The FMSEA 2014 Conference is almost upon us! I hope you will be joining us in Panama City Beach, FL on April 25 – 27, 2014. The Conference Committee has been working hard and has some great things lined up for the weekend including field trips, a SciCafe at Gulf World Marine Park, concurrent sessions and exhibit hall at Surfside Middle School and the Year-End Banquet and Awards Ceremony at Advanced Technology Center of Gulf Coast State College. Below are some details about Elections and Awards for FMSEA 2014.


Our Board of Directors, as in other organizations, does the majority of the work of the organization during its meetings. The Board meets several times a year at locations across the state and the meetings are open to all members. Taking place over a weekend, the extended time allows the board to fully cover the many items on the agenda, as well as take-in some behind-the- scenes exploring of the host site for our annual conference. There are a number of FMSEA Board positions up for election this year:

  • Regional Directors: Panhandle, North and West Central regions (map of FMSEA regions)
    • Regional Directors (RD) are clearinghouses for information about marine science education events, activities and opportunities. RDs create and support training and professional development opportunities and work to nurture and actively grow that professional network of marine science educators that is FMSEA’s single greatest benefit. RDs must attend and contribute to all Board Meetings.
  • Secretary
    • The FMSEA Secretary must attend all Board Meetings and is tasked with recording, preparing and distributing the minutes. Secretary is also responsible for maintaining Board policies and maintaining compliance of the Standard Operating Procedures.
  • President-Elect
    • The President-Elect serves for one-year as the de-facto vice president, filling in when the FMSEA President is unavailable, before assuming the office in the following year. The President-Elect also collects the nominations for the next round of elections and awards.

If you are interested in running for one of the positions listed above, please contact Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski at


We are really excited about this year’s FMSEA Service Award and the John Beakley “Marine Science Educator of the Year” Award.  Join us in Panama City Beach to congratulate the recipients!

Don’t forget to tweet, post and Instagram anything and everything FMSEA 2014 using #FMSEA14. See you in PCB!!

Happy International Coastal Cleanup Month! I hope you’re finding some great events to participate in. If you haven’t yet, here are some more going on in the Southwest Region….

4th Annual Monofilament Cleanup

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
  • Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: Sarasota Sailing Squadron
  • Sign up at Sarasota Bay Watch.

National Estuaries Day

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
  • Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Location: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Detail can be found here.

Morning Paddle on Sarasota Bay

  • Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
  • Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Register online.

Keep Manatee Beautiful

  • Date: Saturday, October 6, 2012
  • Time: 9:00 am (time may vary with location)
  • Location: Varies, see website for details.
  • Sign up at Keep Manatee Beautiful.

Why keep our coasts beautiful? I think the Ocean Conservancy says it all here,



Help Spread the Word

We have been out pushing the FMSEA message to teachers across the state at teacher in-services, workshops, and conferences. My challenge to you is to help spread the word about FMSEA to your colleagues this year. Did you know FMSEA gives a FREE membership to first year teachers? So reach out to any new teachers this year and invite them to try out FMSEA. Member applications can be found on our website.

Get Dirty to Get Clean

Many volunteer opportunities are happening in September around the state with National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 29.

Grapevine Removal at Riverwalk: A Family Park from 9 a.m. or 11 a.m., Rockledge

Get down and dirty removing invasive grapevine from the preserve at Riverwalk. Volunteers must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes; work gloves, sunscreen and long sleeves are recommended. Bottled water will be provided. You can also earn community service hours for bright futures or other programs if applicable.

Seining at Barrier Island Center from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Melbourne Beach

In recognition of National Public Lands Day join BIC biologists as they search for the amazing creatures that inhabit the Indian River Lagoon. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Closed toe water shoes required and please wear insect repellant and sunscreen. Meet on the BIC oceanfront deck at 9:30 a.m.

