Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join Us
Community Search
What's New
Blog Home All Blogs
Keep up with our latest news and events!


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: conference  current  newsletter  Ocean Literacy  membership  EMSEA  guest blog  MME  NMEA16  award  2014  member highlight  youth  international  NSTA  NYSMEA  scholarship  strategic planning  annual fund  Board  IPMEN  news  NMEA15  webinar  conference; guest blog  fmsea  GOMMEA  history  job  social media 

An update from the 2014 IPMEN Conference - Guest blog & photos by Craig Strang

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, July 12, 2014

I'm at the International Pacific Marine Educators Network Conference in Tokyo and Iwate Prefecture in Japan. It is the 5th biennial conference of the organization. I was the keynote speaker at the first two meetings, and am making a presentation later this afternoon. Yesterday (July 11) was the conference field trip day. We visited Tsukiji, the Tokyo Fish Market, the largest in the world. It was an amazing, incredible, overwhelming experience.

Walking the aisles in the world's largest fish market

Cutting a tuna on a band saw

I saw more species of marine life at the market than I have ever seen in any public aquarium, including forms of life that I hardly knew existed, much less that they are edible. I had strongly conflicting feelings. While it was fascinating and fun to see, it was also disturbing for me to understand that we are taking that much marine life out of the ocean--every day--just at Tsukiji. I wondered if the photos I took might someday not too far off, provide a historic record for my grand children of how much life there USED TO BE in the ocean.

I visited Tsukiji once before in 2008 and saw large amounts of whale meat for sale in several locations. I asked our guide if our group could see whale meat this time. He said that because there is so much international pressure, they no longer let tourists visit the areas where whale meat is sold.

Octopuses at Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

Box of tunicates at Tsukiji Fish Market

 Squid at Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

Later in the day, we went aboard the Shinyo Maru, the research vessel of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT). We heard about the fisheries research being conducted by the ship. A representative of the Japan Ministry of Education also told us about the network of 41 fisheries high schools in Japan that train young people for careers in the fisheries industry. He told us that in the 1960s there were 52 fisheries high schools. The number of schools is declining because of the decline of the fishing industry. Japan is slowly running out of fish--a confirmation of my uncomfortable impressions at Tsukiji an hour earlier.

The Shinyo Maru, the research vessel for Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology

Having tea aboard the Shinyo Maru. NMEA members from L to R: Evy Copejans, Karen Mastumoto, Karen Blyler, Geraldine Fauville, Judy Lemus, Peter Tuddenham

Tomorrow (July 13) the entire conference leaves Tokyo to travel by bus to Iwate Prefecture to visit the area devastated by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. We will learn more about the impact of the tsunami, the recovery efforts, and the planning to prepare for the next tsunami.

This morning (July 12), Professor Tsuyoshi Sasaki, the conference chair and Nobuaki Okamato, the President of TUMSAT, welcomed us to the Conference, followed by some thoughtful remarks by Harry Breidahl, Past President of the Marine Education Society of Australia, and NMEA Past President Mike Spranger about the history of IPMEN. Tsuyoshi arranged for several groups of junior high and high school students to present about their own original research projects. The students were fantastic, presenting fairly technical topics all in English.

Tsuyoshi Sasaki translating for the representative from Ministry of Education who oversees the 41 Fisheries High Schools

I was most moved by a group of high school students from Iwate Prefecture who were studying marine debris after the March 11 tsunami  devastated their community. They ended up wanting to do something to decrease marine debris in their community, so they made a very clever, fairly substantive video about how sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and end up choking on them. The approximately five minute video used animation with pictures of two turtles on popsicle sticks. The turtles are friends, and one eats a plastic bag and dies, the other is very upset. “Where is Yasuki? What happened to him?” the surviving turtle friend asks plaintively. They anthropomorphized the turtles in a childlike and emotionally compelling manner that portrayed sadness but also confusion about sudden loss of a “friend.”

High School students from Iwate who made the video about plastic bags and turtles

I couldn’t help but think that those turtles carried some of their animators’ suppressed anguish about losing friends, parents, homes. I wondered, did one of these lovely 15-year-olds lose a parent to the wave? What were these kids’ lives like three years ago today? I asked a question about whether the students had made videos before or was this their first? They said tersely it was their first.

