regional outing

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start. Mine seems busier than ever. I have some great announcements for you starting with the FMSEA Annual Conference. Registration is open for our 2015 FMSEA Annual Conference that will be held in Tampa on April 30 to May 3, 2015.  Early bird registration rate is: $155 for annual members and $130 for lifetime members.  Registration link and hotel information can be found on our website:

FMSEA invites you to propose a session at our 2015 conference. Topics on marine and ocean conservation, new and innovative marine science content, research, activities and curriculum are encouraged. All concurrent sessions will be Saturday, May 2. Please complete and submit a Call for Presenters form by: 5:00 PM March 15, 2015. Notification of accepted proposals will be sent during the following week of March.

Also don’t forget as a member you are eligible to apply for a scholarship to attend professional development opportunities including our conference. You must apply 60 days before the PD so you’ll need to submit the application by February 28. Go to for more information and the application.

Save the Date for Fun in the Field

Mark your calendars for our next regional outing. We will be hosting an outing for our region on Sunday, March 15, 10a-2p, at the Marine Discovery Center. The day will be filled with field activities in the marsh and in and on the water. Lunch will be provided by FMSEA. I’m working with MDC currently to finalize our activities and will have further details for you later. Just don’t forget to save the date now, as you’ll enjoy seeing all they have to offer at the Marine Discovery Center.

The Next James Cameron

The Youth Making Ripples Film Festival is this Saturday, Jan. 24 at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne… tell your friends!  More info can be found at  The format for the night will include:

5-6 pm light refreshments, interactive demos/kiosks and research posters

6-7 pm 1 hour of exciting marine science films from around the world

7-8 pm Q & A session with local scientists

The entire event is FREE so bring a friend! You can RSVP by emailing

Learn To Live Sustainably

Learn how to reduce your footprint, increase your handprint, and make connections for a better Brevard County!

The mission of the Sustainable Floridians Program is to guide Floridians on how to take individual responsibility for protecting Earth’s limited resources. Through a discussion-to-action format, the program educates participants about making wise use of resources, making households and communities more resilient and financially sound, and understanding the impact of individual lifestyle choices.

The course will meet at the Brevard County Extension offices in Cocoa, on two weekends in April: April 10 at 5 pm to 9 pm, April 11 at 9 am to 3 pm & April 17 at 5 pm to 9 pm, April 18 at 9 am to 3 pm. Cost is $30. Register at

 Sea Turtles Dig the Dunes

It’s’ time once again to join together and take action to help protect our dunes and restore important sea turtle nesting habitat. Please see the Sea Turtles Dig the Dune Flyer for more details on the upcoming annual sea oat stewardship workshop in Melbourne Beach on February 7. There will be planting opportunities followed by a presentation form Larry Wood on the hawksbill sea turtle. Please call Donna Lee Crawford at 321-723-3556 to make your reservation as soon as possible as space is limited.

On the Half Shell

So what is going on in the world of oysters? I’m sure you ask yourself that on a regular basis. Well now you can find out. Check out the Brevard Zoo’s latest Oyster Restoration Newsletter to learn all things oyster. Don’t delay in reading it as they have some volunteer opportunities coming up as soon as Sunday. And for those a little further North don’t worry, they do monitoring and other restoration in Volusia County as well. Contact them to find out how to get involved.

The Keys Are Lovely This Time of Year

Newfound Harbor Marine Institute (NHMI) at Seacamp on Big Pine Key, FL will host their annual Marine Education Workshop on Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, 2015. In addition to the traditional professional development experiences scheduled at NHMI, a FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop and an Everglades Literacy  Workshop will also be offered during the weekend. Contact Judy Gregoire with any questions or to request a registration form for the weekend at or 305-951-7429.

Its for the Birds

The Great Backyard Bird Count is delighted to be able to offer a free webinar to help teachers, homeschoolers, informal educators, nature centers, and others engage students and teach science using birds and the GBBC. The K-12 Education team at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will deliver this live webinar which is being offered at these dates and times:

— January 27: noon and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
— February 4: 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time

You’ll learn about citizen science, about the GBBC, how to participate, and how to use the count in your lessons. The session will include bird ID tips, education resources, interactive activities, and an opportunity to ask questions. Register today.

Arts and Outside

The Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation in collaboration with Wyndham Cypress Palms Resort proudly invite you to Nature Explore workshops devoted to reconnecting children with nature.

