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!!

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 FMSEA 2014 Conference in Panama City Beach, FL. Nominate someone today!

All Award Nominations must be received by Friday, February 28, 2014.

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 numberous 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.



For information and submissions, contact:
Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski (FMSEA President-Elect)
president-elect @

The FMSEA Board of Directors is a nominated panel of individuals who are responsible for the operational aspects of the FMSEA organization. Each year various positions become available for re-election. This year the following elected positions are:

  • President–Elect (2013-2014)
  • Treasurer (2013-2016)
  • NMEA Representative (2013-2016)
  • Southwest Regional Director (2013-2015)
  • Southeast Regional Director (2013-2015)
  • East Central Regional Director (2013-2015)
  • Northeast Regional Director (2013-2015)

I encourage you to run for any of the above positions if you are interested in becoming more involved with FMSEA. Self-nominations are accepted. If you are nominating another individual, please make sure that the individual is aware and accepting of the nomination.

Election Ballots must be turned in by 5:00 pm on 5/4/2013 at the registration table located at the HBOI, Johnson Education Center Gallery.

Thank you,
Heather Segura
FMSEA President Elect 2012-2013

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Final call for nominations and this weekend

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With the FMSEA conference approaching this weekend I am putting out the final call for nominations to the FMSEA board. The positions up for nominations this year include: President-Elect Secretary Membership Secretary Regional Directors for Panhandle, West Central, and North. Serving on the FMSEA board is a wonderful way to become more involved in our […]

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Nominations for FMSEA Awards and BoD

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Please remember we are still accepting nominations for the John Beakley Educator of the Year and FMSEA Service Award. These will be given at the 2012 annual FMSEA conference next month. Deadlines for nominations are May 7. I am also still accepting nominations (and yes self nominations are encouraged) for the FMSEA board of directors. […]

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