Their teacher stood up in the back of the room and said that he helped them to learn the technical skills they needed but that they had written the script, done all the shooting, editing, and production. Then he said, “The students, they never talk about the tsunami. Never talk about it. So, I help them to communicate using video.” Later at lunch, the teacher told me that one of the boys who made the video has been very quiet since the March 11 event and that today, he saw that boy smile for the first time in many months.

Author Craig Strang is Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California-Berkeley and a past-president of the National Marine Educators Association.

Tags:  conference  IPMEN 

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)

Participate in the International Pacific Marine Educators Network from afar!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, July 7, 2014

IPMEN logo
Are you interested in international marine education, particularly in the Pacific? If so, register to participate online in the 2014 International Pacific Marine Educators Network biennial conference, being held July 12 in Tokyo (July 11-12 in the United States - see time conversions below).

The conference begins with opening remarks from the president of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) followed by presentation from students from Konan Junior High School, Yamawaki Gakuen Junior and High School, Kuji Junior High School and Misaki Junior High School and then TUMSAT professor Jota Kanda on radionuclides observation in biota off the coast of Fukushima after the nuclear power plant accident. IPMEN 2014 is being held in Japan to help bring hope back to the people of that devastated region.

Next, IPMEN attendees will deliver 18 presentations (in two concurrent sessions) on topics that address coastal recreation areas devastated by natural disasters; preparing coastal areas for natural disasters; balancing traditional knowledge with science and technology, including within the fisheries industry; and fostering an understanding of food cultures and traditions, including within fisheries.

IPMEN 2014 participants include four past NMEA presidents as well as marine educators from Australia, Belgium, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand and the United States. Indonesia is anticipated to have a strong presence at the conference and may host the 2016 IPMEN conference.

If you are considering registering to participate online, please join us on July 8 at 3:30 p.m. Hawaii (6:30 p.m. Pacific or 9:30 p.m. Eastern) to take a test run of the videoconference system that will be used. You’ll be impressed by the quality and user-friendliness of the Blue Jeans system. If you decide to register, cost is only $50 per person or per group, and group participation is encouraged!

The conference can be viewed real-time or asynchronous. For more information or to sign up to take the test run, please email Sylvia Spalding at

Or if you are ready to register for the conference, go here and scroll down to 'Video Conference registration' >

Special thanks to NMEA, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and the College of Exploration for sponsoring the web component of IPMEN Japan 2014!

Time conversions for IPMEN Japan 2014 conference

  • Japan: July 12 (Saturday) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Hawaii: July 11 (Friday) from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Pacific: July 11-12 (Friday-Saturday) from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Eastern: July 11-12 (Friday-Saturday) from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Tags:  conference  IPMEN 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

International Pacific Marine Educators Network 2014 Conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, May 20, 2014

IPMENInterested in taking part in collaborative relationships to build ocean literacy in the Pacific region? Then consider participating in the International Pacific Marine Educators Network 2014 conference! This event will take place July 10-16 in Tokyo and Iwate, Japan, where the tidal wave devastation occurred in 2011.

If flying to Japan doesn’t fit your schedule or budget, consider participating online – you can do so from the comfort of your home and minimize your carbon footprint as well!

The deadline to submit abstracts for proposed presentations, which may be delivered online as well as in person, is May 31. Papers have already been accepted from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and the U.S.!

IPMEN Japan 2014 poster May 31 is also the deadline to register to attend the conference in person. Please visit the IPMEN website for conference details.

Registration for online participation is now available, and participation by groups is encouraged. For example, during the 2010 IPMEN conference held in Australia, members of the OCEANIA Marine Educators Association participated online as a group from Hawaii. For the 2014 IPMEN conference, Hawaii marine educators are planning to participate remotely again as a group.

Keep updated on the conference on Twitter via @IPMENJapan and #IPMEN14.

NMEA and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council have provided financial support for the online component of the IPMEN Japan conference.

Stay tuned here for more info on this exciting conference!

Tags:  conference  IPMEN 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Sign In
Sign In securely

7/15/2018 » 7/20/2018
NMEA 2018 Annual Conference