  • What:  Using Your Outdoor Classroom and Arts & Nature workshops
  • When:  Saturday, February 7, 2015 | 9 a.m.–12 p.m. & 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where:  Wyndham Cypress Palms Resort – Activities Center | Kissimmee, FL
  • How to Register:  Sign up by February 6, 2015 to reserve your spot!

Job Opportunity

Are you ready to translate your hard work into a huge impact? Nature’s Academy is a nonprofit educational organization that seeks to enhance science literacy and foster environmental stewardship. The Program Director is responsible for leading the education team in developing and implementing a dynamic set of programs. They seek a candidate ready to join the organization, lead staff and inspire excellence for an exciting future of positive change.  Please see the NA Program Director Description for full details. Closes on Feb 9.

Educational Diving Scholarship

If you are a teacher or educator, you may be eligible for CEDAM’s Lloyd Bridges Scholarship. This year’s recipient will join REEF’s Field Survey Trip to Grand Turk, July 11 – 18, 2015.  For more information on this trip, see the description for Grand Turk on REEF’s website

The scholarship, awarded annually, enables a qualified educator to participate in a CEDAM-sponsored or -sanctioned expedition. CEDAM will cover the full cost of the  field trip and reimburse up to $800 for  air transportation. REEF Field Surveys are led by REEF staff or expert volunteers; participants have the opportunity to collect data, participate in daily talks, and interact with REEF members, staff, and local partner organizations. This is a hands-on experience during which participants have the opportunity for experiential learning in and out of the water.

The goal of the scholarship program is two-fold: One, to have educators experience the wonders of the underwater world and then be able to share these wonders with his or her students or constituents. Two, to have these inspired individuals go out and do what they can to help protect one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems. To be eligible, applicants must be a certified scuba diver, a teacher (elementary or secondary level), or actively engaged in an education program at an institution or environmental organization, such as an aquarium, science center, or relevant non-profit organization. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of both merit and financial need. CEDAM International will cover the recipient’s REEF Field Survey expenses (excluding incidentals and personal expenses), and up to $800 for air transportation costs.

All applicants must complete an application form and return it along with the required essay, a resume, and one letter of recommendation, to CEDAM by April 15, 2015.  All of the necessary application components should be sent electronically to both and  Additional information and the scholarship application can be found at

Estuarine Water Quality in the Classroom

Join a webinar introducing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Data in the Classroom curriculum module, “Monitoring Estuarine Water Quality.” Experts on monitoring water quality at NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserves will teach you the following skills: accessing data to monitor extreme events; generating graphs to use in your classroom; helping your students develop their own questions about life in an estuary; and exploring data sets driven by the questions of actual students. Education coordinators from the research reserves will introduce the lesson plans and demonstrate how the module’s unique scaffolding  can help students develop skills to access and use online data.

The NOAA Data in the Classroom curriculum helps teachers and students use real scientific data to explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional or global scale. Each module features easy-to-use curriculum materials and specially designed websites that enable students to access and use real data.

Webinar 1: Thursday, January 29th – 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 3:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (lasts 90 minutes)

The webinar will help middle school teachers increase their ability to use the waterquality module in the following ways:

  • Understand which types of data are provided by the research reserves’ System-Wide Monitoring Program and how data are collected
  • Access and plot     water quality data from 28 research reserves across the country to study factors that influence life in an estuary
  • Extend student investigations to explore extreme events, using parameters outside those addressed in this module
  • Lead students in looking for patterns and changes in water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and salinity when exploring an estuary
  • Guide authentic student-driven investigations
  • Access tools and curricula to support next-generation science standards as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming

Participants should meet the following course expectations:

  1. Have a basic understanding of water quality parameters within an estuary system and the significance of parameters
  2. Review the teacher’s guide outlining the five activities that make-up this water quality module and associated resources on the website
  3. Complete a quick assignment ahead of the webinar (email to follow)
  4. Participate in evaluation of the webinar
  5. Submit a reflection statement addressing questions (required just for those interested in receiving a Data in the Classroom digital badge)

Education coordinators are available for support during the school year and provide opportunities for field-based professional development at reserves around the country. Space is limited, so reserve your webinar seat now:


I hope the start of the school year has been going well for everyone. We have a lot of opportunities for this month including one I’ve been personally involved in and can’t recommend more; so, we’ll start with that one.

