Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Greetings again from Gray’s Reef!

Today is much different from the usual. The local news in Savannah (WTOC), as well as congressional aides from the offices of Jack Kingston (U.S. House of Representative), Johnny Isakson and Saxby Cambliss (U.S. Senate), are visiting the R/V Nancy Foster to catch a glimpse of our work here in GRNMS. Upon arrival, Greg debriefs the TV and congressional folks about the work on the ship. Additionally, Matt, Kate, and Athan provide a more detailed overview of their research. The media will interview each one in more depth throughout the day. These conversations will provide the media and politicians an opportunity to interact with the scientists, and vice versa.

Most of the science staff gets a much deserved break from surveying today because of our guests’ arrival. However, Athan and his crew (which includes me) deploy and retrieve one trap to give the visitors a sense of the surveying techniques involved in the fish survey. Once on deck, the team went straight to work as repeated in the last six days. Sea bass and porgy were loaded in the trap, as well as a lone triggerfish. We have not collected a triggerfish before, so the team was excited about the catch.

Tomorrow, the Board of Directors of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will rendezvous with the Nancy Foster. It is important that we schedule each survey while keeping our guests in mind. Greg does not want to budget our schedule too tightly; however, he wants to maximize the time we have. There are many people congregated in the Dry Lab as Greg tries to develop tomorrow’s schedule. We will have a busy day deploying the divers, fish traps, as well as run transects to collect acoustic data…while showing the CCA folks the ropes. It sounds like another great day in GRNMS!

I will write more tomorrow.

Until then,


Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary:
Daily Connections to Scientific Inquiry & Nature of Science

Communication of research among people outside of scientific and educational communities, such as the policy makers as well as the general public, is also essential. A recent survey indicates that 90% of Americans are illiterate about coastal and ocean science. For this reason, having the congressional aides and the local television crew out to the sanctuary helps bridge the gap among these populations. As our society becomes more scientifically and technologically advanced, so too must our population’s understanding.


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