Hello fellow FMSEA members!

I hope everyone is enjoying a fabulous marine science filled summer. Just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Dana Henderson, School Programs Coordinator at Mote Marine Laboratory and your new Southwest Regional Director! I hope to make Jason (our past RD) and all of you proud.  If there is anything I can do to better suit your needs through the power of FMSEA please don’t hesitate to ask or let me know.

I have included an update for the Southwest Region, which includes Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Collier County.   If there are events in our region that you would like to see promoted through FMSEA, please let me know. In addition, if you are having an event and would like someone to come and represent FMSEA, I can help with that too.   The more the merrier!


FMSEA 2015 Conference and Elections

It was great to meet many of you and this year’s conference in Tampa, Vision of the Past, Key to the Future. I was proud to have our region so strongly represented. Congratulations to the newly elected members of the FMSEA Board:

  • President: Jenna Cummins, Canterbury School of Florida
  • President-Elect: Jaclyn Gerakios, Saint Paul’s School
  • Past President: Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski, Mote Marine Laboratory
  • West Central Regional Director: Brandon Mullins, Florida Aquarium
  • Southwest Regional Director: Dana Henderson, Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Southeast Regional Director: Kerri Allen, Loggerhead Marinelife Center


Aquatic Species Collection Workshop

  • Where: Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113
  • When: Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:00pm
  • Facilitator: David Graff david.graff@dep.state.fl.us
  • Description: The primary  workshop  objective  is  to  promote  best  practices  in  the  collection  and  maintenance  of  aquatic  organisms  for  educational  activities.
  • Cost: $25 per participant
  • Registration: https://www.regonline.com/ascw-rookery-150805

Shark Days at Mote:             Real Sharks, Real Science

  • Where: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida
  • When: August 10-15, 2015
  • Description: Join Mote for a week of education and entertainment as we dive into the science behind sharks. See below for individual programs.
  • For details: www.mote.org

The Secret Lives of Sharks Google Hangout

  • When: August 12, 2015 10:00-10:25am
  • Description: Join in on the shark-tastic fun with live Google Hangouts using Mote’s SeaTrek videoconferencing technology, which will allows scientists to bring high-energy, multimedia science programming right to your computer. Each Google Hangout session is about 25 minutes and will feature real shark scientists bringing their research and fieldwork to you.
  • This program will feature Dr. Nick Whitney, a staff scientist and manager of the Behavioral Ecology & Physiology program. To watch the program live, you must have Internet access and a Google+ account. Each session will later be uploaded to SeaTrek’s youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/seatrek.
  • For details or questions: Contact Kasey Gaylord Opalewski at kasey@mote.org.

Sharks, Tales and Ales Science Café

  • Where: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota FL
  • When: Thursday August 13, 2015 6:00-7:30pm
  • Description: Have questions about sharks? Adults can join Mote shark experts Dr. Nick Whitney, Dr. Heather Marshall and Jack Morris at Mote’s Sea Cinema for a free, casual discussion between the experts and you! Food and drink will be available for purchase. Doors open at 5:30. RSVP is required and details will soon be available.

Fins and Fun Family Festival

  • Where: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota FL
  • When: Saturday August 15, 10:00am-1:00pm
  • Description: Enjoy a day dedicated to one of the top ocean predators at the Fins & Fun Family Festival! This event will wrap up Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s “Shark Days at Mote: Real Sharks, Real Science.”
  •  For more details and schedule of events: https://mote.org/events/details/fins-fun-family-festival

8th Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search

CHNEP Behavior Change Workshop

  •  Where: Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension 6700 Clark Road Twin Lakes Park Sarasota, FL 34241
  •  When: Mon, August 31, 9:00am – 4:15pm
  •  Description: Participants will be introduced to the concept and application of behavior change outreach in a way that will shift how they think about and conduct educational outreach efforts going forward, and will leave them feeling more confident about putting this practice into action.
  • Registration: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/chnep-behavior-change-august-31-2015-registration-17249912954

The CHNEP Conservation Lands Workshop

  • Where: Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St. Punta Gorda, FL
  • When: Thursday, September 10 9am-4pm (Free but please register by Sept 3)
  • Description: The CHNEP Conservation Lands Workshop is an opportunity for those who work with and are concerned about conservation lands to network and learn more about solutions to issues facing these lands in southwest Florida
  • Registration and Full Details: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/chnep-conservation-lands-workshop-sept-10-2015-tickets-16251708297?aff=es2=

Join the Lemon Bay F.I.S.H Project

  • Where: Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center, 570 Bay Park Blvd, Englewood, FL
  • When: Sat, September 12, 9:30am – 11:30am
  • Description: Calling all F.I.S.H. Folks Interested in Submerged Habitats! Get a little wet, have a little fun and learn a lot! Join American Littoral Society Biologist Chuck Idelberger from 9:30-11:30 am at Englewood’s Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center on a search for marine life in Lemon Bay. Using hand and seine nets, you will search shallow waters and seagrass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit the bay.
  • Registration: call Chuck Idelberger at 941-488-8998 or Kenya Leonard at 941-915-1244.

