OCEANIA Marine Educators Association

OCEANIA Marine Educators Association

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sea Life Park Fieldtrip

Thanks to Tara Dixon, Christina Leos and Patty Miller for hosting the Sea Life Park fieldtrip. What an awesome outing!

Check out the images from Dan Van Ravenswaay.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

HaSTA Conference


We had a great session at the Hawai'i State Science Teacher's Conference! Our session was titled: Marine Field Trips, Resources, and Opportunities

Thanks to all of the presenters from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, the Waikiki Aquarium, the University of Hawaii, Maui College, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Teaching Science as Inquiry Program, and COSEE Island Earth.



OCEANIA meeting at HaSTA Conference


The notes from our membership meeting are below. Thanks to all for coming. We will be having a board meeting in November and then will call for elections in Dec. or Jan. Thanks Joanna for doing the minutes!

OCEANIA Membership Meeting - Sept. 14, 2013 1-2pm

·         Present (board members): Mark Heckman, Patty Miller, Joanna Philippoff, Carlie Wiener, Dan Ravensway

·         Present (members): Ryan Kagami, Jim Foley, Barb Mayer, Frannie Coopersmith, Shelley Steele, Sandy Webb, Maggie Prevenas, Sylvia Spalding


OCEANIA overview

·         Email Issues

·         We are starting a new list as not all members are being contacted via our email listserve

·         Mark will serve as president a second year

§  By-laws need to change, president should serve a two-year term

§  The president-elect (currently unfilled) organizes the conference for the next year

·         Website

§  We will request space on new NMEA page (link chapters more closely with national organization, should bring visibility of all up)

·         P.O. Box

§  Letters are bouncing back, we need to make sure P.0. Box is paid (Patty will check)

·         NMEA national conference (Mobile) – we have a large presence nationally

§  2014 national conference to be in Annapolis

§  We plan to host the 2020 national conference

·         Upcoming OCEANIA 2013 events

§  Tentative Nov. OCEANIA meeting, with elections afterwards


Updates for Local Marine Education Community

·         There will be an ocean resource search page on the HEEA (Hawaii Environmental Association) website (facilitated by COSEE)

·         The HI conservation alliance has a new page – conservationconnection.org

§  Sign up as user or nominate a stewardship site

·         Maui College has a new 4-yr degree: sustainable science management

·         COSEE updates

§  There are currently two Communicating Ocean Sciences Courses – at KCC in Kona (facilitated by COSEE)

§  COSEE flat-screen panels are being introduced to different areas around the state

§  Ongoing:

·         SeaHarmony website – sign up to connect with marine educators and researchers

·         All things Marine monthy radio show -

·         NOAA’s offices are moving to a new location on Ford Island

§  There will be a new visitor center/exhibit area with and auditorium and classroom space

§  There will be school programs to see things like the turtles, monk seals, and fisheries

§  Friends of the center will get a year-long pass to allow them to come to Ford Island

·         Exploring Our Fluid Earth – an aquatic curriculum aimed at 9th graders but easily scaled for both MS and HS classrooms, will be live next summer.

·         Voice of the Sea – a pacific-based marine TV show, will be on PBS next year

·         Exemplary State – idea floated around by UH, military, business partners, and other organizations (e.g. OHA) to connect the STEM pipeline

·         West Pacific Fisheries Council has scholarships and traditional knowledge calenders

·         Waikiki Swim Club is re-imagining the Kaimana Beach fishing closure/open periods



·         North-Shore teachers, $250-1000 grants to 10-15 teachers to look at bay/watershed/estuaries

§  Oct. 15th deadline (contact Patty Miller)

·         HS teachers, registration funds to attend Feb. Ocean Sciences meeting.

§  If interested in presenting on CMORE, there is money available to pay registration fees (contact Jim Foley)


Upcoming Local Marine Education Events

·         Sept. 28th – Free tour of Sea Life Park! (facilitated by Tara Dixon)

§  Currently only 12/30 spots filled

·         Oct. 3rd – Seafood festival

·         Oct. 18th - Waikiki Educators Night

·         Oct. 19th – NOAA Ocean Explorer PD at HIMB

§  $ gift certificate, money for neighbor island teachers to attend

·         Oct. 25/26th – SOEST open house

§  There is a poster contest for students

·         Feb. 24th – Ocean Sciences meting, priority deadline is Oct. 4th

§  Cost for HS teacher is $150

·         July 10-16th – IPMEN (International Pacific Marine Educator’s Network)  next week-long conference in Japan, $1000 (all-inclusive)

·         Spring: Judge Hawaiian history through a cultural/historical/science lens (see Sandy Webb)

·         Summer: 2014 Hawaii Conservation Conference will have a “navigating change” theme

·         Summer: HIMB HS authentic research experiences (5 week summer immersion), through Dr. Malia Rivera

Monday, March 11, 2013

Membership Meeting Update

We had a very nice membership meeting in late February. About 20+ folks came in despite some issues with getting the word out. Chad Yoshinaga gave a great talk and everyone enjoyed the film, "In the Wake of Giants."

