Check out this great article featuring Dr. Edie Widder, who will be our Keynote at FMSEA 2013!

From bacteria to sea cucumbers to shrimp and fish, and even a few species of sharks, more than 50 percent of deep-ocean animals use light to holler and flirt and fight. They carry glowing torches atop their heads. They vomit brightness. They smear light on their enemies. Bioluminescence, Widder believes, is the most common, and most eloquent, language on earth, and it’s informing fields from biomedicine to modern warfare to deep-sea exploration. Most recently, on a historic voyage off the coast of Japan, she used her bioluminescent bag of tricks to summon the most legendary sea creature of all: the giant squid.

A deep-sea shrimp spews bioluminescent material to thwart a viperfish. (Edith Widder, ORCA) A deep-sea shrimp spews bioluminescent material to thwart a viperfish. (Edith Widder, ORCA)

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, with support from the National Science Foundation, will be offering a 2-day workshop* for science teachers focused on manatees and the ground-breaking behavioral research occurring at Mote. This workshop will be held January 26-27 at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL.

Participants will be immersed in the science and take part in the active research with Mote Aquarium’s resident manatees, Hugh and Buffett. Sessions will include manatee biology, animal training, sensory processes, neurology, and more, with classroom resources provided.

Priority will be given to current classroom teachers and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Funding generously provided by the National Science Foundation will cover accommodations for Saturday night (double occupancy) as well as breakfast and lunch during the workshop.


Christmas Tree Worms

Hard to believe we are approaching the close of another year; time just seems to fly by. The FMSEA board is already hard at work trying to plan next year’s conference at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, May 2-5. Hope you are saving the date.

I am also trying to plan some exciting regional outings for next year. If you have any thoughts or suggestions I would be happy to take them into consideration. I would also like to start up monthly regional trips to our various member organizations. If you would like to host one of these trips and show off your facility and programs to other educators just contact me to set up a date. Now on to our regional events.

Whales and Turtles and Birds, Oh My!

There are many exciting events going on at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach this month. They have programs for almost every extant class of tetrapods in December. Contact them at 321-723-3556 for more information or registration.

Blue Cypress Lake Paddle – Saturday, December 15th @ 1 to 4 p.m. Wind your way through stands of cypress on this beautiful lake. Meet at Middleton’s Fish Camp, 21704 73rd Manor, Vero Beach, 32966. Please wear water shoes, sunscreen and bring your water bottle. Choice of single or tandem touring kayaks. Children under 12 must paddle tandem with an adult. Cost of kayak rental is $38 per person. Enrollment is limited to 20 people/10 kayaks. Make your reservation by Thursday, December 13th. No refunds after this date, unless minimum is not met. If the weather does not permit, after meeting to launch, rain date tbd.

Sea Turtle Survival Obstacle Course – Friday, December 21st @ 1 to 4 p.m. Kids can strap on a turtle shell and wind their way through through our sea turtle obstacle course to learn about the hazards sea turtles face during their long migrations and what people can do to help ensure their survival.

“Sea Stars!” Touch Tank – Sunday, December 23rd from 1 to 3 p.m. Come meet our “Sea Stars” and learn about the diversity of life living in the Indian River Lagoon. Touch tank guests will include a Diamondback Terrapin, and an assortment of conchs and crabs.

“Who’s Home for the Holidays?” Hike – Friday, December 28th @ 10 a.m. Watch those extra holiday pounds fly off as the migratory birds fly in to put on a few! Bring your visiting family and friends to enjoy this special 1 mile guided hike around the Barrier Island Sanctuary. Please wear closed toe shoes, sunscreen and bring your water bottle. Enrollment is limited to 20. Call to make your reservation.

“Disneynature Migration” Film – Saturday, December 29th @ 1 & 3 p.m. Sweep across the surface of the planet on the big screen to witness the mysteries of migration! Learn why and how animals, birds and insects leave their homes to make miraculous journeys. Running time of 25 minutes.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

Would you like to increase your climate science knowledge?

Would you like to join a community of educators interested in projects that make a difference in your local area?

Join NOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP). They provide 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.