National Public Lands Day

  • Where: Oscar Scherer State Park, 1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229
  • When: Saturday, September 26, 2015 9:00am-2:00pm
  • Description: Free event to learn various volunteer opportunities available in the community with over 30 non-profit organizations.
  •  For full details: www.friendsofoscarsherer.com

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”                                                          -Benjamin Franklin

NMEA’s Annual Conference in Newport, Rhode Island was fantastic! There were 311 marine science educators from around the world attending the conference. The Plenary and Concurrent Session were great.

FMSEA Members at NMEA Conference FMSEA Members at NMEA 2015

One of the most popular sessions was Maia McGuire’s “Microplastics – the sources might surprise you.” As you can see, many participants sat on the floor or stood outside.

Overflow crowd Overflow crowd

There were 30+ FMSEA Members attending the conference. Chuck Shields manned the 2016 FMSEA Table throughout the conference. Our Chapter Basket again brought in the most money for the NMEA Scholarship Fund and was won by Trey Broadhurst from Texas. A big thanks to everyone who contributed to the basket – we couldn’t have done it without your generous contributions. Kerri Allen, RD-Southeast, won the GOMMEA Chapter Basket. Thanks also to everyone who added a few extra dollars to their FMSEA Auction Item at our Conference last May. With your contributions FMSEA was again able to reclaim the treasured NMEA Pike!

To see more conference photos go to


FMSEA brings home the PIKE FMSEA brings home the PIKE

A few interesting opportunities coming up for you. Also, don’t forget that if you didn’t attend the conference and haven’t done so already you will need to renew your membership by the end of June. It is only $20 and gets you great regional outings (see the next one for July below), scholarships for professional development, and reciprocal benefits at various marine institutions around the state. Go to http://fmsea.org/membership/ to renew online.

Sea Turtle Nesting Walk

Join us for a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a nesting sea turtle in the second largest loggerhead nesting site in the world. The Friends of the Carr Refuge is hosting a special walk for FMSEA at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach on Saturday, July 18, at 9:00 pm. Trained and permitted guides will find a nesting sea turtle and excavate part of the nest so you will be able to see the eggs being laid, allowing you to approach closer than you’d normally be allowed by law. Watch the amazing process as she then covers and disguises her nest and returns to the ocean. While scouts are out finding the turtle you’ll be able to relax during an information sea turtle presentation inside the Barrier Island Center’s theater. This is limited to 20 participants and you must be a FMSEA member to participate. Contact Brandon Smith at rd-eastcentral@fmsea.org by July 8, with your name and phone number to register. FMSEA will be covering the cost of the walk but should there be spaces available after the registration deadline we will open it up to family or friends of the registrants as well; however, they will be asked to cover the $15 donation for the walk themselves.

BIC Events

Speaking of the Barrier Island Center, you can see the other marine related events happening there for the month of July and August including their ever popular Tour de Turtles. Check out their calendar for all the details.

Become a Master Naturalist

There are several Florida Master Naturalist Programs being offered throughout our region. The dates listed are just the beginning and end dates of the classes, click on the Registration link to see the exact dates the classes are offered and contact information for the instructors. The core modules are 40 contact hours and the special topics courses are 24 contact hours.


Upland Systems – July 30 – August 29, 2015
Registration closes at 10:00 am on July 24, 2015
UF/IFAS Brevard County Cooperative Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL 32926

Wildlife Monitoring – September 11-19, 2015
Registration closes at 10:00 am on September 7th.
Riverwalk: A Family Park, Riverwalk Nature Center,5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge, FL 32955


Upland Systems – October 2 – November 6, 2015
Registration closes at 10:00 am on September 28, 2015
Oakland Nature Preserve, 747 Machete Trail, Oakland, FL 34760


Freshwater Wetland Systems – September 18 –  October 23, 2015
Registration closes at 10:00 am on September 14, 2015.
Volusia County Agricultural Center: Auditorium, 3100 East New York Av. DeLand, FL 32724

Coastal Systems – October 16 – November 20, 2015
Registration closes at 10:00 am on October 12
Marine Discovery Center: Lab, 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169

Additionally, there is a FMNP Meet-up in Key Largo on October 16-17th at the Murray E Nelson Govt Center Auditorium, 102050 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo. You can get a hotel room at Bay Harbor Lodge with a 20% discount available October 14-19th, 2 night minimum, Use code “MAST” when registering. Field Trips will include Snorkeling and Birding. See the schedule here and register at http://stlucie.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp_meetup_2015.html

Grant and Award Opportunities

Excellence in EE Awards


NAAEE recognizes individuals and organizations that excel in environmental education through a variety of annual awards.  Awards include the Walter E. Jeske Award, K-12 Educator of the Year, and more. The deadline for nomination is July 31, 2015.

