East Central

The East Central Region of FMSEA covers the following counties: Flagler, Sumter, Lake, Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Indian River.

East Central Regional Director

I just had the pleasure of touring our conference locations for this year in St. Augustine and I think you’ll be very excited when you see them too. Besides having a great conference agenda lined up at some gorgeous sites there is also so much to do in the U.S.’s oldest city that you’ll want to make sure to stay an extra day or too to enjoy everything. If you want any recommendations let me know as I’m rather familiar with the historic district. There is some amazing food & drink offered in this city so make sure to check it out. I invite any members to join me in some libations during the conference and I’ll show you a few of my favorite haunts. As for the conference here are a few things that you need to know:

Call for presenters is open till March 15. Submit a proposal by filling out the online form at https://goo.gl/forms/mf0OkEmhC2ZJ4DBF2

Call for exhibitors is now open. Sign up here to claim one of the limited booth spaces.

The hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites, Vilano Beach is great being right on the beach and walking distance from Publix. They are also offering an amazing rate of $164 per night so reserve your space now.

We are accepting donations for the silent auction which helps raise money for scholarships. If you have anything you’d like to donate you can fill out the form found at https://goo.gl/forms/KSiyt4prgcDks9bf2 or if you have contacts for other groups that might donate you can just email me with who to get in touch with and I can take care of the rest.

There will be more to come on the conference so stay tuned. But now on to the other offerings in our region.

Seaglass and More at the BIC

The don’t miss event of the Sea Glass Symposium as well as many other great events are coming up at the Barrier Island Center. See their flyer for more details.

Research money available

The call for proposals for Sea Grant is now open. Check out here for more information.

Learn to “frog” by ear

Brevard Zoo has Frogwatch training coming up next month. Read the flyer for more information on this great citizen science project.

Job Opportunity available

Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Position: Coordinator, Academic Support Services position #980318

Job Summary: The Coordinator, Academic Support Services will coordinate various marine education programs, including developing curriculum, scheduling visiting groups, managing teaching labs, and training other instructors.

Job Duties: Will provide instruction in marine education programs at the high school level. Aid in maintaining a safe and clean work place in compliance with FAU and HBOI safety and dive safety programs. Perform other duties as assigned.


A Master’s degree in marine science, environmental science, science education, or related field; or a Bachelor’s degree in marine science, environmental science, science education, or related field and two years of experience required. Experience in operating small boats is required. Experience in science education at the K-12 level is also required. Lifeguarding experience is preferred. Must be able to meet training and skill requirements set by FAU’s Dive Safety for snorkeling supervision. Requirements may include but are not limited to obtaining certifications in lifesaving, CPR, AED, O2, and first aid. Must complete the necessary training as provided by FAU and HBOI. Excellent organizational skills, strong communication skills, and the ability to work well as part of a team are also a must. Must be able to work outside of regular work hours when necessary. Valid driver’s license required.

Salary range: $35,000 – $40,000 per annum

Term:   Grant funded, current end date 7/31/17, eligible but not guaranteed for additional funding

Special Instructions to Applicant:

This position is location at FAU’s Harbor Branch in Fort Pierce Florida.  Final candidate will be required to have official, sealed transcripts and original NACES evaluation, if applicable, sent from their educational institution to Human Resources prior to the start of employment. Successful completion of a background and motor vehicle check is required for the selected candidate prior to the start date.  Applicants must apply electronically on the website https://jobs.fau.edu by completing Faculty, Administrative, Managerial and Professional (AMP) Positions Application, position number 980318.

Florida Atlantic University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action/equal access institution and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veterans status or any other characteristic protected by law. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation, please call 561-297-3057. 711.

FAU is committed to the principles of engaged teaching, research and service, and reflects this commitment as a key Platform in its 2015-2025 Strategic Plan.  All persons aspiring to achieve excellence in the practice of these principles are encouraged to apply.



