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Educating and engaging the public on ocean acidification

Summary / Description


This project identifies, develops, and evaluates tools for improving the understanding of students, educators, and the public about the causes and implications of ocean acidification (OA), the other consequence of human-induced climate change. The work is predicated on the assumption that our nation’s responsibilities in wisely managing our living marine resources are best achieved through an informed public. Imparting information to people of all ages about marine ecosystem functions, climate change, and OA in particular will serve to educate our citizenry and to cultivate future scientists.

The theme for this project is OA within the larger context of environmental effects on marine fishes. Activities will include describing research on OA at our laboratory; developing physical and virtual displays on OA; creating and improving mobile outreach packages; and refining our in-house means to educate the public, students, and educators on the importance of OA. Multiple activities will be implemented during the course of the summer and evaluated through user surveys. You will play a key role in each activity under the tutelage of the mentor and his staff.

As part of our research team, your duties and responsibilities will include:

1) Participate in lab-wide open house for public (May 18, 2014) and join in preparing visuals and providing oral summaries about our OA research, summarize the role you play in our laboratory’s research activities, and create / administer a survey of knowledge gained by the visitors.

2) Develop visual summaries of lab’s research activities on OA. These summaries could be physical (e.g., posters suitable for in-house and traveling presentations) and virtual (e.g., webpage summaries).

3) Host in-house visitors for laboratory tours of OA activities and participate in guided field trips with campus partners.

4) Participate in community outreach about OA by visiting classrooms and community groups in our area, and by networking with environmental educators at our site.

5) Participate in weekly discussions among interns, mentors, and staff on topics pertinent to planning and near-future decisions  (e.g., graduate school, research topics, networking, and careers in science among others themes). Serve as the facilitator for an OA theme at our weekly discussions.

6) Develop, implement, and interpret evaluation methods for the efficacy of education and outreach activities on OA.

7) Gain a working familiarity of ongoing laboratory experiments and analyses on OA; sufficiently so to write summaries for public distribution. The student will work among other undergraduate and graduate students, research associates, and career NOAA research scientists.

Skills Required

1) We seek an inspired student who provides initiative, follows through on tasks, and is creative – both verbally and visually.

2) Detail oriented, organized, works well individually and as a member of a team, communicates clearly, intends on obtaining graduate degree(s).

3) Prior experience in formal or informal educator settings a plus.

4) Computer literacy – MS Office applications; illustrator software skills a plus.

Other Information

Internship Location: The intern will hosted by a marine fisheries research group located at a US federal research laboratory that is part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Address: NOAA Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center,Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory, 74 Magruder Rd., Highlands, NJ 07732

Intern Supervisor: Christopher Chambers / Number of slots available: 1

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