Indian River Lagoon

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 should know about.

Calling All Presenters

We are working hard on getting ready to host the National Marine Educators Association conference in Orlando, June 25 through July 1, 2016!  Do you want to be a part of the fun? It is time to put those awesome ideas “on paper” and submit your session proposals for the NMEA 2016 – Making Waves: Connections in Marine Science Education conference! Session proposals will be accepted through February 29, 2016 at http://www.marine-ed.org/?NMEA_2016_Presenters

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

While I did get the honor to be invited to an education event this last year at the White House, you can also get a large honor by helping in the political process of the FMSEA Board of Directors. We will have several positions open on the FMSEA board for 2016. Please read below about the open positions and what duties they entail.

Treasurer: The treasurer maintains the banking accounts, FMSEA Legacy Trust fund account and RegOnline registration system, and the 1 Source Conference Phone account. The treasurer is the contact person for all of these systems.  In addition, the Treasurer tracks and makes payments for any bills or reimbursements related to the organization. The treasurer also attends the Board meetings and conference calls.

Secretary: The Secretary must attend all Board Meetings and recording, preparing and distributing the meeting minutes. The secretary is also responsible for maintaining a record of Board policies.

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. Other responsibilities including blogging periodically to “The Crow’s Nest” onfmsea.org, being in charge of teacher scholarships, awards, and elections.  The President-Elect also serves as a mentor to the Regional Directors.

If you are interested in any of the positions above please send a short biography, a professional headshot, and a statement saying why you are interested in joining the board to your regional director by March 1, 2016.

And the Nominees Are…

Each year, FMSEA recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions towards moving the field of marine science forward, who provide outstanding marine science education and who want to share their successes with other practitioners. Award recipients are recognized and will receive their awards at the National Marine Educators Association Conference in Orlando June 25- July 1. Nominate someone today!

All Award Nominations must be received by no later than March 25, 2016.

JOHN BEAKLEY “MARINE SCIENCE EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR” AWARD

The FMSEA Outstanding Marine Educator Award began in 1986. It was renamed in 1999 in honor of John Beakley, a Marine Science Resource Teacher in Palm Beach County and one of FMSEA’s founders.

“I consider John to be the founding father of Marine Education in the State as he made numerous trips to Washington to obtain funds to develop the Jacksonville Marine Science Center, the Crystal River Marine Science Station, and the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Station (no longer open). He was the major force in establishing FMSEA in 1968.”
—Pat Purcell

This Award is given to an educator who has demonstrated dedication to promoting and developing marine science in Florida. Nominees need not be members of FMSEA, but member nominations are encouraged. Self-nominations are accepted. Please ask the person you nominate to address the following categories (we encourage bullets of information as opposed to a narrative):

FMSEA SERVICE AWARD

The FMSEA Service Award began in 1993 and is given each year to a member who has exhibited dedicated service to the organization. Nominees must be FMSEA members. Self-nominations are accepted. The nomination must address the following points. Please submit bullets instead of a long narrative:

STUDENT PROJECT AWARDS- AWARD FOR JUNIOR STUDENT PROJECT- THE JOHN BOOKER AWARD FOR SENIOR STUDENT PROJECT

The purpose of the two Student Project Awards is to encourage continuing education and study of the marine environment. A $300 Cash Award will be given to both a Junior and Senior Section student whose research demonstrates outstanding environmental science research with a marine and/or aquatic science connection.

Submit your application to president-elect @ fmsea.org

Also, award nominations for this year’s NMEA Annual Conference are due no later than February 15th.

Please visit the link below for specifics on the application process.

http://www.marine-ed.org/?page=awards

Calling All Beachcombers

The Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach is hosting a Sea Glass Symposium on February 20th from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. featuring keynote speaker Richard LaMotte, bestselling author of Pure Sea Glass. To see what other great events are going on at the BIC, check out their February Events Calendar.

Humanity for Habitat

Riverwalk Park in Rockledge and the Brevard County Extension Service will be offering the Florida Master Naturalist Program: Habitat Evaluation Course March 18, 19, 25, and 26. Training for the Habitat Evaluation Module includes 24 contact hours of classroom instruction, field trips, and practical interpretive experience. This course is designed to provide training in principles and commonly used techniques for evaluating wildlife habitat. People that complete this course will better understand the reasons for evaluating wildlife habitat at different scales and the methodologies used to do so. This course includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience and will better equip students to participate in data collection for habitat evaluation projects. This course will cover large-scale habitat evaluation, local-scale habitat evaluation, and water quality monitoring. View the full syllabus and register today here.