It seems like we just finished up the national conference but would you believe its already time to think about the next FMSEA annual conference. If you haven’t heard yet we’ll be holding it in one of my favorite Florida cities, St Augustine, May 4-7. You can even reserve your hotel already at the Hampton Inn & Suites Vilano Beach just minutes away from the historical area of St. Augustine. We secured a rate of $164 a night which is a steal for a hotel right along the beach or most any area in St Augustine for that matter.

The call for presenters is also open and we would love for you to share your expertise with all our members. Topics on ocean literacy, marine & ocean conservation, new & innovative marine science content, research, activities, and curriculum are encouraged.  All concurrent sessions will be Saturday, May 6th.
Please complete and submit the Call for Presenters form by using the following link:  https://goo.gl/forms/mf0OkEmhC2ZJ4DBF2 Deadline for proposal submission is 5:00PM March 15, 2017.  Notification of accepted proposals will be sent during the following week of March. Questions?  Contact: proposals@fmsea.org

We are also looking for dynamic educators and/or researchers that teach about or research areas of the Ocean Literacy Principles to participate in the opening plenary session at the upcoming FMSEA conference on May 4- 7, 2017. The theme of the conference is FMSEA On the First Coast: Shining a Light on Ocean Literacy.

If you or someone you know teaches and/or conducts research within any of the Ocean Literacy Principles and is interested in sharing their experiences and viewpoints with the FMSEA 2017 Conference attendees, then please reply to the FMSEA Presidents’ Chain (Past-President Jenna LoDico, President Jaclyn Gerakios, & President-Elect Earnie Olsen).
The Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy are:
1 The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
2 The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
3 The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
4 The ocean made Earth habitable.
5 The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
6 The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
7 The ocean is largely unexplored.
For more information on Ocean Literacy, go to http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/
Stay tuned for more information about the FMSEA 2017 Conference at http://fmsea.org/events/conferences/2017-2/

Dune to Lagoon at BIC

Check out the great events happening at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach in November and December.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

I’ve been involved with the following program and couldn’t recommend it more for those looking for more information and climate change and possible money to do affiliated projects at your facility.

Do you want to do more than just learn about climate change?
Join educators across the United States supporting climate resilience.
Apply NOW to join the NOAA Climate Stewards 2017 Stewardship Community.

Selected educators who meet project requirements will be eligible for:

  • Up to $2000 to support the execution of a climate stewardship action project.
  • Travel reimbursements to attend select workshops and/or national conferences – following the successful completion of a climate stewardship project.
  • Special professional development opportunities.
  • Monetary and educational resources.

Applications are being accepted until midnight November 20, 2016. 

If you are now a member of the Stewardship Community, received funding to carry out a climate stewardship action project and are interested in extending your project for the 2017/2018 academic year, or interested in conduct another or related stewardship project during the 2017/2018 academic year, you MUST reapply this year.

To learn more about this opportunity and apply, go to the NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project Web Site

Questions? Contact:


Even if you aren’t ready to get involved in the large community you can still attend their presentations each month which the next is this Monday.

Join Us Monday, November 7 at 7:30 pm Eastern Time for:
Water Water Everywhere? Will There Be Enough to Drink?
Space is Limited! Reserve Your Seat at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

NOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project is pleased to welcome Brian McInerney, Senior Hydrologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service Forecast Office in Salt Lake City, Utah as our featured speaker this month. 


Of the climate change research found in accredited journals, 97.4% of the scientists agree our atmosphere is warming and that humans are the main cause of it. As such, it’s important to understand that in the scientific community there is no longer a discussion of this fact. The question then arises as to the magnitude of the warming we’re facing, what changes we’ll we see in the world’s weather and how those changes will affect the world’s population.

The evidence of climate change is compelling. In this lifetime we have seen sea levels rise, global temperature increased, oceans warm, ice sheets shrink, a decline of arctic sea ice, the retreat of glaciers, an increase in intense weather events, ocean acidification, and the decline of snowpacks.

