Not to worry I’m still here. Sorry to not have sent any notices in a while but this has been a crazy time of year as I’m sure it was for many of you. I was in charge of a festival in November and it was absorbing most of my time. But I have returned with a slew of exciting opportunities for you.  So lets not delay.

Who Knows What I’ll Catch in McElligot’s Pool

The University of Florida IFAS Extension Brevard County and Wild Ocean Seafood Market will host Seafood at Your Fingertips on January 10, 10am-1pm. Learn about sustainable seafood found in Florida and sample some local delights. More information can be found on the flyer or you can register here for only $20.

Oh The Places You’ll Go

The events at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach focus on the theme of Migration this month. Find out not only about our feathered friends that visit in the winter but all sorts of other animals moving to and around Florida this time of year including right wales and seahorses (bet you didn’t know they migrated).  See the entire Calendar of Events at the BIC.

Yertle the Turtle

Do you have an education facility in need of a turtle or two? Recently, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has confiscated a large number of hatchling terrapins that now are in need of a home. They have stipulated that these animals cannot be used for research and must be in the public domain; e.g. nature centers, zoos, outdoor education centers, aquaria, or any other facility that maintains an education component. They cannot go to private individuals or to research labs.  The Diamondback Terrapin Working Group would be willing to facilitate and vet any organizations that are interested and willing to take on this permanent housing of terrapins.  If your organization is interested in some or all of these animals then please contact Joe Butler at or Willem Roosenburg and we will initiate the process of getting the animals to you. This is a unique and rare opportunity to get some of these wonderful turtles into your facility where they can be used to promote Terrapin conservation. You will need to acquire permits from FWC for display but if you already possess a Class III wildlife permit or are a government facility you should be covered. If not we can point you in the right direction to acquire the proper permitting.   If you know of a facility that does not have terrapins but has been longing to get some then please feel free to forward this posting.

 Great Day for Up!

At least at the beach it will be. This Saturday is the Ocean Reef Beach Festival in Indialantic. Check out the lineup of speakers below. View the other events going on during the day and find more information at

Surf festival schedule

Insert Dr. Seuss Title Here

Ok, I can only stretch Doctor Seuss quotes and titles so far before sounding absurd (though he never had issue with that). But that doesn’t mean the great information has stopped. I’d like to let you know about a program I’ve been personally involved in for the last two years. The NOAA Climate Steward Project. They are changing their formatting to allow a wider audience to participate in their monthly informational webinars while still keeping some of the core opportunities like a $2000 grant to complete a climate change related project.

Do you want to:

• learn more about climate science,
• become part of a science learning community?
• join other educators who are supporting climate resilience?

Then you should become a NOAA Climate Steward!

NOAA’s Climate Steward Education Project (CSEP) provides formal and informal educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship. CSEP also provides support for educators to execute climate stewardship (mitigation or adaptation) projects to increase understanding of climate science, and practical actions to reduce the impact of climate change. The project is part of NOAA’s portfolio of activities to strengthen ocean, climate, and atmospheric science education. There are two levels of involvement.

Level I. If you are only interested professional development opportunities in climate science and have no interest in doing a stewardship project.

Level II. If you are interested in professional development opportunities and:
• Mini-grant funding up to $2000.00 to develop and implement a climate stewardship project.
• Travel stipends/reimbursements to attend and present at regional workshops &/or national conferences
• Special professional development opportunities
• CSEP contests with monetary and educational resource prizes

Find out more about NOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project and what it has to offer you at this informational webinar. Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Of Interest In a Neighboring Region

Calling all local birding enthusiasts and environmentalists! Award winning conservationist and Audubon blogger, Hart Rufe, will share some sage advice on “Birding in St Lucie County” and offer opportunities to participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count, as the guest speaker at the Manatee Center’s December Lunch and Learn on December 12, at noon. Admission is FREE so bring your lunch and a friend.

Money and Resources for High School Teachers

The University of Florida and Project Learning Tree are excited to announce an opportunity for high school teachers to participate in an evaluation of a new instructional resource, “Southeastern Forests and Climate Change.” In addition to receiving the benefit of using this new and innovative classroom resource with students, participating teachers are also eligible to receive $300 stipends for their participation. Here are the details:

• Who: Participants should be high school teachers (grades 9-12) in the Southeastern United States who teach biological, agricultural, environmental science, or related courses. If you think this might fit into your spring curriculum, we encourage you to submit an application!

• What: Southeastern Forests and Climate Change contains 14 activities and is intended for high school science students. This evaluation project is divided into three thematic activity packages. Project applicants will be asked to select the package that best fits their curriculum, as all 5 assigned activities must be completed as part of the evaluation design. Selected participants will also be responsible for obtaining students’ proper parental permissions, administering student pre- and post-assessments, and completing the required teacher evaluation forms. Additional details on the package options and the evaluation application are attached.