ABC Summer of Creativity Grants


Youth Service America, in partnership with ABC and Disney Friends for Change, can help young changemakers, 5-18 years old with a sponsoring organization or school, create the future they imagine.  The Summer of Creativity Grant to supports a service project that makes communities greener, safer, and more.  The deadline for application is August 10, 2015.

Hot Planets Cool Athletes Powder Grant

In partnership with The North Face, Clif Bar and MEC, the Hot Planet / Cool Athletes Powder Grant program leverages the power of pro athletes to inspire the next generation to lead the fight against climate change.  The deadline for application is August 31, 2015.


Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation Grants

K-12 teachers are invited to apply for grants to develop or implement environmental curricula that integrate hands-on ecology exercises into the classroom.  To facilitate learning and student empowerment, environmental curricula should be holistic and strive to synthesize multiple levels of learning (facts, concepts, and principles), often including experiential integrated learning and problem solving.  The deadline for pre-proposals is September 13, 2015


Captain Planet Foundation Grants


The Captain Planet Foundation provides grants to school and community groups to support hands-on environmental projects for youth in grades K-12.  The objective of the foundation is to encourage innovative programs that empower youth to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities.  The next deadline for application is September 30, 2015.

Antarctic Art Contest


The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Art Contest seeks entries that explore and interpret Antarctic research and science related to an ice core that engineers and scientists drilled from the center of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.  Scientists are examining the ice core to make new observations and generate new ideas about the last 100,000 years of climate history.  The deadline for entry is October 1, 2015.

US Department of Education Green Ribbon School– For schools, school districts, and now for colleges and universities.


Professional Development

Join NOAA Climate Stewards Program on Monday, July 13th at 7:30 PM Eastern Time for:

 Climate and Ecological Forecasting: Predicting and Preventing Health Risks

 Space is limited. Reserve Your Spot at: 


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar

The featured speaker for July is Ms. Juli Trtanj, One Health Lead for NOAA. Integrating extreme weather and climate science in NOAA’s Climate Program Office, Ms Trtanj is responsible for developing and implementing NOAA’s Health Strategy with Federal, State, local, and international agencies, both public and private.

This webinar will focus on NOAA’s efforts conducting coastal ecological forecasts of harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, pathogens (naturally-occurring marine bacteria), and species distribution in relation to a changing climate, how these events affect people, health, and the environment (including those who do not live near the coast!), and how incidences of these events are changing over time. It will provide answers for some of the most common questions people have when visiting a beach that may be vulnerable to an ecological event, such as a harmful algal bloom. Can I eat that shellfish? Should I swim here? How do I know where to look for information? Some findings of the draft Climate and Health Assessment report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, will also be discussed.
 Department of Energy Climate Change Webinar Serieshttp://www.energy.gov/diversity/mie-webinar> Experts will provide findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and outline federal energy policy objectives, proposals, and actions as they relate to climate change and resilience for underserved communities.  An expert on energy and climate change job strategies will discuss job opportunities and regional options for renewables and energy efficiency.  Authors of the National Climate Assessment will discuss their findings and the regional applicability to those communities who are disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change.  In collaboration with US Global Climate Change Research Program, we hope to engage a diverse audience through these regional webinars. The next webinar is on July 9th.

Get Muddy at an Estuary This Summer!
Free 2015 Teachers on the Estuary Training Opportunities

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System educators and researchers offer a wide variety of profession development opportunities, grounded in research and fieldwork.  The workshops include field activities, in-depth background information about estuaries and other coastal habitats, classroom resources, and more.


Citizen Science Academy Courses Online


The NEON Citizen Science Academy, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, provides online professional development resources for educators to support effective implementation of citizen science projects and activities that focus on ecology and environmental sciences.   The project is intended to be a complete professional development resource for educators and will include online courses, modules, tutorials, and a virtual community of practice.  Current resources include a variety of online courses, videos, and more.

DataStreme Climate, Atmosphere, and Ocean Courses


The American Meteorological Society’s DataStreme Project is an expenses-paid professional development program for in-service K-12 educators.  Graduate-level courses in meteorology, oceanography, and climate science are offered by Local Implementation Teams across the country.  To register, please contact your nearest LIT leader.  Check out the upcoming fall/spring schedule.

Sensitive Topics in Science Education

Dr. Randy McGinnis, a member of the MADE CLEAR http://www.madeclear.org  team, is an instructor of preservice teachers, and has resources on including climate change topics in these courses. He has posted a presentation on teaching about sensitive topics, using climate change as an example. The page is http://www.climateedresearch.org/science-methods/index.html  and that resource is listed under Presentations. There are many other resources on this page (Climate Change Learning Sciences Research) for bringing climate change concepts and pedagogy into teacher education courses.

