Census of Marine Life: Celebrating Darwin Essay Contest

Discovering our modern day “Darwins” in the Census of Marine Life

Eligibility: High school students in US and Canada, enrolled 2009-10
Deadline: December 11, 2009
Essay Length:  500 words or less
Goal: To enhance understanding of scientific methods and discovery

Prizes: $300 in non-monetary prizes of books, memberships, and DVDs; one-year membership to Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association

One hundred fifty years ago, Charles Darwin published a book that continues to influence science and the way we view life on earth today.  Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species, was the result of years of observation aboard the Beagle and decades of collaborative research with colleagues around the world to explain the diversity of life on earth.

In 2010, scientists from around the globe will share the results of another voyage of discovery. This 10-year mission will explore and explain the diversity of life in the oceans – past, present, and future.

This essay contest seeks to have students feature a research  or collaborative project from the Census of Marine Life which continues in the tradition of the naturalist who changed our view of the world, Sir Charles Darwin. The essays should detail how  the researchers involved in the project have carried on these traditions:

Observation of the diversity of life in the oceans
Collaboration among people from multiple disciplines
Exploration of the diverse habitats which support life
Analysis and synthesis of discoveries and ideas, which lead to…
New information contributing to science and society at large

Contest details available here including a list of biodiversity and Darwin resources

For more information, contact:

Erik Pietrowicz, Biology Department, University of Southern Maine, epietrowicz@gmail.com

Susan Ryan, Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life, University of Southern Maine, sryan@usm.maine.edu