Introducing kindergarten children to the field of oceanography

ST. PETERSBURG - College of Marine Science PhD student Ryan Schenck successfully developed and implemented an outreach activity aimed at introducing junior kindergarten children to the field of oceanography. Ryan brought Callinectes sapidus (Blue Crab) specimens that he is currently using as part of his research examining circular single-stranded DNA viruses in Crustaceans. The children were able to hold them and learn about their importance to the Tampa Bay ecosystem and economy. They also learned about the role that viruses and bacteria play throughout the global oceans. Lastly, a 23-meter seine net was used to capture sea life present on Spa Beach. The children were able to comb through the net, after it was brought on shore, and put the animals in a temporary ‘touch tank’ for observation and hands on learning. This outreach activity took place over three days for three different junior kindergarten classes at Shorecrest Preparatory School. PhD student’s Ileana Freytes-Ortiz, Sean Beckwith, and CMS research assistant Jonelle Basso assisted Ryan during the outreach activity.

Read more at The Experiential School of Tampa Bay.

Ben Ross co‑chairs session at GSA 2016

DENVER, CO - At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Ben Ross organized and co‑chaired with Caitlin Hanley the session, “Experimental Approaches and Technology in Service of Micropaleontology”. Dr. Joan Bernhard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was the featured speaker and talks were given by several USF College of Marine Science students, faculty, and alumni. MS student, Christian Gfatter, introduced his approach of utilizing image recognition technology for foraminiferal assemblage analyses in his first oral presentation at a scientific conference. Dr. Guillem Mateu‑Vincens, former visiting pre‑doctoral researcher in the Reef Indicators Lab at CMS, and Dr. Natasha Mendez‑Ferrer, a recent CMS alumna, were invited speakers. Sean Beckwith, another CMS graduate student, and Dr. Pamela Hallock Muller also made oral presentations on technology and foraminifera.

The Cushman Foundation was a sponsor of the session as well as “Microfossil Proxies in Earth History” where Elizabeth Brown and Christian Haller presented posters on their research. In addition, Dr. Ryan Moyer, a CMS courtesy professor, made an oral presentation at the “Urban Geochemistry” session.

Photo: Left to right – Christian Gfatter, Dr. Pamela Hallock Muller, Sean Beckwith, Ben Ross, Dr. Natasha Mendez‑Ferrer