Kayak Paddles at Barrier Island Center from 9 a.m. or 11 a.m., Melbourne Beach

Paddle and explore with a guided hour and a half kayak tour of our precious preserve. Closed toe water shoes required and please wear insect repellant and sunscreen. Enrollment is limited to 4 tandem and 3 single kayaks per session (two sessions available). Children must paddle tandem with an adult. Meet on the BIC oceanfront deck, a half hour prior to your kayak session. Preregistration required, call 321-723-3556 to make your reservation by Thursday, September 27th.

There are many other opportunities for National Public Lands Day including shoreline cleanups, scrub jay monitoring, concerts, and more. Visit the NPLD website to search for events near you my map or zip code.

Muddy the Waters

Also on September 29 is National Estuaries Day. Find events in our National Estuarine Research Reserves by visiting the National Estuaries Day website.

Brevard Zoo will be celebrating the day with an event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Join them for oyster mat making, oyster drilling, book readings of “An Afternoon in Mosquito Lagoon” at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., mangrove planting with FDEP, games, crafts, exhibitors, and more. Zoo admission is required.

A little further south, at the location of our 2013 annual conference, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Smithsonian Marine Station will host their own public celebrations to commemorate the day. Event offerings will include informal presentations by staff scientists, live Indian River Lagoon organism displays, hands-on science activities, learning games, children’s entertainment, arts and crafts, food and drink concessions, and pontoon boat eco tours of the lagoon. Admission is free and shuttles are available between the two locations. For more information about event day activities occurring at FAU Harbor Branch, please call the Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Center at 772-242-2293. For information about Museum Pointe Park event day activities, please call 772-465-3271.

Heed the Siren Song

Care for Our Manatees – Saturday, September 22nd @ 2 p.m.
Also at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach, join Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Biologists for an intimate look into the life of these gentle giants. Learn why they are an endangered species, what threats they face and what you can do to help protect and enjoy them for many years to come. Free to attend, no reservations required.


Conference Preview

by Brandon 2012/08/27 East Central

I hope everyone is staying safe and dry. As Isaac was approaching the state, I was in Fort Pierce getting a preview of what is to come with next spring’s FMSEA Conference on May 2-5. I’m excited about what is in store for next year. First of all, we have an amazing site for the conference at […]

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Southwest Regional Update – August 2012

by Dana 2012/08/22 Regional Reports

Greetings FMSEA Southwest Region! I hope this update finds you recharged and ready to take on another school year!  Read on for information about events in our region and be sure to check out the details of our SW Regional Member Contest.  Please contact me if you have any questions or event updates.  Have a […]

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August West Central Regional update

by George 2012/08/14 Regional Reports

I hope everyone had a fantastic summer and is ready to begin the new school year! I listed some upcoming events, resources, and grants that may be of interest to our members.  If you know of a local events and or your organization is hosting an event, be sure to let me know!  Also, if […]

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Florida Master Naturalist Program

by Dana 2012/06/03 Regional Reports

Coastal Habitats Module Now at Mote Marine Laboratory! Mote Marine Laboratory will offer the Florida Master Naturalist Coastal Habitats Module on Saturdays, beginning September 22 through October 27, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Visit Mote’s website for course schedule, student requirements and scholarship opportunities. Overview: Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Module provides instruction on the general […]

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Regional Report: Southwest

by Dana 2012/06/03 Regional Reports

June 2012 I hope this update finds you energized after the FMSEA Annual Conference and ready to kick off the summer! Read on to see what’s happening in our region and around the state. Please contact me if you have any questions or event updates. Have a great day! ~ Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski, Southwest Regional Director

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Mote Science Café

by Dana 2012/06/01 Regional Reports

Brown Bags to Beggar the Dolphin Bad eating habits and poor nutrition are an issue with America’s youth…and Sarasota Bay dolphins? Join the discussion about nutrition in humans and dolphins – including a local dolphin named “Beggar” whose story reveals why feeding wild dolphins is harmful – from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7 […]

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Coral Reefs: The Real Thing (Inspiration) And The Art

by Editor 2012/05/14 Conference Committee Updates

Coral reefs are often called “the rainforests of the sea” because of the diversity found in their created habitats. Join us for an artistic look at inspiration (the real thing, a coral reef) and the art that results at our May 17 SciCafé in St. Petersburg, FL.

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