Have an earnest desire to save the world?

Rivewalk Park also has a position open for an environmental educator (Job Title: Recreation Aide) to assist with their education programs, help maintain a 6.37 acre nature preserve, and maintain an interactive nature center with aquaria. The position is part time/25 hours weekly. You can view the job description at  at the Brevard County Job Listings Site under Job Number: 201605951.

Can Trees Walk?

Join Brevard Zoo and partners for two unique, exciting opportunities to give back to the Indian River Lagoon! Learn about the importance of mangroves and the Indian River Lagoon, as well as what you can do to help this amazing ecosystem. At the end of the workshop you’ll have the opportunity to take home a mangrove seedling to “foster” (with plant care tips!). Once returned, the plant will be used in shoreline restoration along the Indian River Lagoon providing habitat for native wildlife, improving Lagoon water quality, and protecting our shorelines from erosion.

  1. Brevard Zoo, in partnership with Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Indian River Lagoon Shoreline Restoration Project, will host Adopt-A-Mangrove workshops where guests will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Brevard Zoo’s Indian River Lagoon exhibit. Reservations can be made using the following links:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (@ Brevard Zoo, 6:00 -7:00 PM)

http://adopt-a-mangrove-march-22-2016.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 (@ Brevard Zoo, 6:00 -7:00 PM)

http://adopt-a-mangrove-april-27-2016.eventbrite.com

Thursday, May 26, 2016 (@ Brevard Zoo, 6:00 -7:00 PM)

http://adopt-a-mangrove-may-26-2016.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 (@ Brevard Zoo, 6:00 -7:00 PM)

http://adopt-a-mangrove-june-22-2016.eventbrite.com

  1. Join Brevard Zoo and Marine Discovery Center for an Adopt-A-Mangrove workshop and take part in a fun morning collecting and potting your OWN mangrove from Marine Discovery Center’s marsh in New Smyrna Beach! Please bring the following to the workshop at Marine Discovery Center to take part in the fun!

– water shoes

– sunscreen

– shorts or pants that can roll up or get wet

 Reservations can be made using the following link:

Saturday, March 12, 2016 (@ Marine Discovery Center, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM)

https://marine-discovery-center-adopt-a-mangrove-march-12.eventbrite.com

Donate Blood Today

Don’t worry it’s not your own that is needed. Brevard Zoo is also working on a terrapin genetics project and is looking for captive terrapins from Florida to collect samples. If you have any at your facility or know of any locally please contact Amy Reaume.

Won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise?

NOAA’s Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries with Point Blue Conservation Science are recruiting for one teacher to join the science team and learn about the offshore ecology in Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries. The teacher will assist in daily operations onboard the R/V Shimada and stay with the team on the research vessel. Travel and food stipend is included in this opportunity.

When: Research Cruise is May 13-22nd, 2016

Where: Science team will mobilize and meet at the ship in San Francisco, CA

What: Selected teacher will work closely with science team during at sea monitoring program called Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program ( ACCESS )

Selected teacher is expected to communicate via Teacher at Sea blog during cruise, work closely with science team throughout the mission and produce 2 activities to be delivered in classroom.  Applications due March 11th, 2016 (selected applicant will be notified by March 25th). To get application materials visit: http://cordellbank.noaa.gov/education/teachatsea2016.html

Get Wet With a Cousteau

Join Philippe Cousteau, EarthEcho International, and Elgin Senior High School as we present a day of ocean-focused webinars as part of the National Biodiversity Teach In on February 12th. Each free webinar will bring an expert scientist into your classroom for an engaging and interactive 45-minute presentation.

The schedule of presenters is below and all times are in Central Standard Time.

Access presentation information, register for webinars, and explore educational resources at EarthEcho.org.

Registration is required for each webinar, but there is no limit to the number of webinars for which you my register. Browse the complete list of speakers below.