In this discussion, Brian will address the predicted and observed impacts of a warming climate to water resources globally, and then regionally within the United States. In the United States we can expect areas that receive the majority of their water supply from spring snowmelt runoff to transition to a rain driven hydrology. Where areas that were once snow covered mountains, we can expect those mountains to receive rainfall during the cold season. Additionally, we’ll see a change in precipitation patterns affecting vast majorities of the population. This includes increased storm and rainfall intensity, more extensive and prolonged droughts, and a long term change in precipitation patterns.

With these changes in our future, how will we adapt? In fact, can we change the rate and magnitude of our warming? What can one person do to alter our future?

Festival Time

With the nicer weather here is is time for festivals. There is a lot of competition each weekend for festivals. You may be interest in a few ocean related festivals as well as other events listed in the Conradina Chapter of the Native Plant Societies most recent newsletter Conradina News November 2016.

Keys to Ocean Education

Though not in our region this is another experience I’ve had the pleasure of attending and I would recommend it for any educator and not just because you get to go to the keys. The information learned and experiences there are great.

Newfound Harbor Marine Institute (NHMI) is now accepting registrations for our annual Marine Education Workshop.
Registration Fee: $250.00 TEACHERS/EDUCATORS
Registration includes two nights lodging, five meals (Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch), lectures, field trips and snorkel gear. Registration is based on a first come first serve basis.  Please contact the Marketing Department at: 305-951-7430 or info@nhmi.org for a registration form or with any questions about the workshop.
NHMI is located on Big Pine Key, in the Lower Florida Keys, 120 miles southwest of Miami via US 1.  This Marine Education Workshop will offer the opportunity to study a variety of marine science concepts.  Unique sub-tropical program sites within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary include: Soft and hard coral communities, mangrove islands, nearshore sponge and seagrass beds, and Negoniolithon Shoals.
All educators, naturalists and others with an interest in the marine environment, 21 and older, are invited to join us.

In-Service Credit: Available to participants through your county/school office.

An FWC/FMSEA Aquatic Species Collecting Workshop to earn a 3-year certification to collect aquatic species for educational purposes within the state of Florida will also be offered during the weekend.
This is a great opportunity to experience first-hand the unique approach NHMI/Seacamp uses to educate youth through a customized experiential education program,
Don’t hesitate to contact them with any questions about any aspects of their programs.
Judy Gregoire
Newfound Harbor Marine Institute
305-872-2331 ext 238

And the Award Goes to…

No we aren’t talking about the Oscars but you can get recognized for you contributions to conservation.

Announcing the John Denham Award for Community Engagement in Conservation

Do you know a scientist, NGO leader, or philanthropist whose actions have made or are making a lasting impact on critical conservation efforts by engaging local communities? Apply or nominate someone today for the John Denham Award!

Ecology Project International believes that lasting conservation depends on local community support and engagement, and we’re looking for incredible individuals who share this vision around the world. In addition to sharing the story of your work with our audiences, the 2016 John Denham Award winner will also receive a 5-day, 4-night stay for two at Pacuare Reserve in Costa Rica, which includes hands-on interaction with the scientists and ongoing research happening during the time of your visit.

Applications are due by NOVEMBER 30, 2016 – apply or nominate someone today: https://www.ecologyproject.org/denhamaward.

SJRWMD launches new educational grant program


I am excited to announce a new program at the St. Johns River Water Management District I hope our region’s teachers will consider being part of. This week we launched the Blue School Grant Program.


The District has a strong commitment to educating the next generation and their families about the value of water. Our staff has done this for many years through in-school and online programs. The Blue School Grant Program enhances the District’s educational outreach work. Having been involved in a similar program when I was the Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, I know such programs have been well received by our educators and the children they serve.


