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)

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.


Exhibitor Space

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 Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. The facilities should accommodate all of our needs for both classrooms and labs. We also have a solid base of scientists there and at the nearby Smithsonian Marine Station to make for an amazing research track during the conference.

The conference hotel, The Sandhurst, is just a short drive from Harbor Branch and is right along the water. They are also offering us a great rate at only $65 per night. Even their deluxe continental breakfast was decent; I particularly liked how cheesy their eggs were.

There are also many great facilities nearby for conference field trips. We are currently putting out requests from various vendors to get you the best rates on our field excursions. Everyone present was excited about what is to come.

We’ve also been reviewing feedback from last years conference. We are doing our best to address suggestions made by our members to make next year even better. One suggestion that we are working on will be to expand the number of exhibitors. If you have suggestions for exhibitors (types or specific ones) you’d like to see please let me know.Since this conference is relatively close to the majority of members in our region I hope we can make a strong presence this next year. If you are so excited about the conference that you’d also like to help with the planning, we’d love to have you on board! Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to serve on a conference committee. The listing of the various committees can be found on the conference website.

Brandon Smith

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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FMSEA Podcast 1: Smithsonian Marine Ecosystem Exhibit

by Jason 2012/05/19 Podcast
Thumbnail image for FMSEA Podcast 1: Smithsonian Marine Ecosystem Exhibit

Watch the FMSEA Podcast Check out the inaugural podcast of the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA), featuring the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystem Exhibit. We talk to Laura Diederick, Education Specialist at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Ft. Pierce, and learn about their exhibits and programs available at their aquarium. Laura is also the FMSEA Community […]

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