• When: Interested participants should review the attached details on the three activity packages, select one, and submit your online application by December 15, 2014. Participant selection will be based on location, grade-level, and subject area. Depending on the level of interest and funding, we may be able to offer this opportunity again in the fall.

• Where: Teachers and classrooms across the Southeastern United States are eligible to participate (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia).

• Why: These materials were developed through a partnership between a national environmental education program (Project Learning Tree) and a research project focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation in southern pine forests (PINEMAP). Both programs support efforts to understand how forests can be managed to address changing climate conditions and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Please feel free to pass this information along to other teachers in your area that may also have an interest in participating. All resources for using the activities (PowerPoint presentations, videos, etc.) and completing the evaluation materials (permission forms, pre- and post-assessments, etc.) will be provided.

Don’t hesitate to contact Tracey Ritchie with any questions (, and we look forward to working with you!

Masters and Doctoral Scholarship

​Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research—particularly by female and minority students—in NOAA mission-related sciences of oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology, including all science, engineering and resource management of ocean and coastal areas. Scholarship selections are based on academic excellence, letters of recommendations, research and career goals, as well as​ financial need.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarships may provide (​subject to appropriations​) yearly support of up to $42,000 per student (a 12-month stipend of $30,000 in addition to an education allowance of up to $12,000), and up to $10,000 of support for a 4-6 week program collaboration at a NOAA facility. Masters students may be supported for up to two years, and doctoral students for up to four years. Depending on funding, approximately three to four scholarships are awarded each year.​

Completed applications must be received by by December 10, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

​For more information about the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program and to download a copy of this Federal Funding Opportunity, visit

Field Course on a Tall Ship

The Flagship Niagara League, in partnership with Niagara University, Lock Haven University, and The Ohio State University, would like to announce that it is currently accepting applicants for its 2015 Environmental Science Field School, June 10th through July 3rd on the historic tall ship, the U.S. Brig NIAGARA.  Space is limited, and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tuition is $1700 per student, and includes room, board, and all materials for the course.

Students live and study aboard one of the largest tall ships in North America during this three-week course covering Great Lakes earth and marine science along with environmental policy. The Brig NIAGARA, a replica of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship from the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, will take you on a trip across all the Great Lakes, stopping at ports of call in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Students will experience the visited ecosystems first hand: expect to get wet, encounter wildlife, and get dirty! Much of this course includes sailing the ship, water sampling, fish trawling and dissections, and a general close-up on how lake science and ship handling works. While previous sailing experience is not required, students will be expected to help sail the ship (within their level of comfort.)

The program is open to students of all ages and all majors.  For details, or to apply, call or write using the contact information below.

William J. Edwards, Ph.D.

Niagara University

Lead Professor

Phone: 716-286-8250



Joseph T Lengieza

Director of Marine Operations


(814) 452-2744 x214

150 E Front St, Suite 100

Erie, PA 16507

The Flagship Niagara League is a 501 (C) 3, non-profit educational associate organization of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), chartered to facilitate citizen participation and operation of the U.S. Brig Niagara and its homeport, Erie Maritime Museum.

Online Education Resources

Check out the redesigned Educational Resources pages from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) organized by subject and themes.These pages include relevant articles, EOL Species Collections, podcasts and lesson plans/activities from EOL partners that can be used either to supplement existing curriculum or on their own.

Questions, comments or suggestions? Contact us at education (at)


And we will finish with a return to Dr. Seuss, sort of. This film was created by students in Maui Huliau Foundation’s Huliau Environmental Filmmaking Club.  Inspired by Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, this claymation film by middle school students uses 667 images to show how irresponsible shoreline development can impact reef ecosystems. A great six and half minutes that deserves more exposure. Hope you enjoy it as well as the rest of your holiday season.

A Bonus Holiday Gift

And as an added bonus for those who took the time to read all the way through and may be newer to FMSEA, I did a series of blogs in December 2012 on the 12 Days of Fishmas. They are accessible in the blog archives and combine some fun with Photoshop to create holiday related ocean animals based on actual species. Here is an example of the first day. Can you guess the species? Ribbon-Eel-copy-265x300Click the link to get the answer and to the first two days of Fishmas and then click More Entries at the bottom to access the other ten. I also have them in a PowerPoint format (without the additional species info) and a list of more related holiday ocean animal names on this blog entry for Holidays Under the Sea. Don’t forget to share any of your events or opportunities you think may be of interest to our members and I will get them out on future updates.