In our inaugural year, the District has budgeted up to $10,000 for this grant program, providing up to $1,000 per teacher per school to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources issues. Four grants types are available: water quality field study, water-conserving garden project, community/school awareness campaign and a freshwater resources field study program. Public and charter school teachers of grades 9 through 12 within the District’s 18-county service area are eligible to apply.


The deadline to apply is Nov. 30, 2016, and teachers receiving grants will be notified by Dec. 12. Information packets are being mailed to each high school in the District. In the meantime, I encourage our educators to learn more about this program at www.sjrwmd.com/education. Thanks in advance to each of you who plan to participate, and thanks to the District’s team who put together this opportunity. I’m thrilled we will be working even more closely with our community schools on water resource outreach!

And that’s about all for this blog. Remember if you have information or programs at your institution that you’d like to get the word out about then send them my way.

I know you haven’t had a blog from me in a little while but between summer camps, creating a new outdoor exhibit, and planning the NMEA conference this summer has been insanely busy. So after a bit of hiatus I am back to share some great resources with you. Enjoy!

Wish for a Fish

Do you want to collect fish and aquatic invertebrates to use for education? Then this class is for you. September 10, from 11:00am-2:00pm there will be an aquatic species collection workshop at Riverwalk Park in Rockledge. The cost is $25 and includes a 3-year permit that allows you to collect aquatic species for educational use. Go to https://www.regonline.com/ascw-riverwalk-160910 to register. There are less than 10 spots remaining so don’t delay.

Unleash Your Inner Cameron

Beneath the Waves Youth Making Ripples Film Festival is now open for submissions for any student in grades K-12 . All films must be on a marine-related topic and must be less than 5 minutes in length. There is NO submission fee for the Youth Making Ripples Competition. Finalists are eligible to win small scholarships and a shark tagging expedition. Films for the 2017 festival should be submitted by December 5th, 2016 and should be submitted to: youthmakingripples@gmail.com For the full details please see visit the website at http://beneaththewaves.org/youth-programs/submit-a-youth-film/

Did you say Free?

Inwater Research Group is offering several free resources to teachers including traveling trunks, lesson plans, and informational posters.

Traveling Trunks are a great way to get 3rd-8th graders interested in STEM initaitves through inquiry-based learning. Students will learn about Florida’s sea turtles, their nesting habits, how to sample populations, and step into the role of IRG biologists. Check their program calendar to see what dates are available. Once there, go to the left panel and click “Files”. Download the Registration Form and email back to rmott@inwater.org to reserve your trunk.

Lessons are designed to translate real sea turtle research into meaningful conservation lessons. Students get hands on with tools of the trade, and in the role of biologists to see what real scientists to on a daily basis. Trunks can be borrowed for up to three weeks and contain four conservation-based lessons. Lessons are pre-printed, cut, laminated and ready to go in the lesson binder, leaving little to no work for you!

Not in Martin or St. Lucie County? Not a problem! They have partnered with 5 organizations throughout the state to expand our reach. To see if these organizations are within your school districts, take a look below!

IRG’s Traveling Trunks are now available through:

Indian River County Sea Turtle Program: Indian River County
Kendra Cope
(772) 538-0616

Suncoast Science Center: Manatee and Sarasota County
Madeline Hansen
(941) 840-4394

UF Whitney Lab: Flagler and St. Johns County
Catherine Eastman
(904) 461-4028

Broward County Parks and Recreation: Broward and Palm Beach County
Katherine Hendrickson
(954) 357-5113

Trout Lake Nature Center: Lake and Volusia County
Eileen Tramontana
(352) 357-7536

Lesson plans span K-12th grade and cater to each grade levels NGSSS benchmarks and learning styles. Students will journey through the amazing world of sea turtles to learn about their biology, ecology, research, and conservation practices. Lessons are mailed directly to your doorstep on a DVD. They require little to no extra supplies* and are built to engage students in a meaningful way. To request your lessons plans, please visit here.

