Ocean Facts Website

NOAA’s National Ocean Service offers an ever-growing Ocean Facts Website.  The questions range from basic (What is an estuary?) to the more unusual (What does peanut butter have to do with the ocean?). Visit Ocean Facts

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Harmful Algae Digital Library

The Harmful Algae Digital Library from the National Sea Grant Library contains a collection of downloadable Sea Grant documents arranged by subject area: red tide/PSP, brown tide, ciguatera, killer algae, and Pfiesteria.

Giant Squid Curriculum Module

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Mississippi State University, and partners offer this on-line Giant Squid Curriculum Module.  Lessons in the module are related to information in the web pages of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Why Do We Explore – Online Workshop

Join the College of Exploration and NOAA’s Ocean Explorer for the free online teacher workshop, Why Do We Explore, October 5-16, 2009.  This is the second workshop in a series of teacher professional development opportunities focused around NOAA’s new ship, the Okeanos Explorer.  Scientific keynote presenters and education facilitators will work with participants to delve into the benefits of ocean exploration targeting climate change, energy, human health and ocean health.  Interact with scientists, converse and share classroom applications with other educators, and find a wealth of multimedia resources.  The workshop will introduce the first in a series of Leader’s Guides for Classroom Explorers Why Do We Explore? with associated exploration lessons and hands-on activities.  The workshop will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Join the workshop

EETAP Fall Courses – Online

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) offer the following online  courses this fall:

Fundamentals of Environmental Education, September 8-November 25, 2009

Making EE Relevant for Culturally Diverse Audiences, September 8-November 13, 2009.

Applied Environmental Education Program Evaluation, September 7-December 4, 2009

Leadership Development in Natural Resources: Strategic Planning and Implementation, September 22–November 21, 2009

Check the website for availability and registration deadlines.

Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio facilitates scientific inquiry and outreach within NASA programs through visualization.  The studio works with scientists in the creation of visualization products, systems, and processes in order to promote a greater understanding of Earth and Space Science.  Animations include hurricane upwelling, island underwater flybys, beach erosion, and much more.

Gulf of Maine Area-Census of Marine Life Newsletter

July 29, 2009

CALENDAR: Gulf of Maine Symposium – Early registration ends July 31st

Early registration ends Friday, July 31st for the Gulf of Maine Symposium, to be held in scenic St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, October 4-9, 2009.

GoMA will host a one-day workshop on Biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine on Monday, October 5th.  We invite members of the science, management and conservation communities to join us.

The symposium is sponsored by the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine, in collaboration with COMPASS, Department of Fisheries and Oceans – St. Andrews Biological Station, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and the Gulf of Maine Area – Census of Marine Life.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS: Isles of Shoals (NH), Platts Bank (ME), Cobscook Bay (ME) and Discovery Corridor (Canada)

Here are a few highlights of summer research activities from our partners:

Leading a team of students at Shoals Marine Lab, marine archaeologists Nate Hamilton and Ingrid Brack (photo) found evidence of prehistoric Native Americans on Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire.

Studies of biological hotspots – areas teeming with marine life – continue at Platts Bank, an off-shore bank 30 miles east of Portland, Maine.

Sampling of intertidal and nearshore species continues in Cobscook Bay, near the Maine/Canadian border.

A two-week cruise is underway in the Discovery Corridor, from the shores of the Bay of Fundy to the deep sea.  A 2008 National Geographic video shows you what this Canadian project is all about.

PUBLICATIONS: Recent papers on ecosystem dynamics

Gulf of Maine researchers have published two recent papers on changing ecosystem dynamics and fish communities using decades and centuries worth of data:

Using fish survey data from 1963 to the present, Peter Auster and Jason Link co-authored Compensation and recovery of feeding guilds in a northwest Atlantic shelf fish community (April 30, 2009, Marine Ecology Progress Series ).  The abstract begins “Disturbance by fishing activities in marine ecosystems has resulted in significant shifts in the distribution, abundance and diversity of fish communities.” Dr. Auster (photo) is a key contributor to the GoMA Census of Marine Life.

Based on historic records dating back to 1630, a team of researchers led by Stefan Claesson and Andy Rosenberg published their final report on Stellwagen Bank Marine Historical Ecology (2009, Gulf of Maine Cod Project, UNH). Dr. Rosenberg is a project leader for the Historical Marine Animal Populations of the Census of Marine Life. Recent guest lecturers and historians, Karen Alexander and Bill Leavenworth, contributed to the report.

Congratulations to all on their significant contributions to our understanding of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

EDUCATION NEWS: Student video wins national recognition

A poignant and well-produced video, Our Oceans, Our World , by high school students Eric Kao and Jorie Heilman of Lexington, Mass. captured the admiration of regional and national judges.  The winning video will be on display at the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall throughout the year.  The winner and runners-up can be viewed on our website – kudos to all who participated in the contest.

Living on the Ocean Planet video contest is a project of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, initiated by GoMA and co-sponsored by the Census of Marine Life.

Editor’s Note

A special thanks to Census of Marine Life scientist, Dr. Michael Sinclair of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, NS for his recent interview for our blog, Celebrating Darwin.  In Part 1, Reflections on Darwin , Dr. Sinclair discussed how scientific theories come to be, and in Part 2, Music and Darwin,  how music inspired – and was inspired by – Darwin.

As part of our ongoing celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Origin of Species, we invite colleagues to contribute to our blog in the coming months.  If interested, please contact Susan Ryan.

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