Or Adventure With Nat Geo

Join Yo’ Oceans & Elgin Senior High School as we present a day of ocean action and mammal-focused webinars as part of the National Biodiversity Teach In on February 11th. Each free webinar will bring an expert scientist, filmmaker, activist or hero into your classroom for an engaging and interactive 45-minute presentation.

Here is the lineup and registration links- all times are Central Standard Time.

______________________________________________________________________________________

10-11 am Sue Fisher is passionate about banning commercial whaling and dedicates much of her time to whale conservation. Sue will talk about the evolution and culture of commercial whaling and explain why we still need an international ban. She will discuss the political intrigue and the relationship the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has with countries who still participate in whaling for research purposes or subsistence whaling by indigenous countries.

Presentation Title: Are the whales saved? Whale hunting and the International Whaling Commission~ 7th-12+ Grade

Registration link  http://goo.gl/forms/MBFfhKLqlA _____________________________________________________________________________________

11-12am Rick Wood is a masterful, engaging, storyteller and conservationist, will speak about the fascinating story of the how the otters of Elkhorn Slough could be the key to restoring healthy sea lion populations at Moss Landing California.

Presentation Title: Deconstructing Eden – Otters, Heroes of the Ecosystem   6-

12+ Grade

Registration Link   http://goo.gl/forms/AxCqNIZepS

_____________________________________________________________________________________

12-1pm Naomi Rose is the marine mammal scientist for the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, DC. She works on several campaigns and coalitions addressing problems associated with cetacean live capture, trade, and captivity, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Presentation Title: Captive Whales: Beneath the Surface    5th -12+ Grade

Registration Link http://goo.gl/forms/PzQybgr1sh _____________________________________________________________________________________

1-2pm Dr Giles and Elizabeth Seely

Presentation Title: Orca Poop Project- Deborah and Elizabeth will talk about the exciting and fascinating conservation work they are doing with dogs rescued from high kill shelters. Specially trained “poop sniffing dogs” help Deborah and Elizabeth collect data on endangered orca populations. Suggested

Grades: 6-12+ Grade

Registration Link http://goo.gl/forms/EGQ71QsC5T ___________________________________________________________________________________

2-3pm Michael Harris It usually doesn’t work. When humans interfere with nature, the results are usually not good for nature. So when several people from a diverse range of groups came together in 2002 to save a young wayward orca in Puget Sound, a tide of skepticism rolled in. The plan was to capture the young female orca and take her to rejoin her pod some 250 miles away.

Presentation Title: Springer: The Real Life Story of the Rescue, Rehab and Release of a baby orca Suggested grades: 4th- 12th+

Registration Link http://goo.gl/forms/2MMiG6BcWj _____________________________________________________________________________________

3-4pm Carter and Olivia Ries always wanted to create an organization that would educate their peers on various issues which is why they started One More Generation (OMG) back in 2009.  As they learned about animals around the world that need help, they would go to their friends and they quickly realized that most of them were also unaware of the issues.  As they started looking at ways they could make a positive impact, it became apparent that education was the missing link.  They found that when they educated others on various issues, they would always find people interested in helping.  The only thing holding them back up until that point was a lack of education about that particular subject.

Presentation Title: Youth Empowerment Suggested Grades: 3rd-8th grade plus!

Registration Link http://goo.gl/forms/LvUaaHbPTt _____________________________________________________________________________________

4-5pm Jacque White Why are salmon dying in the Salish Sea? Tune in to hear Executive Director of Long Live the Kings, Jacques White talk about how 40 organizations are working internationally to solve the biggest mystery impacting salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries.

Presentation Title: “The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project: Why are salmon and steelhead dying in the shared marine waters of British Columbia and Washington State and why does it matter? Suggested Grades:  9-12+ Grade

Registration Link http://goo.gl/forms/TRRO25lHLL

“This project is funded, in whole or in part, by a grant from the National Geographic Society Education Foundation.”

 

 

I know it has been a while since I’ve been able to get you a regional update but the information I have for you is worth the wait.