They also offer a series of educational posters for the classroom that pair beautiful artwork with scientific information. To see which poster would look best in your classroom, please visit here. While not listed, we have limited availability for the individual 5 species of Florida’s sea turtles both in English and Spanish. If you’d like to request these, please mention it in the email you send.

All About Estuaries

September 24th Mark’s National Estuaries Day. The Barrier Island Center is not limiting it to just one day though. Check out their various programs throughout the month surrounding the topic of estuaries. Learn to count fish and go snorkeling on your first survey, learn about and plant mangroves to adopt, make wind chimes from beach finds, and much more. Take a look at their September Calendar for all the upcoming events.

Shameless Plug

I always feel a bit strange plugging my own events on this blog as I like to be able to share what is going on throughout the region; however, there shouldn’t be anything wrong about some shameless self promotion once and a while, so here goes. National Estuaries Day also falls on the same day as National Public Lands Day. We will have a few events here at Riverwalk. First we will be removing invasive grape vine from our nature preserve along the Indian River Lagoon from 9:00am – 2:00pm as part of National Public Lands Day. At the same time we are also holding an event to raise money for our Nature Explore Classroom, a nature based playground, where you can sponsor and create a garden stepping stone to be placed into the new exhibit. A donation of $15 is suggested for each stone. We are holding a similar fundraising event on September 10, from 2:00pm-6:00pm. You can click the links for more information and to register.

Calling all Fellows

Are you getting ready to graduate or have graduated with a Masters or above in the last two years? Florida Sea Grant has a great Fellowship opportunity working with Florida Coastal Office of FDEP. See the fellowship announcement for more information.

Science Fair Made Simple

Do you know any 5th-8th grade students participating in the science fair? Have them attend Research Rules on Saturday, September 24, from 8:30am – 12:00pm, to learn tips and tricks to make a great science fair project. They will also be able to speak with professionals in related science fields to ask specific questions about their project ideas. Registration is free and everyone attending will receive prizes too! Go to www.spacecoastscience.org to find out more information and register.

And the Answer Is

How is your ocean trivia? Put your knowledge to use and help to review and edit questions for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Technical Advisory Panel in September and October in Washington, D.C. Even better your travel expenses are paid for. What are you waiting for, check out the NOSB flyer to learn more and apply.

And remember, if you have any events or items to share with your fellow educators just send them my way and I’ll include them in my next blog. Until then, best fishes.


East Central Regional Blog – May 2016

by Brandon 2016/05/11 East Central

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 […]

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East Central Regional Update April 2016

by Brandon 2016/04/02 East Central

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 […]

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FMSEA East Central Update – February 2016

by Brandon 2016/02/10 East Central

The is a lot going in this update so please take your time to read to the end. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the plethora of information. First we’ll start with some conference news. Registration should be up shortly but there are many other things going on right now with the conference you […]

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East Central Region January 2016 Updates

by Brandon 2016/01/16 East Central

I wanted to wish you all a happy new year. I apologize for the lateness of this update but unfortunately I had a family emergency that took me out of state and put me a bit behind. Not to worry there are still some interesting events going on to tell you about. Share your love […]

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East Central Regional Blog December 2015

by Brandon 2015/12/03 East Central

Barrier Island Bound The Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach is loaded with activities this month with things like sea horses, sustainable fishing, right whale monitoring training, eco-art, marine book club, and many more. Check out the details and all the upcoming events here. A Meeting of Minds The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Symposium is the […]

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East Central Regional Blog – October 2015

by Brandon 2015/10/17 East Central

With school in full swing we’ve been packed with programs here. I hope everything is going great at your facilities and you are keeping equally as busy. There’s a lot of great stuff going on this month so lets get to it so I don’t take up any more of your time then necessary. What’s […]

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East Central Regional Blog – September 2015

by Brandon 2015/09/04 East Central

I hope you are all adjusting well to the new school year. I know things are ramping up for us at Riverwalk as we have almost filled October already with programs. There are a lot great events going on this month throughout our region so I won’t waste any of your time getting to them. […]

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