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UNH Marine Docent




Students Wanted for UNH's Coastal Floating Lab

Contact: Kathleen Schmitt
603-749-1565
NH Sea Grant

April 8, 2004



DURHAM, N.H. -- Area middle school and high school students will be getting their hands wet this spring learning about marine and estuarine environments. This is the 26th year of the Coastal Floating Lab, a marine education program sponsored by NH Sea Grant and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Space is still available for this season, May 12-28.

Students learn marine science first-hand at the Coastal Floating Lab, a marine education program sponsored by NH Sea Grant and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

Students and their teachers will experience a half-day adventure aboard the Lady Merrilee Ann, a 70-foot boat from Eastman's Fishing Fleet operating out of Seabrook, N.H. They will be led by Marine Docents, a group of trained volunteers dedicated to the preservation and wise use of marine resources, and by UNH students.

The boat is outfitted with basic oceanographic sampling equipment. While onboard, students will test water quality, sample plankton communities, and learn basic coastal navigation techniques. While the students operate equipment, take samples and keep records, the boat will travel to three sampling sites: beginning at the dock, moving to a point in the harbor, and then proceeding out a short distance into the ocean.

Students and their teachers will average their collected data back in the classroom and report their results to NH Sea Grant. This data will then be compiled into a profile of this year's study which will become a part of the Coastal Floating Lab's database. This information will be made available to subsequent classes who participate in the program.

“New Hampshire's coast — its marches, estuaries, beaches, rocky shoreline and open ocean — is an important resource to the state, and crucial decisions will be made in the next few decades by the students who are in school today,” says Sharon Meeker, NH Sea Grant marine education specialist. “The goal of the Coastal Floating Lab is to increase students' knowledge and appreciation of coastal resources to help ensure that those decisions will be enlightened ones.”

The program is N.H. educational frameworks-based and includes an accompanying curriculum for participating teachers. The cost is $370 for a three-hour session. Interested teachers should contact Sharon Meeker or Barbara Pinto-Maurer at barbara.pinto@unh.edu or 603-749-1565. A reservation form is available at the UNH Marine Docent Web site: www.unh.edu/marine-education.