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Outreach

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Reaches Out to the Community



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The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) team reaches a broad spectrum of groups and individuals through a variety of outreach opportunities. WHCMSC staff participate in local, regional, national, international, educational, cultural, and scientific events. Additionally, personnel at WHCMSC host many meetings, tours, and seminars for the scientific community, educational groups, and institutions.

Facility Tours

Welcoming the general public to WHCMSC is one example of how we connect, support, and communicate with up-and-coming scientists from elementary school students to post-doctoral candidates. Opportunities to engage with research scientists, tour labs and facilities, participate in demonstrations, and ask questions of subject matter experts are offered to those with an expressed interest in science and scientific research. Tours and specialized demonstrations are available by request and depend upon availability of scientific staff and space.

Michael Casso, a physical scientist with the gas hydrates group at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, seeks volunteers from Children’s School of Science
Above: Michael Casso, a physical scientist with the gas hydrates group at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, seeks volunteers from Children’s School of Science. The volunteers will have their breath measured for carbon dioxide and methane, greenhouse gases that USGS scientists measure in the ocean. Photo credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS. [larger version]

Sturgis Charter School Science Cafe

Marine geologist Laura Brothers was the keynote speaker at the Marine Technology for Teachers and Students (MaTTS) Project Spring Science Café at the Sturgis Charter School in Hyannis, Massachusetts (MA). The MaTTS Project focuses on providing opportunities for teachers and students to learn about and experience new technologies related to exploring the ocean and discover pathways to marine careers. Brothers’ talk focused on how the USGS studies the seafloor using geophysical mapping, acoustics, and advanced imaging techniques. There were over 100 students and staff in attendance and Brothers’ talk was very well received. Feedback from Sturgis teachers was very positive and this visit has inspired the Science Club to begin hosting a regular Oceanographic Speakers Series. According to teacher feedback, a few students who stayed to speak with Brothers felt lucky to have a one-on-one chat with her. One of the students is so passionate about sea turtles that she feeds the ones in the science department every day, and has kept careful data about their eating habits and growth. Watching her take the initiative to stay behind and ask Brothers well thought out questions was a big highlight of the day.

Laura Brothers, marine geologist, was the keynote speaker at the Sturgis Charter School Science Cafe
Above: Laura Brothers, marine geologist, was the keynote speaker at the Sturgis Charter School Science Café. Photo Credit: Andrea Toran, USGS. [larger version]

Teaching the Teachers!

Geologist and data analyst Elizabeth Pendleton offered an interactive presentation on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor, sharing data and information on the geologic framework, glacial history, and glacial geomorphology of Massachusetts for approximately 25 teachers and program staff from the National Marine Life Center and the Museum Institute for Teaching Science. Kathy Zagzebski from the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, MA, in collaboration with the Museum Institute for Teaching Science in Quincy, MA, organized a Professional Development Institute for K-12 educators focusing on exploring earth science and curriculum frameworks in the coastal and marine environment.   In addition to the interactive presentation, Pendelton distributed CDs of USGS Open-File Report 2001-1072, Geophysical and Sampling Data from the Inner Continental Shelf: Duxbury to Hull, Massachusetts, and demonstrated how to download Esri ArcReader in order to display and share data in the classroom. Coincidentally there were teachers from Hull, MA, participating in the workshop and they were thrilled to look at data from their home town. 

USGS geologist Elizabeth Pendleton leads a professional-development workshop for science teachers on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor.
Above: USGS geologist Elizabeth Pendleton leads a professional-development workshop for science teachers on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor. Photo credit: Andrea Toran, USGS. [larger version]

The group was particularly interested in a tour of our core lab. Brian Buczkowski, core lab manager, was happy to oblige the teachers. Buczkowski demonstrated how core-sampling techniques are used for analyses and how cores provide a look back through geologic time.

Brian Buczkowski, manager of the Core Lab, discusses the different types of equipment used in the core lab
Above: Brian Buczkowski, manager of the Core Lab, discusses the different types of equipment used in the core lab. Photo credit: Andrea Toran, USGS. [larger version]

3rd Annual Science Stroll

This August, WHCMSC participated in the 3rd annual Woods Hole Science Stroll. This free, family-friendly event offered participants a variety of opportunities to explore interactive displays, tour a research vessel, take part in science demonstrations, and engage with local scientists from 18 science centers, institutions, and organizations.

