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Education activities review: April 2 – 6

April 6, 2012

Community monitoring programs

Catie has been busy this week recording what has settled on our collecting plates since September in the Seldovia and Homer harbors as part of our Invasive Tunicate Monitoring program. She was joined by volunteers Tania Spurkland from Seldovia and Tahdg Sherwood from Homer.

Education staff

KBRR will once again host two education interns this summer. Brittany Bobola from the University of Vermont in Burlington and Heather Dalke from Western Washington University in Bellingham have enthusiastically agreed to intern with us. They will be onsite from July 3rd – August 18th.

Staff training

The Reserve’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) program hosted Jeff Paternoster from NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network in South Carolina this week for a day-long workshop on the effects of phytoplankton blooms and toxins on marine fish invertebrates, and mammals, as well as human health. Nineteen staff and volunteer monitors attended this training.

Public education

Can you enjoy a great day of fishing without landing any fish? The Girl Scouts who joined Jess, along with Poppy Benson and Rebekah Jones from the Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, last month would say “YES!” Nine girls ranging from 7 – 11 yrs old spent a day out on the ice learning the fine art and sport of ice fishing at Encelewski Lake, near Clam Gulch. The girls took turns using a manual ice auger to drill through nearly 3 feet of ice, built a fire right on the ice to cook hotdogs and marshmallows, and jigged for fish with poles baited with cocktail shrimp. The fish were elusive, and it wasn’t until the girls let their guard down that the fun began! An unattended rod, with its bait still in the water, skittered across the ice and, before anyone could jump to retrieve it, disappeared into the water. A moment later the girl who was sharing the same fishing hole felt a tug on her line and pulled up, not a fish, but the fishing rod that had been lost. But wait…there was still a fish at the end of the line! The girls tried to reel up the fish, but it was sooooooo big that it broke the line and got away. Now that’s a fish story!

This week’s Our Landscape Over Time Discovery Lab drew a small crowd of 17 people. Those in attendance enjoyed learning about our Science Collaborative project, sea level rise, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis.

Our fall/winter/spring series of Discovery Labs includes just one more event (apart from the Shorebird Festival’s Jr. Birder labs next month) – Growing Naturalists Discovery Lab on Wed, May 2nd from 3 – 5pm. We will have some very special collections, activities, and experts on hand for this brand new lab, so mark the date and join us if you can!

K-12 Coastal science education

Homer’s two National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) teams – Twilight Zone and Abyssal Guessers – did really well in last month’s Tsunami Bowl competition in Seward! The Twilight Zone took home 3rd place overall (the best finish in years for a new team) and the Abyssal Guessers, who only competed in the quiz bowl portion of the competition, placed 13th overall. In one exciting quiz bowl round, the Abyssal Guessers came very, very close to beating out – and unseating – the champions, Juneau’s Pelagic Magic team. Catie and Carmen helped coach the Homer teams this year; and Carmen and her daughter Eryn joined a team of volunteer officials from Seward and the USFWS at Tsunami Bowl. Read about the Homer students’ effortsand see more Tsunami Bowl competition results.

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