Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

DEEPEND: Diving into Education at All Depths

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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, New Orleans, LA, February 6-9, 2017

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Effective education and outreach capacity is essential for science communication to students, resource managers, stakeholders, and the public at large. The DEEPEND Consortium has developed a multisectoral education/outreach program to affect this communication. The Consortium has an integrated approach to convey the foundational concepts of DEEPEND projects (community ecology, from microbes to large fishes; animal mapping with acoustics; food web studies; monitoring of important oceanic fisheries (e.g., tuna); genetic studies to understand diversity; contaminant studies, using advanced biochemistry; and advanced oceanographic studies to understand open ocean habitats). An educational partnership with WhaleTimes, Inc. has focused on K-6 education through “virtual missions” with the DEEPEND team, reaching over 10,000 students to date. Deep-sea teacher workshops are the focus of Grade 8-12 educators, which includes “Teacher-at-sea” experience on every DEEPEND research cruise. An animated DEEPEND mascot, Squirt the Squid, delivers educational messages to children and adults of all ages. Management, stakeholder, and public outreach components include: presentations at scientific and management meetings (e.g., SeaGrant, Ocean Sciences); public engagement at special events (e.g., fishing tournaments, charity events); media engagement with reporters (magazine, newspapers, and radio), highlight stories with editors (e.g., Sport Fishing Magazine) and federal entities (e.g., Smithsonian Institution Ocean Portal); documentary participation (e.g., BBC Oceans, GoMRI documentaries); DEEPEND educational displays at zoos and aquaria (e.g., San Antonio Zoo, Oregon Coast Aquarium); online products in the form of project synopses and education modules; and printed materials, which are distributed freely.

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