A drone‘s eye view of the Woods Hole Science Stroll.
Above: A drone‘s eye view of the Woods Hole Science Stroll. The green USGS tent has a large cluster of visitors. Photo credit: Emily Sturdivant, USGS drone pilot. [larger version]

The aerial imaging and mapping (AIM) group provided Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) demonstrations to crowds of drone enthusiasts of all ages. The USGS pilot chose “co-pilots” from eager bystanders, walking them through the pre- and post-flight operational and safety checklists. The co-pilots were thrilled to get firsthand experience with a USGS pilot and were fascinated by the real-time flight imagery displayed on the computer screens.

USGS drone pilot Emily Sturdivant (seated) demonstrates flying an Unmanned Aircraft System Emily Sturdivant, with the help of her co-pilot, hits the landing target.
Above: It's a bird? It's a plane? It's a drone! USGS drone pilot Emily Sturdivant (seated) demonstrates flying an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), much to the delight of the onlookers. Photo credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS. [larger version]   Above: Emily Sturdivant, with the help of her co-pilot, hits the landing target. Photo credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS. [larger version]

The Seafloor Mapping Group’s SEABed Observation and Sampling System (SEABOSS) was a big hit with the crowd. Navigation specialists provided a live, interactive demonstration of underwater video capabilities in the shallow waters off the wall at Waterfront Park, near the USGS display tent. Geologists and navigation technicians talked about how seafloor sediment sampling, photography, and video are critical components of their operations, and how they use the data from a variety of sources—including the SEABOSS—to conduct research. 

Families had fun taking selfies with SEABOSS cameras. Group photo of Science Stroll USGS volunteer scientists
Above: Families had fun taking selfies with SEABOSS cameras. Photo credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: Science Stroll dream team: (left) Dann Blackwood, Andrea Toran, Emily Sturdivant, Ellyn Montgomery, Meagan Gonneea, Laura Brothers, Sara Zeigler, Neil Ganju, and Seth Ackerman. Photo credit: Ivar Babb, University of Connecticut. [larger version]

The Sediment Transport Group displayed the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) Modeling System, to show basic computer modeling operations along with some of COAWST’s common applications. USGS staff demonstrated how the computer models help them understand physical processes such as coastal erosion. Many kids could relate to the idea of models by talking about video games where you have to follow some rules to obtain an objective, similar to how the COAWST modeling system follows the physical laws of waves, ocean currents, sediment movement, and air.

USGS scientific programmer Tarandeep Kalra talks to children about ocean modeling USGS research oceanographer Neil Ganju shares a time-lapse video showing salt marsh erosion
Above: USGS scientific programmer Tarandeep Kalra talks to children about ocean modeling.  Photo credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: USGS research oceanographer Neil Ganju shares a time-lapse video showing salt marsh erosion. Photo credit: Andrea Toran, USGS. [larger version]

Children measure water salinity with Meagan Gonneea, USGS research scientist
Above: Children measure water salinity with Meagan Gonneea, USGS research scientist, to learn about climate warming and how it affects wetlands. Photo credit: Dann Blackwood: USGS. [larger version]

WHCMSC‘s science has global implications and many of its world-renowned scientists relish an invite to present their scientific discoveries at symposiums all around the world. But often, it is the participation in local outreach activities such as those described here that provides the most reward, where USGS scientists can share their knowledge with and give back to their own community.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Participates in the 2nd Annual Woods Hole Science Stroll
Oct. - Dec. 2016

Related Websites
Woods Hole Science Stroll 2016
Woods Hole Science Stroll
Woods Hole Science Stroll 2016
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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in this issue:

Cover Story
Evolution of a Hurricane-Generated Breach

News Briefs
News Briefs

Research
Annual Southern Sea Otter Survey

Three New Studies added to USGS Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection

Field Work
Recent Fieldwork

Outreach
Graduate Students View Evidence of Carmel River Recovery after Dam Removal

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Outreach

Meetings
SACNAS Conference

Publications
Ferromanganese Deposits Record History of the Arctic Ocean

Nov. - Dec. Publications

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