Applications are being accepted until December 17 for the class of 2013.  After completing minimum requirements, you will be eligible for:

  • Mini-grant funding to develop and implement a climate stewardship action plan
  • Travel stipends to attend and present at key professional development conferences.
  • Special CSEP contests with monetary and educational resource prizes.

If you decide to join this effort, you will be committing to:

  • Complete and reflect on at least 15 hours of professional development (PD) training in climate science and education in 2013.
  • Complete and reflect on at least 9 hours of  PD training in climate science and educational for each additional year you remain with the Project.
  • Participate in monthly CSEP webinars and regional events (teleconferences, online chats, etc.,) during evening hours.
  • Develop and Implement a climate stewardship project in your school, community, or organization, focused on mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • Use the CSEP Wiki to post your PD reflections, classroom activities in climate change, stewardship project plans, progress updates, as well as share resources, comments and results with other CSEP educators.
  • Fully participate in CSEP evaluation efforts

Educators accepted into the program will be notified early January, 2013 and will be required to attend a mandatory introductory Web seminar for new participants – tentatively scheduled for January 14th OR January 28th, 2013 at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.

Click here to apply today.

Money Money Money Money….MONEY!

There are also several scholarship opportunities for students coming up. I wish you luck if you apply for any of the following:

Wetland Research

Applications are invited for the 2013 Garden Club of America Coastal Wetland Studies scholarship.  The award is a one-year scholarship for graduate studies in coastal wetlands and carries a stipend of $5,000 to support field-based research.  For the purposes of this scholarship, coastal wetlands are defined as those tidal or non-tidal wetlands found within coastal states, including the Great Lakes.  Applicants should be enrolled in a graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.) at a university within the United States.

See for application requirements.  Applications due January 15, 2013.  Email should be directed to

Underwater Robotics

Beneath The Sea, a not for profit organization, has been educating young people about the importance of the ocean/marine environment for 36 years. One way that they provide education is by offering several scholarships annually.

This year they are offering a special scholarship to a team. The Deep Ventures scholarship ($2500) is being offered to a team of students who are developing an underwater robotic. This is the first year they are offering a team scholarships. Teachers/students, take note. Send in your application soon. There are only 7 weeks to the January 15, 2013 deadline for the Beneath The Sea Marine Careers scholarship applications.

Go to for scholarships application requirements and application forms. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Applications and inquiries should be sent to

And don’t forget about the Beneath The Sea Marine Careers Program, a one day program offered on March 22, 2013 for high school and college students and their teachers. Check for more information about this free program.

Ocean Essays

The Ocean Awareness Essay Contest is a great way to explore a career as a science writer–and possibly win thousands of dollars doing it! The goal of the From the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Essay Contest is to challenge high school students to think critically about real challenges facing the ocean. Winning essays can earn students (and their school) up $2,500 in prize money. Contest information can be found at

Although this contest may seem to be all about science, Becca Carifio, one of last year’s winners, has useful advice for this year’s contestants that would make an English teacher proud:

  1. Enter! You can’t win if you don’t try.
  2. Write about something that you feel passionate about. Even though there are proposed essay questions, students can ask contest organizers for permission to write about another topic.
  3. Make it personal. Include your own experiences, opinions, or observations.
  4. Be entertaining. After all, judges will be reading a lot of essays.
  5. Proofread and edit. You can never edit too many times!




Mote Science Café – Monday, December 10, 2012

by Dana 2012/12/03 Regional Reports

Mote Science Café: From Dogs to Dogfish “Sit, stay, lie down… swim to your target for a fish” Learn how training dogs compares to training sharks, and discover the challenges and and benefits of both during Mote Marine Laboratory’s new Science Café from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 10 on the second floor of […]

More →

FMSEA Regional Outing – Saturday, December 15, 2012

by Dana 2012/11/30 Regional Reports

Join us on Saturday, December 15th from 9am – 1pm at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL for some FMSEA fun! Activities include kayaking, field sampling and a look at Mote’s winter guests, sea lions. RSVP required for all participants. Space is limited, sign up before December 10th. Where: Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. 1600 […]

More →

Join the Coastal Cleanup!

by Dana 2012/09/15 Regional Reports

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 […]

More →

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 […]

More →

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 […]

More →

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 […]

More →

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

More →