Love is in the Air

First and foremost, mark your calendars, February 15, is our next Regional Outing entitled “Love is in the Air.” In the morning we will be touring our nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge, Pelican Island aboard their e-tram. Refuge Ranger, Kevin Lowery, will be presenting information on the various resident and migratory birds that utilize Pelican Island for resting and breeding. We will then have lunch provided by FMSEA. After lunch we will travel seven miles north of Pelican Island to explore the Barrier Island Center & Sanctuary. We will take a comprehensive look at the ecology of the barrier island from the ocean to the lagoon. Our hike will take us through several ecosystems including rare maritime hammock habitat. I hope you will be able to join us for this exciting day of information and exploration. More details will be available as the date approaches.

But I Can’t Wait That Long

Whether you just can’t wait to get to Pelican Island or you won’t be able to join us on the February 15, you can still see what Pelican Island has to offer. Back by popular demand, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge’s FREE Wildlife Tours are scheduled every Wednesday from November to March at 8 a.m.  Space is limited.  Reservations will only be taken on a month by month basis this year. Reservations for January’s tours begin on December 1, etc.   For more information call 772-581-5557, and follow them on Facebook for upcoming special events at: facebook.com/PelicanIslandNWR

Insert ‘The Who’ Song Here

Also, don’t forget that the FMSEA 2014 Conference is April 24-27 in Panama City Beach. The theme this year is PCSI: PANAMA CITY BEACH, SCIENCE AND INVESTIGATION. More information can be found at the website and registration will begin in January. Also, remember that FMSEA members are eligible for scholarships to attend professional development, like this conference. Just be sure to apply at least 60 days before the event date so February 21, will be the deadline for conference scholarships.

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

Hopefully you can join this adventure to paddle the length of the Indian River Lagoon with tipping your canoe. The mission of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure is to generate more excitement, passion and awareness for our nation’s greatest estuary. Participation in this adventure will help increase levels of IRL awareness, stewardship, and education; it will also create the building blocks needed to better secure the foundation of the IRL’s conservation community. Join one or all the legs of this journey from the north to the south of the Indian River Lagoon, November 30-December 18. Visit www.irl-paddle-adventure.com for more information and an itinerary of events.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Fishmas

The Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach has lots of exciting events planned for holiday season. Visit www.barrierislandcenter.com for more information.

  • “Sea Stars” Touch Tank – Wednesday, November 27th @ 11 a.m. Enjoy the day off from school by feeling a sea squirt squirt as our invertebrate friends literally change trash to treasure, filtering seawater. Also enjoy a hands-on experience with our charismatic crabs, sea stars, and urchins.
  • Mermaid’s Purse Gift Shop Open House and Sale – Friday, November 29th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shop for gifts with a special meaning… saving sea turtles! Enjoy refreshments, 10% off one regular priced item (through December 1st) receive a free gift while supplies last with a sea turtle adoption and free eco-gift wrap!
  • Trot off the Turkey” Hike – Saturday, November 30th @ 10 a.m. Join Vince Lamb, Florida Master Naturalist, for a guided 1 mile, ocean to lagoon, walk through the habitats of the barrier island seeking sea purslane, goldenrod, and other terrestrial treasures! Please call to make a reservation.

Check out this flyer for all their exciting December events.

I’m Starting to Feel Like Bartholomew Cubbins

I’ve added another hat to the many that I wear but this one will benefit you as well. I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to serve as the regional leader for the National Network for Oceans and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). NNOCCI’s goal is to establish a national network of professionals who are skilled in communicating climate science to the American public. I will be bringing one day climate change workshops to our area as well as keeping you informed of the latest NNOCCI news. Applications for participating in the NNOCCI Study Circles will open in February.

Things Are Heating Up

Speaking of climate change, I’m also involved with NOAA’s Climate Steward Education Project and now you can be too. Do you want to:

  • Learn more about climate science
  • investigate innovative teaching methods
  • become part of a vibrant learning community?

Then you should be a NOAA Climate Steward!

NOAA’s Climate StewardsEducation Project (CSEP) provides formal and informal educators working with elementary through university age students with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship.

Find more about CSEP and find out how to apply online, Watch the introduction to CSEP video on the CSEP homepage, the link to the online application is at the end of the video.

Would You Like a GIFT?

And if you still haven’t had your fill of climate change opportunities how about a trip to Austria?