Speaking of, Lou Douros, Filmmaker  for the film has begun selling DVD's of the program. Please support their efforts by checking in at their website and getting a copy. See:  www.wakeofgiants.com.

Also from the meeting - some events coming up - more details will be provided as we get closer.

·         Upcoming 2013 events
 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference - April 11 (Texas)
Mauka to Makai Waikiki Aquarium – April 13
Ocean Expo, Blaisdell Center  – April 13/14
Windward Mall Earth Day event – April 20th
Sea Life Park Earth Day beach clean up – April 20th (get cheap admission to the park!)
World Oceans Day/Turtle Day – June, stay tuned for details
National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) Conference – July (Alabama)
Earth workshop – CMORE, into microbial oceanography – March 21st deadline for applications

Mark Heckman

Winter Wonder

If you asked someone living on the East Coast if they are suffering from the effects of global warming, they would probably stare at you blankly from under their parka. No, being buried in feet of snow generally doesn't raise concern for a warming planet. I'm sure there are even a few folks who are praying for global warming to combat the recent snow storms. Many assume that the record setting blizzards along the East Coast would contradict claims of increasing temperature trends. One shocking hypothesis is that... (you may want to sit down for this one) ...the more extreme winter weather within the last decade may be the result of global warming!
For a nice clear explanation see:
Myth Busting: Snow Storms and Climate Change (video): http://vimeo.com/14094702

Climate Central is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization of scientists and journalist who study and report on the climate of the United States. I recently found one of their videos which provided an interesting and reasonable explanation for the harsh winter weather on the other side of the country.
I appreciate how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report menacingly flies in to tell us that an increase of one degree Celsius enables the atmosphere to hold 7% more water. Menacing, but real, increased water carrying capacity allows winter storms to deposit more snow, consisting of larger snowflakes. Increased temperatures also increase the rate of evaporation in ways we typically wouldn't consider. According to an EarthTalk article addressing climate change within the United State, 2006 was the first year in recorded history that Lake Erie did not freeze. Since the water was exposed to open air, there was more evaporation leading to increased localized snowfall, a phenomenon appropriately named the "lake effect."
To clarify, global warming is leading to increases in evaporation and the amount of moisture that can be held in the atmosphere. As climate change progresses, we can expect to see more precipitation during storms, and an greater number of severe storms. It's not to say that global warming causes severe storms to consist of snow, but that is an entertaining thought for a snowboarder living in Hawaii.
For more information about how global warming is influencing climate change, please take a look at the following links:
Myth Busting: Snow Storms and Climate Change (video): http://vimeo.com/14094702
Climate Central: http://www.climatecentral.org/what-we-do
EarthTalk: http://www.emagazine.com/earth-talk-archive/week-of-1-18-2009
National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/02/100213-snowstorms-global-warming-climate-change-snowpocalypse/

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Membership Meeting

Another year has gone by and it is time to get together for an enjoyable evening of food, a film and sharing of opportunities. Join us for our annual membership meeting:

Tuesday, February 26th from 6 - 8 pm
HIHWNMS Conference Room, Suite 301
6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu HI 96825
Bring a guest or colleague! Call in instructions will be sent out
for those that can attend in person.
Special Guest Talk from Chad Yoshinaga, NOAA Protected Species Division Scientist will give a presentation on the whale entanglement program and some of their tools after we view the short film, "In the Wake of Giants'" by Akua Films. See; http://www.akuafilms.com/Wake_Of_Giants.html
We will announce new OCEANIA Board officers, as well as new board members. We will give an overview of past activities and ask members to share their upcoming opportunities for 2013.
Light refreshments will be provided, You are also invited to join in the (voluntary) potluck dinner.
Please RSVP AT http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/89RLNY9

Friday, February 8, 2013

Corals under the Confocal Microscope

A Coral Symbiome 

Congratulations to HIMB's Chris Farrar, Zac Forsman, Ruth Gates, Jo-Ann Leong and Rob Toonen  for the  selection of their video "Coral Under Confocal" for recognition in the 2012 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the challenge acknowledges the importance of the visual arts in communicating and understanding the nature of the world around us. To quote from the site, "Some of science's most powerful statements are not made in words. From DaVinci's Vitruvian Man to Rosalind Franklin's X-rays, science visualization has a long and literally illustrious history."

The video from the Gates and Toonen labs does a fantastic job of conveying information about corals and coral reefs, all within a few short minutes and with very some compelling imagery. I admit I found the near robotic glide of the rotifer quite entertaining, while Leon liked the fact that the coral larvae have cilia to help them swim, so they can find a place to reside of their own choosing.

