (ending sometime between 10:30-12:00). And remember this is FREE to our members, a $15 value!

Also there are still spaces in the regional outing on the west coast for a day of snorkeling in the gulf. FREE Multi-Regional FMSEA Outing at the Marine Science Station. Join us on Sunday, May 15th, 2016 from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM at 12646 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL for a FREE multi-regional outing aboard MSS boats!

We will be boating and snorkeling in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and exploring seagrass meadows, sponge beds, and hardbottom areas. Please bring the following items: bag lunch, bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, hat, reusable water bottle, mask, fins, snorkel (*Snorkel vests will be provided. If you do not own snorkeling gear, the MSS can loan you a mask and snorkel). Sign up today, there are 22 spots! Did we mention that it was FREE?!?!

Learn more about the Marine Science Station at mss.citrusschools.org. Questions? Email Earnie Olsen at olsene@citrus.k12.fl.us or call (352) 795-4393. PLEASE!! RSVP and use the following link to fill out a Google form at http://goo.gl/forms/oh7beCbwhW

Note some of the conference information below you may have already seen but some is new so don’t please skip it. Also, there are other opportunities after the conference info that you won’t want to miss.

The NMEA16 team is happy to announce that early bird registration for NMEA16 has been extended to May 16! This will be the ONLY extension of this rate, so please don’t delay in registering and save yourself $50. While we are able to provide some wiggle room with registration, the conference hotel rate at the Renaissance Orlando will NOT be extended, 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.

If you’re traveling alone and looking to save a few bucks, we have a created a document to help you find a roommate for the NMEA16 Conference. Please note, that we are not pairing people or coordinating room reservations, but rather we are providing this form to assist you with finding potential roommates yourself to share a room while attending NMEA16. All reservations and communication between you and potential roommates is your responsibility. You can access the document and submit your responses at http://goo.gl/forms/Y92PywZpWA.

Still on the fence about attending?  Check out the amazing conference field trips on Friday July 1 that will give you the opportunity to explore a variety of attractions and natural areas around the state including:

  • Special behind-the-scenes access and a professional development workshop at Kennedy Space Center
  • The opportunity to observe nesting sea turtles at Canaveral National Seashore
  • Kayaking, snorkeling, boat trips, and more on Florida’s Gulf Coast
  • Visit renowned marine science research facilities on Florida’s East Coast
  • Two special behind-the-scenes programs with SeaWorld Orlando
  • Get up-close and personal with alligators and other freshwater wildlife on an airboat ride!

Field trips are available for both adults and families – view all field trip descriptions on the conference website.

Are you interested in volunteering at the 2016 National Marine Educators Association Conference?  NMEA 2016 will be held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld from June 27 – July 1, 2016. Help is needed for all opportunities from 7:00am to 7:00pm, Sunday through Friday. Volunteers who work at least one full day will be able to attend sessions, exhibits, and lunches! All volunteers will also receive NMEA t-shirts. Be sure to visit the conference website for updates, and for more information on volunteering. There is also a volunteer flyer, please feel free to circulate!

Additionally, don’t forget that there is a way for youth to be engaged in the conference as well. Here are some promotional tools developed by our NMEA Youth Engagement Committee to assist with sharing the NMEA Youth Conference with high school and college students in your networks. Attached you’ll find a social media toolkit with template promotional content for newsletters/e-mail as well as a variety of social media platforms. I’ve also attached the conference flyer as a PDF and jpg file (see below) for use in social media posts etc…jpeg

We would greatly appreciate your help sharing this opportunity with students/teachers you know who may be interested in getting involved.

Thanks in advance for your assistance! We’re looking forward to a great, first NMEA Youth Conference!

Also don’t forget that you we also need items for the silent and live auctions to help support teacher scholarships. So if you have connections in the community or have tickets or items you can donate through your organization please get in touch with me or fill out the google form for you donation items. Things that work really well besides marine themed items are books, artwork, and jewelry and even better if its marine themed. You don’t even have to be attending the conference to donate, items can be mailed or we can sometimes arrange pickup by a member who is going.

I promise that is enough conference info for now, at least until next month. On to the updates around our region. And don’t forget, you can forward your events to me as well and I’ll be happy to publicize them on the next blog.

It’s that time again for the Indian River Lagoon Calendar Photo Contest and with so much attention on the IRL I’m sure the calendars will more popular than ever. You can find more information on how to submit your photos on this flyer.

The Barrier Island Center has a lot to celebrate in May! Two conservation anniversaries and whole calendar of “Island Life” events are in store at the Center this month.

Oyster Mat Deployment Season Is Here!
Since last summer, 3,590 volunteers have helped us build 1,000 mats that are now ready for deployment up in Mosquito Lagoon! We’ll be restoring damaged reefs by raking down dead margins and anchoring oyster mats to the estuary floor to provide a stable substrate for new oyster larvae. Each mat can become a home for an average of 235 new oysters! Check out these upcoming volunteer dates:

Supply Moving Days

Wednesday, May 25

Thursday, May 26

Deployment Days

Friday, June 10
Saturday, June 11
Monday, June 27
Tuesday, June 28
Wednesday, June 29

Oyster Deployment

Full event details, including meet-up location and what to bring will be provided upon registration. Reef-building events are expected to run from approximately 7:30am-11:30am, though these times are subject to change. Events require moderately intense  labor outdoors. Online registration and waivers are required. Participants must be over the age of 16. Under 18 requires parental supervision.  To get registered, please click here!

Attached please find a job announcement for a Conservation Education Specialist position at White Oak Conservation. The position will primarily work in the K-16 program, but will also assist with tours, interpretive planning, and other duties as mentioned. Please feel free to distribute. Any questions contact, Lauren Watkins, K-16 Conservation Education Coordinator, 904-225-3318, lwatkins@white-oak.orgwww.whiteoakwildlife.org.

And one final thing of note. I was involved in the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation and now here is your last chance to get involved too.

Fall 2016 Applications Now Open!

Application Information and Application
Please note that this will be our last Study Circle experience and hence preference will be given to institutions that would be new to NNOCCI, as well as those that routinely have public audiences.
Applications to close May 31st 2016
Alternatively AZA will be offering a NNOCCI course beginning Spring 2017, and more exciting NNOCCI-related opportunities will be announced in the coming year.
More information on the NNOCCI Study Circle experience

Upcoming Introductory Workshops and NNOCCI Events:
Learn more about framing and climate change!

  • March – May 2016- The Visualizing Change (VisChange) project grew from the NNOCCI project as a means to visually communicate climate stories. For more information on how to participate in a VisChange training, please see their flyer.

New Publications & News: 

Interested in learning more about NNOCCI and Strategic Framing? Check out our Free Online Course:

The course is hosted in the FrameWorks Institute’s new online learning platform, FrameWorks Academy. Feel free to share this with any other colleagues!

To access this course – free of charge:

  • Visit Frameworks Academy
  • Go to ‘Specialized Sponsored Courses’ and select ‘Framing for Climate Interpreters
  • Place the course in your shopping cart (no need to pay unless you decide to purchase any of the other course materials)
  • ‘Check out’ and enter your information (no need for a code)
  • Once you have checked out, you will receive an email from FrameWorks Academy with instructions for accessing your course materials.


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