The 2014 GIFT (Geosciences Information for Teachers) workshop will take place on April 28 – 30, 2014 during the General Assembly of EGU in Vienna, Austria. The general theme of the workshop is: Our Changing Planet and it will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, particularly in the framework of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Again this year, the generous William Goree Award will support the participation of a teacher from the United States in the 2014 GIFT Symposium at the 2014 European Geosciences Union General Assembly. The selected teacher will receive a travel /hotel stipend and free registration to the meeting.

The participating teacher will be selected based on their teaching experience and the supporting statement from their school administration. The selected teacher will be expected to attend the entire workshop and submit a report within 1 year after the workshop on their impression of the workshop and how they plan to use this experience in their future teaching activities.

Application Deadline: December 6th. The selected teacher will be notified by December 15th.
Click here for the application.
Direct any questions to Missy Holzer, NESTA President, at mholzer@monmouth.com

Cool it with all the Climate Change

Another great resource on climate change education is Climate Change LIVE. They not only have great resource on their site but are also hosting a six part webinar with lots of great information on climate change and teaching resources. Even though they have already completed three of the webinars you can still catch up as they have all been archived. You can also sign up for the next one using the information below.

To register for webinar 4 go to: http://www.nwf.org/Eco-Schools-USA/About-Eco-Schools-USA/Webinar-Series.aspx

December 11, 2013 – 7:30-9 p.m. EST: Climate Change LIVE Education Resources Highlights – Part 2. Presenters: National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Climate Change LIVE distance learning adventure, brings you a wealth of climate change education resources and programs from 17 federal agencies and non-profit organizations!  We offer educators, a source of trusted, science-based materials, which are correlated to science education standards.

This webinar highlights climate change education resources from three of our partners.  Eco-Schools USA is a free K12 program of the National Wildlife Federation and a part of the International Eco-Schools network of over 50 countries world-wide.  Eco-Schools USA works to address sustainability on K12 campuses around the nation and focuses on 10 pathways guided by a 7 Step Framework.  The program is student driven and contains a 3-tiered awards system.  The U.S. Forest Service will highlight the Natural Inquirer science education journal’s Climate Collection which takes real-life Forest Service research, and engages students in the science inquiry method, along with activities tied to the research.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will highlight their Student Climate & Conservation Congress (SC3), held yearly in Shepherdstown WV.  SC3 brings together a diverse network of students and teachers from all over the country that are engaging in climate change education and solutions.

To sign up your class to participate in the Climate Change LIVE program: www.climatechangelive.org

For a link to all of our educational resources available through Climate Change LIVE: http://www.climatechangelive.org/index.php?pid=148

Get Money and Help the IRL

In anticipation of fiscal year 2014 (October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015) funding from the IRL NEP, please find the request for project proposals for the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program’s annual work plan.  The work plan objectives are to:

  • To fund projects that effectively implement the Action Plans identified within the updated 2008 Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). CCMP Action Plans may be viewed at http://floridaswater.com/itsyourlagoon/pdfs/CCMP_Update_2008_Final.pdf
  • To form partnerships with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and other entities to improve the lagoon’s water quality; conserve, protect, restore and enhance the lagoon’s resources and natural habitats; and educate and inform residents and visitors about the fragile balance of the ecosystem and actions they can adopt to lessen negative personal impacts.
  • To comply with the intent of the Indian River Lagoon License Plate enabling legislation. A copy of this statute is available from the Indian River Lagoon Project Office.

The IRLNEP seeks projects identified as high priority by local stakeholders and as outlined in the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) and primarily funds three types of projects:

  • Restoration/water quality projects that implement changes designed to improve or protect water quality and habitat, reduce freshwater discharges and nutrient loadings.
  • Scientific projects that deliver technical information for use by managers throughout the lagoon region.
  • Outreach and education projects that raise awareness, improve understanding, and foster sustainable behaviors among a variety of stakeholder groups and target audiences.

Available funding is subject to Congressional appropriation to the U.S. EPA under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act for the National Estuary Program.  If appropriated funds are not sufficient, selected proposals will not be funded.

Project Proposal Applications must be received by 5:00 P.M. January 15, 2014.  Project Proposal Applications must be submitted in the format provided via email to: IRLNEP2014WorkPlanProposals@SJRWMD.com

The IRL NEP has scheduled a non-mandatory conference call on December 17, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to facilitate proposal discussions.

To participate in the conference call DIAL 1-888-670-3525 CODE: 4084219682# on the date and time.