MADE CLEAR is working specifically with preservice teachers and their instructors to incorporate climate change concepts and models for teaching about climate change into courses.


Citizen Science Academy –  Online Courses


Have you heard about Project BudBurst, CoCoRaHS, FrogWatch USA, eBird, & PicturePost but aren’t sure how to implement them? Explore these exciting projects by enrolling in one of Citizen Science Academy’s online courses. A few reasons why you should take a CSA course:

  1. Citizen Science Academy (CSA) offers online professional development for formal and informal educators looking for easy ways to teach science concepts by immersing students in collecting, using, and interpreting scientific data.
  2. By implementing citizen science projects with your participants, they will contribute to research used by scientists all over the country. How cool is that?
  3. CSA courses qualify for graduate-level continuing education credits from Colorado School of Mines
  4. Courses are semi-facilitated, self-paced, and accessible online day or night.

Registration is still open for Summer courses, but spaces are limited, so sign up soon!


Online Earth Science Course


Earth and space science has grown in importance, and is now a required high school course in many states.  Earth science prepares students for jobs in energy, transportation, agriculture, weather forecasting, oceanography and many other fields.  It also helps students understand societal issues that require a global perspective. Yet many districts are unable to offer Earth science because they don’t have trained teachers.  In fact, only 25% of high school students currently take Earth science.

In response, TERC and Virtual High School (educational non-profits) created an ONLINE Earth science course, now available for students throughout the US.   It combines cutting edge visualization technology along with hands-on field work in the students’ local communities, and is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. The course is operated by the Virtual High School, and features online teachers certified and trained in Earth science. Students anywhere can take the course, whether as an individual student or an entire class. Thus, districts now have a creative solution, providing Earth science online, in a state-of-the-art course, even if they don’t have a local teacher qualified to teach Earth science.

For more information on cost and operational details, visit the web site (above) or contact:  JMcDonough@thevhs.org

World Climate Project


Participate in this international effort to engage young people, citizens, and decision-makers with climate change science and action through the World Climate simulation-based role-playing game (https://www.climateinteractive.org/tools/world-climate)  This effort up is a lead-up to the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, in coordination with partners in the US, Europe, South America, and elsewhere.  There will be a face-to-face workshop on July 24 at MIT as well as a series of webinars. Check out https://www.climateinteractive.org/world-climate-project for dates, times, and an application for the workshop. For more information contact: Juliette N. Rooney-Varga, Ph.D. Juliette_RooneyVarga@uml.edu

July Updates

by Kerri 2015/07/06 Southeast

Hello FMSEA Southeast! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I enjoyed seeing several FMSEA members at the National Marine Educators Association this past week in Newport, Rhode Island. Many wonderful ideas and resources were exchanged, and we are now gearing up to host the National Meeting next year in Orlando! The 2016 meeting […]

More →


by Jaclyn 2015/06/15 Crow's Nest

Hello wonderful FMSEA members! I wanted to take a second and introduce myself. My name is Jaclyn and I will be serving as president-elect for the next year. For those of you who have the summer off I hope you are enjoying your time! For those working summer camps and other projects I hope you […]

More →

East Central Regional Update – June 2015

by Brandon 2015/06/06 East Central

I hope the summer is off to a great start for everyone. Some of you are relaxing after school being out while others (like myself) are just ramping up into our busiest time of year with summer camps. Just a few quick things of note. First and foremost is to remind you that if you […]

More →

June Updates

by Kerri 2015/05/21 Southeast

Hello FMSEA Southeast! It was wonderful to see so many FMSEA members at our annual conference in Tampa last month. The theme “Vision of the Past, Key to the Future” was truly exemplified with the Key to our Future panel and sessions provided many innovative ideas and resources to bring back to the classroom. For […]

More →

Evenings at Whitney lecture

by Jennie Fagan 2015/05/07 Northeast

Northeast FMSEA members — if you weren’t able to come to the conference last weekend in Tampa you missed a great one.  We had such good speakers and it was hosted in great venues!  Make sure you have marked your calendar for NMEA 2016.  It will be in Orlando and it will be a must […]

More →

May Updates

by Kerri 2015/04/29 Southeast

Hello FMSEA Southeast! We are gearing up for another great annual conference this weekend in Tampa, I hope you are able to join us! I am excited to see all of the innovative and creative things you are doing in your classrooms and facilities, and look forward to seeing old friends and new faces alike. […]

More →

East Central Regional Update April 2015

by Brandon 2015/04/16 East Central

Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a little while but things have been crazy busy as I’m sure it is for many of you as many teachers are dealing with testing and many informal educators are dealing with those schools that want to get programs in before the end of the year. I have […]

More →