Climate Training


I participated over a year ago in the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) course and can’t say more than enough good things about it. Classroom teachers I’ll stop you right here though so I don’t waste any more of your time; unfortunately, this is a program for informal education institutions, so you may as well skip to the following items which will apply to you.

As for the rest of you that are still with me this program not only gave me great information on climate change research but even more invaluable were the tools it gave to help share this information with others in a way that is easier to understand and accept. These tools, strategic framing, are not just for climate change either and helped me to reevaluate how I present all my programs. Not only do you get all this great information but it is also all expenses paid for travel to the trainings (there are three of them) and even better your institution gets a $3000 stipend just for your participation. The study circle is a cross-disciplinary learning group made up of peers with expertise from fields of professional interpretation, climate and ocean sciences and communications, and cultural sciences.  It is intended for pairs of staff members from informal learning centers such as zoos, aquariums, science centers, National Parks, natural preserves, and other institutions that are or want to incorporate climate education into their facility. If you have any other questions about it don’t hesitate to contact me but let me cut to the chase and tell you how to sign up for this great opportunity. Visit or for more information and to apply. Applications are due by September 19, so don’t delay. Please encourage colleagues to apply and share with your own networks. Contact for more information.

Ag Grant

So now one just for classroom teachers since I left you out of the previous post. Though it might not be directly marine science it can definitely be correlated.
Florida Farm Bureau Federation is offering multiple $250 mini-grants to certified Florida educators who are engaged in classroom instruction at the pre-K to 12th grade levels for the 2014-15 school year. The grants will be awarded for up to $250 for original and creative activities or programs that increase the understanding of agriculture among both students and educators.

“Agriculture has no subject boundaries,” said Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Coordinator Michael Rogalsky. “We encourage teachers to think outside the box when integrating agriculture into their curriculum. Subject areas such as social studies, math, language arts and science are all important to agriculture and teachers that build agriculture into these subjects are encouraged to apply for the grant.”

Grant applications are due Oct. 1. Recipients of the grant will be notified no later than Nov. 15 via email. Educators can apply for the grant by visiting

Joint Regional Outing

Interested in making a trip to the west coast? The North Region has an outing planned that is open to any FMSEA members. Join us on September 13th, 2014 from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM at 12646 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL for a multi-regional outing.

We will be snorkeling in the gin-clear waters of the Gulf through outstanding seagrass meadows, sponge beds, and hardbottom areas. Lunch will be provided. Please bring the following items: bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, hat, reusable water bottle, mask, fin, snorkel (*Snorkel vests will be provided). Sign up today, there are 25 spots!

Check out the Marine Science Station at

Questions? Email Ernie Olsen at

To RSVP use the following link and fill out the Google form here. Also, if you would be interested in a van pool to the outing please email me at and I’ll see about arranging one if we have enough interest.

We hope to see you there!

Fish in Your Classroom

Ever wanted to collect fish to use for education? There are two aquatic species collection workshops coming up that will give you the FWC permit to do just that. There is one in our region in Volusia County on September 10, and one just outside of it in Polk County on October 5, and I’m teaching both of them. The cost is $25 and the certificate is good for 3 years. For more information and to register click the links above.


There are several Florida Master Naturalist Programs going on in our region this fall. Just click on the links below to get more information on each class and to register.

Setpember 18, Uplands in Indian River County

October 10, Conservation Science in Brevard County

November 10, Wetlands in Brevard County

Budding Film Makers


The aim of the Beneath the Waves Youth Making Ripples film festival and competition is to engage K-12 students in marine science education, and to highlight the importance of scientific research related to ocean and coastal communities.  Educators and students are challenged to incorporate film into their curriculum by adopting a hands-on approach to marine science education using 21st century technology.  This years festival is open for submissions. Last year’s winners received cash prizes (up to $200) and this year we are excited to announce our partnership with Scuba Pro who has generously donated snorkel gear for the winners. Students should submit short films (< 5 minutes) on any marine science topic of their choice.  The deadline for submission is December 5, 2014. Guidelines and rules can be found at or email us at

Focus on Water

The Barrier Island Center has many programs focusing on their topic this month “Restoring Our Waters’ Quality“. Check out the whole list of events for September here.