Pre-proposal discussions are encouraged.

If you wish to request additional funds for a currently-funded project, the same information requested in the attached application form is required.

Project presentations will be held in February 2014.

Please share this information with any other organizations whom you know may be interested in submitting a proposal.

i-Whale?

There are two new phone apps. that just went “live” as part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. One app helps identify marine mammals and gives information about viewing them responsibly.

The other app is targeted at the public (but is also useful for stranding responders and friends) to help report a stranded marine mammal.

Features include:

– GPS coordinates in decimal degrees are displayed on the “Call to Report” page of the app (can be used in lieu of a handheld GPS to report stranding locations in your 24-hour or Level A reports).

– The “take a photo” function of the app takes a time/date/GPS coordinate stamped photo and saves it to your phone’s camera roll. This photo can be e-mailed/texted.

– The app contains a full field ID guide (adapted from the “Marine Mammals & Turtles of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico” by Wynne and Schwartz – SeaGrant publication) with images to aid in identification of stranded animals.

The SEE & ID Dolphins & Whales app is an electronic field guide that assists the public in identifying marine mammals in the Southeast U.S. and provide species information, such as physical description, biology, habitat, conservation/status and photos. The app also informs that public of appropriate ways to enjoy viewing marine mammals in the wild without harming or harassing them.

The apps are currently available for download on iTunes and in the Google Play store. They can be found by searching for them by name or at:

See & ID Dolphins & Whales– Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.noaa.see_id_dolphins_whales and iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/see-id-dolphins-whales/id699127250?mt=8

Dolphin & Whale 911– Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.noaa.dolphinwhale911 and iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dolphin-whale-911/id698859376?mt=8

For more information, visit: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/protected_resources/outreach_and_education/mm_apps/index.html

What’s up with the IRL?

The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Symposium is the result of a multi-institutional, multiagency effort to provide a forum for discussing IRL science and its application to management of the lagoon. The symposium is open to scientists, decision makers, students, education and outreach professionals, and the interested public. The intent is to help facilitate better communication among these groups so that the gaps between research and its application can be narrowed. The theme for the 2014 symposium is Lagoon Biodiversity, although oral presentations and posters on all aspects of science relating to the IRL are encouraged. (8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) Register to attend here. Only $20/person ($10/student).
February 6, 2014
Although this meeting is open to anyone interested in sharing their knowledge, activities and ideas, contributions by university students and early-career professionals are encouraged. Technical sessions will be held on February 6 followed by a poster session (5:30 to 7:00 p.m.).

February 7, 2014
A Forum on Lagoon Health, open to all, will be held on February 7 (1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.). In the 2013 forum, there was a strong consensus that local communities need to come together and apply scientific approaches to address Lagoon issues. Much has happened in the ensuing year, including the formation of Indian River Lagoon Counties Collaborative, comprised of county commissioners from each of the six counties that border the Indian River Lagoon. At this year’s forum, the Collaborative will discuss their progress to date and plans for the future with all interested parties.

Explore the Underwater World Without Getting Wet

Check out the folks at OpenROV, a do-it-yourself, open-source underwater robot building program. After successfully raising money through an Internet campaign, they’ve developed a “low cost” kit that anyone can order to build a remotely operated vehicle. They just announced an new initiative for PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL teachers to receive an OpenROV kit at a greatly reduced price.

http://fmsea.org/2013/11/openrov-opportunity-for-public-school-teachers/

I’m a little bit Cameron, and I’m a little bit Jacques Cousteau

Weather you identify more with James Cameron or Jacques Cousteau, Florida Tech has the film festival for you. The inaugural Beneath the Waves – Youth Making Ripples Film Festival and Competition for K-12 students will take place January 18th from 6-8:15 on Florida Institute of Technologies main campus in the Gleason Performing Arts center. K-12 students have been working all semester on creating short (5 mins or less) marine science related films in preparation for the competition. The winning films will be chosen by viewer choice votes, and from a panel of scientific judges. The winning student films will have the chance to have their film debut to international audiences in film festivals around Europe. The event is being co-sponsored by Blue Life Foundation and the Brevard Zoo. Please come and vote for your favorite film! Prizes will be awarded to the winning student films and the event is FREE to the public. RSVP your seat at youthmakingripples@gmail.com. If you are an educator that has students entering films….Submission information and guidelines can be found at http://www.beneaththewavesfilmfest.org/youth-making-ripples/

But the kids don’t get to have all the fun. Beneath the Waves(TM) Film Festival is launching its 2014 call for submissions. Beneath the Waves is a unique film festival and communication platform run by scientists with a global reach. Our mission is to give the oceans a voice through digital media and storytelling. Over the past four years, we have reached thousands of people across 6 continents at our screening events. Whether you are an undergad, graduate student, scientist, or a professional filmmaker, if you have a story to tell, we want to hear it, and we want to help you amplify your message!