A request from Maria Sgambati at the Seahorse Key Marine Lab in Cedar Key:

Hello Seahorse Friends,
The fall has flown by and it is time for our December open house! And we need you!
The event will take place Saturday December 13 from 9am-3pm.
This promises to be an interesting and fun open house with the University of Florida Fusion of Arts and Biology program exhibits on display. (Stay tuned for more info on this!) And in the evening of Saturday December 13th, the Cedar Key Boat parade will take place along with the arrival of Santa Clam. So come and spend the day at Seahorse Key
Volunteers are needed for touch tanks, and drink and t-shirt sales. There is also the opportunity to spend Friday night in the lighthouse.
We will probably have two boat departures on FRIDAY December 12- one in the morning and one around 4pm. And additional boat will leave Saturday morning around 830am. Carpooling from G’ville is generally available.
PLEASE let me know if you would like to participate and if so, whether you plan on coming Friday or just for the day on Saturday.
Further details will be provided early next week.
Thanks in advance for all your help.

Maria Sgambati, M.D.
Education and Outreach Program Manager
Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory
202.486.6491 (mobile)

Hello West Central members!

I just wanted to write a quick note and wish all you of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I also received a request for volunteers for the 11th annual Spoonbill bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Spoonbill bowl is part of the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) and is an academic competition for high school students that is based in the major areas of oceanography. The 2015 Spoonbill bowl will be held on February 7th, 2015 at the USF’s College of Marine Science, USF St. Petersburg, and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) facilities in St. Petersburg, FL. Please click on the link below to find what volunteer positions are available and how to sign up!

As usual please send me the awesome marine science work you are doing with your students. I would love to feature you on our blog!

Let me know if you need anything from me!



BLUE Ocean Splashes into Tampa Bay

by Jenna 2014/11/10 Crow's Nest

BLUE is an enlightening and entertaining 7-Day summit showcasing the world’s finest ocean films and award winning marine photography along with a filmmakers marketplace, science and conservation seminars, international policy discussions and a robust ocean media industry conference. This year, for the first time BLUE was hosted in the Tampa Bay Area from November 3- […]

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West Central Regional Update 10/26/14

by Jaclyn 2014/10/27 West Central

Hello everyone, This is Jaclyn updating you on things going on in our region.  Two weeks ago we have the St. Petersburg Science festival and FWC’s Marine Quest. It was great to see FMSEA members out there. Overall they were both very successful events. Next month the biggest ocean event of the year will be […]

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Seahorse Key Marine Lab Open House – Oct. 18th & 19th – Cedar Key, FL

by Earnie 2014/10/10 North

Ahoy, FMSEA North Members and members from other regions!  Maria Sgambati of the University of Florida’s Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory has an important announcement below: The University of Florida’s Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory will be holding Open Houses Saturday October 18 and Sunday October 19 from 9am-3pm. This open house corresponds with Cedar Key’s annual Seafood […]

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Amelia Island – Aquatic Species Collection Workshop – 11/15/14

by Kathy 2014/10/03 The Dip Net (Aquatic Species Collections Workshop)

DATE OF WORKSHOP Sat Nov 15 2014 14:00:00 GMT-0500 (EST) VENUE Omni Amelia Island Plantation Nature Center FACILITATOR Kathy  Russell 904-509-2484 REGISTRATION LINK: NOTES: This is a RESCHEDULED workshop that will replace the Oct. 4 workshop previously scheduled at this location. Park at the Veranda Restaurant. No security gate access required. Workshop will […]

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September Update West Central Region

by Jaclyn 2014/09/22 Regional Reports

Hello FMSEA members! Here is your regional update for the West Central Region. We had a fantastic multi-regional outing at the Marine Science Station in Crystal River on September 13.  We snorkeled in the Gulf and in the springs of Crystal River. Thanks for all of you who came! We are planning to make this […]

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Sarasota – Aquatic Species Collection Workshop – 11/01/14

by Kathy 2014/09/19 The Dip Net (Aquatic Species Collections Workshop)

Sarasota – Aquatic Species Collection Workshop DATE OF WORKSHOP Sat Nov 01 2014 09:00:00 GMT-0400 (EDT) VENUE Mote Marine Laboratory 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway Sarasota, FL FACILITATOR Jason Robertshaw 941-388-4441 REGISTRATION LINK: NOTES: Participants may participate in an optional field sampling after the workshop. Also note, the Sarasota Waterfestival ( will be held […]

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Islamorada – Aquatic Species Collection Workshop – 10/18/14

by Kathy 2014/09/11 The Dip Net (Aquatic Species Collections Workshop)

DATE OF WORKSHOP Sat Oct 18 2014 08:30:00 GMT-0400 (EDT) VENUE FIU Aquarius Reef Base 85932 Overseas Hwy Islamorada, FL FACILITATOR Dawn Miller-Walker 954-680-7977 (office) 954-257-2872 (cell) REGISTRATION LINK:–FIUAquarius141018 NOTES: Maximum of 15 participants allowed due to space.

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