What a great Saturday at the Boston Harbor Educators Conference hosted by Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) at UMass Boston!
Phil Colarusso, a diving scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, started the day with a great talk discussing the recovery of Boston Harbor. He showed incredible footage of sea life found in the newly improved Boston Harbor and contributed its success to the installation of the Deer Island wastewater treatment facility.
The second speaker of the morning was Marc Albert, Boston Harbor Islands Stewardship Program coordinator. He gave educators an overview of all the major projects and research on the Boston Harbor Island.
One thing that struck me during his presentation was the amount of challenges associated with civic engagement. As an educator, I encourage my students to be stewards and there are many individuals that want to help, but how? How do we improve park management and research in a way that includes everyday stewards like myself and my students? This is a question educators throughout the state and country are asking and simultaneously trying to answer.
In addition to the great speakers, there were great snacks and engaging workshops. I personally loved the workshop on citizen science. Loree Griffin Burns presented not only on her series of books, but on many fabulous projects that scientists of all ages could participate in. Loree discussed possible citizen science projects for collecting marine debris, tracking monarchs, frog watch, and more. This is the stuff that gets kids excited and I recommend her books.
To top off the beautiful 83 degree Saturday, participants cruised to Thompson Island and toured through Boston Harbor. This was just another spectacular event hosted by MME!
- Erin Hobbs, president, Massachusetts Marine Educators