Films are due by February 1, 2014. All films must be less than 10 minutes in length and must relate to a marine science or conservation topic. Please see www.beneaththewavesfilmfest.org for more details on submission criteria and to view some of our past films and events.

I know this is a busy time for both formal and informal educators; school is wrapping up for our classroom teachers and informal educators are getting in the last minute field trips while gearing up for summer camp. The end of the month can’t seem to arrive soon enough for some or is rushing rapidly toward others.

For those who were able to take some time out to attend the FMSEA Annual Conference, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and found some new inspiration or ideas; I know I did. The year’s planning went by so fast and I can’t believe the conference is over.  We are already starting to plan next year’s conference in the Panhandle. It looks like it will be the end of April next year so hopefully it will work into your schedule even better.

http://nmea.disl.org/Just a reminder, it is not too late to register for the NMEA Conference this July in Mobile, AL. Also, don’t forget you can request scholarship money from FMSEA to attend, just one of your many member perks. Speaking of membership, if you did not attend the FMSEA Annual Conference remember that you will need to renew your membership to stay current. Dues are only $20 per year. Now onto the great opportunities that filled my inbox while I was at the conference.

Explore the IRL

The Indian River Lagoon National Estuary program will be hosting an Indian River Lagoon Summer Teacher Workshop from June 18-21. It will include many great activities and lessons, including the Aquatic Species Collection Permit if you are in need of it. It is open to both formal and informal educators. Click the link above for more details.

Learn Eco-Ethics

The Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism (SEE) will host their Annual Conference in Cocoa Beach from June 28-30. Click the link to view the flyer.

Chat Conservation

The Brevard Zoo will start up their weekly Summer Speaker Series with several marine topics lined up for Wednesday evenings in June. It is free to attend. Check out the link for the list of topics.

Speak Climate

Learn to effectively communicate climate change by joining the National Network for Climate Change Interpretation’s 2013 Fall Study Circle. Applications are now being accepted. I’ve been participating the past month and it is a great program so feel free to contact me with any questions.

On the Job Hunt?

The Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce is in need of a part time Marine Biology Educator. Are you a good match for this beautiful facility? Check out the job description and get your application in before it closes at the end of May.

Oh, and in one other bit of news from the conference, I was also lucky enough to be reelected as your regional director. Although, when you’re running unopposed I suppose luck doesn’t have much to do with it but I’m still glad to continue on serving you. With that said, please let me know how I can best serve your needs and help you make the most out of your FMSEA membership. Remember I’m always just an email away.

East Central Regional Update January 2013

by Brandon 2013/01/25 East Central

I know it has been a few weeks since you last heard from me. I hope you all enjoyed the Fishmas installments. Things have been busy for me and I’m excited to have been accepted into both New England Aquarium’s National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation and NOAA’s Climate Stewards. I’ll be attending […]

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East Central September Update

by Brandon 2012/09/12 East Central

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 […]

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East Central Report: June Update Addendum

by Brandon 2012/06/09 East Central

I’d like to welcome our newest members to the East Central Region and welcome back our current members. Our membership secretary told me that we have had some of the highest mail in renewals of any region which makes me proud. I’m sorry that those of you who had to mail in your renewals were […]

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Indian River Lagoon Photo Contest

Thumbnail image for Indian River Lagoon Photo Contest by Brandon 2012/05/31 East Central

The Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program is seeking lagoon-related photographs for publication in its 2013 Indian River Lagoon Calendar. Dig out some of your favorite lagoon photos and enter the contest. The first place photo wins the cover of the calendar. Twelve winning photos and eighteen runners up will be chosen for publication.  Deadline for submission is July […]

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