- Tybee residents invited to participate in sea level rise, coastal flooding preparations
- Apply now for the 2013-2014 Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Internships
- EcoFocus Film Festival expands to Jekyll Island
- Georgia Sea Grant issues 2014-2015 Request for Proposals
- Apply now for the 2014 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
- Tybee government begins planning for rising seas
- Reading Between the Lines: Marine Debris Education for Children in Georgia
- University of Georgia and Georgia Sea Grant help Tybee Island prepare for potentially rising seas
In 2010-2011, Georgia Sea Grant Interns taught over 15,000 people.
The Georgia Sea Grant Internship Program based at the University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium (MECA) has been a long-term educational commitment spanning 24 years. The program began in 1987 and has grown and developed into a nationally recognized exemplary marine education program, particularly under the auspices of Maryellen Timmons and Anne Lindsay. The program awards prestigious one-year internships to four recent graduates from across the country to serve as educators for the MECA on Skidaway Island, Georgia.
The internships support Georgia Sea Grant’s mission to provide educational activities that promote environmental and economic vitality in coastal Georgia. The interns teach students from pre-kindergarten through graduate levels, as well as Elderhostel groups, with lessons taking place at MECA as well as on pristine barrier islands off the coast of Georgia, in both the field and lab, and by distance learning. Interns live on site for 50 weeks in studio apartments provided by MECA.
Teaching about the Coast
The marine education interns are trained to teach marine and aquatic literacy themes. During 2010-2011, interns taught over 15,000 people through:
- onsite pre-k to college classes
- summer marine science camp programs
- community festivals, such as Earth Day, Coast Fest, Skidaway Marine Science Day
- public programs
Interns also conducted outreach at local schools by judging science fair projects, teaching during ‘science nights,’ and field testing their educational curricula.
For more information on eligibility and application requirements for the Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Internship Program, visit the MECA website or contact Maryellen Timmons, Marine Biologist and Sea Grant Internship Director, University of Georgia Marine Extension Service, at 912-598-2353.
Marine Education Center and Aquarium
The Marine Education Center and Aquarium (MECA) is part of the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service (MAREX) and offers both formal and informal educational programs focused on the ecology of Georgia’s estuaries, coastal islands, and offshore waters. MECA’s facilities house a public aquarium containing indigenous species, teaching labs, a lecture hall, touch tank rooms, a 60-person dormitory, cafeteria, docks and boats for teaching/trawling, an aquaculture research facility and a science library.
MECA provides year-round residential and day programs. Student groups (grades 5-college) make arrangements for half, full, or multi-day experiences at the MECA facility. Two-hour day programs provide hands on lessons for grades PK-4. The facility also offers outreach to schools and provides public programming on site and at coastal festivals. Summer months are filled with marine science camps for ages 4-15 and teacher/graduate workshops.
The MECA facility is unique. Although the outdoor classroom is the most important teaching space, the main building houses a small public aquarium containing indigenous fish, invertebrate and reptile species, teaching laboratories, multipurpose classrooms, an auditorium, and flow-through touch tank rooms. The small public aquarium is used daily as a teaching classroom, but does not house marine mammals or marine mammal research activities. Although interns spend a great deal of teaching time on the water, they do not SCUBA or snorkel. The rest of MECA’s facilities include nature trails and observation platforms, docks and vessels (43 ft trawler and skiffs), an 88 bed dormitory, and a full service cafeteria. Other institutions sharing the campus include the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory, UGA Marine Science Library, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, NOAA’s Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, and Georgia Southern University Applied Coastal Research Laboratory.
White, K., and M. Timmons. One fish two fish, red fish, you fish! Science Teacher, February 2011