No more needs to be said. Just watch the video below!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Lucifer, the planktonic shrimp

When looking through the microscope at plankton samples, students are often startled when we tell them that they are looking at "Lucifer." To be more specific, it is a planktonic shrimp in the genus Lucifer. But yes, this is a very grandiose name for a creature less than an inch long.

Students can only get a bit of the shrimp into view at a time. Usually they get a couple of the wildly kicking legs which are wrecking havoc with the rest of their sample. We help them follow the body outline up to the stalked eyes to make it more recognizable.

Shrimps of the genus Lucifer are characteristic of warm tropical ocean waters. Like their cousins the larger bottom-dwelling crabs and shrimps,  Lucifer shrimps belong to the decapod group. Decapods have 10 legs (this includes any claws - take a count next time you get crab at a restaurant to make sure you were not cheated). Unlike their larger bottom-dwelling cousins, Lucifer shrimps are are permanent members of the plankton community. They drift with the currents their whole lives. 

L. Weaver image

Lucifer spp. are rather voracious predators eating other plankton (mostly animal) they encounter. Prey are quickly and efficiently shredded by the serrated mandibles. One study showed that food entering the mouth end could make it to the rear end as waste in less than 10 minutes (Lee, et. al. 1992). What a nice fast digestive system! One wonders what the spread of this impressive micro-predator might do to the new systems it moves into. A relatively recent article from China documents the northern progression of Lucifer shrimps in estuaries there over the last 5 decades, postulating that global climate change is at play here. 

Of course there is turn-about-play here as well - as one of the largest planktonic animals around, fish can siphon Lucifers out of the water column like little Slim Jim's. And they do - they are a primary food of the endemic Hawaiian anchovey, the nehuEncrasicholina purpurea. This was noted by Dr. Bob Hiatt, in an article in the first year of publication of the now venerable journal Pacific Science. Dr. Hiatt went on to found our institution as a field station on Moku o Lo'e, so I feel a bit of special connection each time we find these in our plankton tows.  

Lucifer shrimps are relatively short lived, probably 30 - 40 days although a few species can live several times that span. Like many marine animals, spawning takes place in the evening. For at least one species, L. faxoni, eggs are brooded by the female on the backsides of the third periopods (legs), with up to 30 eggs per brood. If the eggs become detached, they get eaten, even by the mother (thrifty). 
L. Weaver image
The name for the group comes from a description of luminous (bioluminescent) plankton by John V.Thompson in the year 1829. As noted in the ever popular World Register of Marine Species (that would be WoRMS!), the original reference was: "Thompson, J.V. 1829. Zoological researches, and illustrations; or, natural history of nondescript or imperfectly known animals, in a series of memoirs, illustrated by numerous figures.
Memoir 3. On the luminosity of the Ocean, with descriptions of some remarkable species of luminous animals (Pyrosoma pygmaea and Sapphirina indicator) and particularly of the four new genera, Noctiluca, Cynthia, Lucifer and Podopsis, of the Shizopodae. Pages 37-66, plates 5-8. Cork: J. Hennessy, French Church Street Press."

In this case, the term "lucifer" does not refer to Satan, but more directly to the Latin translation of the the word which means "light-bearer," the name also given to the morning star, Venus. Interestingly, some 50 years later in 1885, the French scientist Raphael Dubois would coin the terms luciferace and luciferine, which would ultimately resolve into the internal chemicals used by many organisms to glow (including fireflys).

We have not seen bioluminescence in our specimens, but after a bit of searching, I finally found a wonderful image of a glowing Lucifer via Xiamen University's Department of Oceanography.

Mr. Thompson would have been pleased with the photograph I think. When discussing the Lucifer shrimp, his exact words were that the group, "conduces to the sparkling appearance of the sea in Tropical regions."



For more nice images of a Lucifer species off Australia, check out the Guide to the Marine Zooplankton of south eastern Australia. This is where the above image came from.

Other interesting references:

Wen Y. Lee1, Makoto Omori2 and Robert W. Peck. 1991. Growth, reproduction and feeding behavior of the planktonic shrimp, Lucifer faxoni Borradaile, off the Texas coast. Journal of Plankton Research Vol.14 no.l pp.61-69, 1992

Hiatt RW. 1947. Ghost prawns (sub-family Luciferinae) in Hawaii. Pac Sci 1(4): 241-242.

  • Zengling Ma
  • Zhaoli X
  • Jin Zhou. 2009. 
  •  Effect of global warming on the distribution of Lucifer intermediusand L. hanseni (Decapoda) in the Changjiang estuaryProgress in Natural Science, Volume 19, Issue 10, Pages 1389–1395