International Coastal Cleanup

The annual International Coastal Cleanup is September 20, 2014, but events are scheduled at different times in many locations.  It is the largest volunteer effort for the ocean and waterways.  Sign up, search for a cleanup near you, download debris reports, and more. For the ones in Brevard County check out the flyer here.

Get Kids Outside,

For those teachers who are having trouble getting funding for field trips, or informal institutions who have seen your programs attendance dropping for the same reason, check out the following grant to help fund field trips.

The Target Field Trip Grants Program allows teachers to offer valuable experiential learning gained from field trips to enhance students’ classroom studies.  Funds may be used to cover cost of transportation, entry fees, supplies and equipment, and resource materials. The deadline for application is September 30, 2014.

Art with Wyland

The theme of the 2014 Wyland National Mural and Art Challenge is Ocean.  Wyland Foundation and partners will provide grants of art supplies to K-12 schools in 100 cities for the challenge, so register early.  The deadline for entry is November 25, 2014.

Wild About Whales

The University of Florida hosts a fourth grade cetacean/right whale curriculum, developed in cooperation with NOAA Fisheries and Sea Grant.  Be sure to check out the rest of the education resource links, including a manatee curriculum and more.

Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014

From August 9-August 30, 2014, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer conducted a mapping expedition in the North Atlantic in Veatch Canyon and along the New England Seamount chain.   From September 4-October 7, 2014, scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will explore the diversity of benthic habitats and features in this region.  Read about the August mission and check back for upcoming details about the upcoming expedition.

What’s that Bird

Have you been in the field and wondered what bird you were looking at. Cornell Lab is now here to help. The Merlin Bird ID app for iOS7 and Android OS4 devices is available for free from the Cornell Lab.  It asks five simple questions about the bird seen and then gives a short list of the most likely possibilities.  The app currently covers 400 species, and has 2,000 photos and 1,000 songs and calls to help you confirm your ID. Just one warning though, it is a 605 MB app so make sure you have room on your device before installing.

Water Water Everywhere

World Water Monitoring Day is September 18, 2014.  Join Philippe Cousteau Jr. and EarthEcho as they  kick off the World Water Monitoring Challenge.  Students can interact with Philippe and youth from South America as they demonstrate how to conduct water testing and discuss the importance of water around the globe through a World Water Monitoring Day Hangout.  Order low-cost monitoring kits, check out the educator resources, sign up for the hangout, and more.

Rhizophora_mangleJoin us for a day on the water and in the classroom! FMSEA member? Bring a friend to check out or organization! Not a member? Come find out what you’re missing!

Join us for a West Central Regional Outing and Aquatic Species Collection workshop! The morning outing will include the a kayak mangrove tour and an aquatic species collection workshop at the Tampa Bay Watch facility. Lunch will be provided to participants who attend the regional outing component! Click the link below to register for both events!

December 14, 2013

Tampa Bay Watch
3000 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715

9:30- 12:00- Regional Outing – Mangrove kayak tour
12:00 – 1:00-  Lunch
1:00- 3:30- Aquatic Collection workshop

$25 for Collection Workshop.
Kayaking and lunch provided by FMSEA.

Register for the outing, or the outing and collecting workshop  here:

Register for the collecting workshop ONLY here:

Questions? Feel free to contact me at rd-westcentral (at)

I’m Still Here

by Brandon 2013/11/26 East Central

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 […]

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East Central Regional Update July 2013

by Brandon 2013/07/12 East Central

First of all I would like to update you on our next East Central Regional Outing I have in the works. I have been planning with the staff at Pelican Island National Wildlife refuge to have a regional outing to explore the refuge by e-tram in the morning. We can then visit the nearby Barrier […]

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East Central Regional Update June 2013

by Brandon 2013/06/07 East Central

Many things are happening over the summer. Hope you find something of interest in these opportunities. Also, you have until the end of the month to renew your membership if you didn’t attend the conference and haven’t sent in your membership dues to FMSEA yet. Regional Workshops First, I will be hosting an aquatic species […]

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North Region Report: June Update

by Savanna 2012/06/13 North
Thumbnail image for North Region Report: June Update

Hello FMSEA North Region Members As summer begins, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a special welcome to our new members as well as welcome all of our returning members.  If you are a classroom teacher, I hope you are enjoying your summer break and getting in some much needed rest and revitalization. […]

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