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2018 NMEA Scavenger Hunt

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, 18 hours ago
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018

Scavenger Hunt Directions

Grab a partner for a chance to win two tickets to tour the Queen Mary with one of the ship’s outstanding tour guides. All responses must be in by 5pm on Wednesday.

Here’s how you play.

  1. To submit responses, create a folder for your team here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1y00TRFnP4pFnlMgxJTb62YWPnDyrzlDx?usp=sharing. Title the folder with your and your partner’s names.
  2. In your team folder, create one google doc to answer questions. At the top of the page write your names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Number the questions that have answers.
  3. Upload your photos into your folder with the correct titles for each photo.
  4. As soon as you finish all of the questions (or as many as you can complete) rename your team folder so that it has your names and DONE, e.g., EmilyWeiss_NeetiRiar_DONE. Make sure to finish by 5pm on Wednesday.

A winning pair will be randomly selected from the highest scoring teams. Winners will be notified by Thursday morning.

Scavenger Hunt Challenges (5 points each)

  1. Take a picture with one of next year’s conference hosts in front of the NMEA 2019 booth. (title: 1NMEA19)
  2. Take a picture with the Elkington Plate and Grovesnor China, matching the pose of the woman eating and man reading his menu. (title: 2China)
  3. Take a picture of yourselves next to the picture of Queen Elizabeth and Crew of the Queen Mary. (title: 3QECrew)
  4. What time do the horn stacks go off?
  5. There are not the same number of lifeboats on the RMS Queen Mary and on the model of the ship on the promenade level. How many lifeboats are on each?
  6. Take a picture of yourselves in front of the Winston Churchill Suite. (title: 6Churchill)
  7. Take a picture of yourselves in front of Door 13 in the Engine Room (title: 7EngineRoom)
  8. How many times did Queen Mary board the RMS Queen Mary?
  9. Take a picture or short video of yourselves in one of the “haunted” parts of the ship. (title: 9Haunted)
  10. Take a picture of yourselves with a current member of the NMEA board (if you’re a current member of the board find someone not on your team). (title: 10Board)
  11. Take a picture of yourselves by the pool. (title: 11Pool)
  12. Take a picture of yourselves with someone you met at this conference; title it with how you met. (title: 12[HowWeMet])
  13. Take a picture of yourselves holding some Queen Mary memorabilia in the gift shop. (title: 13Memorobilia)
  14. Ask someone who works on board the ship for the spookiest thing they’ve ever seen while working here. Write down their story.
  15. Take a picture of yourselves with Audrey Hepburn. (title: 15Audrey)
  16. What is the record breaking number of people aboard any ship? And which ship holds this record? Hint: you may need to find a tour guide to help you out.
  17. Take a picture of yourselves having a drink on the deck outside the Observation Bar. (title: 17Bar)
  18. How many Bell Boys are in the picture by the Cunard House Flag?
  19. How many tins of tea are in the Steward’s Pantry?
  20. What shape is on the shower curtain in the Captain’s Quarters?

Bonus questions (2 points each)

  1. Of current RMS Queen Mary staff, who has worked on board the longest?
  2. How old was he when he started?
  3. Take a picture of his picture (he’s not on board this week)

Download a printable file of instructions


Tags:  NMEA18 

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Coney Island Creek Estuary…Finally Getting a Little Bit of Love

Posted By Merryl Kafka, Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Coney Island, more well known as the Playground of the World, with roller coasters, spook houses, the world’s largest wonder wheel, shooting galleries, and even some vintage skee ball arcades, is also an ecological gem. With four miles of sandy beach, it is one of the most beautiful beaches along the mid-Atlantic. The opposing landmasses—Rockaway Peninsula, in Queens, and the Atlantic Highlands and Sandy Hook in NJ—shelter the beach, rendering gentle waves upon its shores. Sometimes the water’s surface is as smooth as silk. This is in contrast to the beaches in Rockaway and Long Island that have unprotected exposure to the open Atlantic, creating the rough waves that make them ideal for surfers.

Behind the popular beaches, on the bay side of Coney, is Coney Island Creek. [Photo shows a view of Coney Island Creek on the left and the ocean front beach on the right.] Once a neglected waterway and dumping site for derelict boats, cars, WW II minesweepers, and even a yellow submarine that is still stuck in the mud since its maiden launch in 1971, the creek continues to be a part of the iconic images of Coney.

The creek is an urban tidal creek, 1.5 miles long, with a variety of miniature habitats such as salt marshes, mudflats, sand dunes, and woodlands. Wildlife has returned, including peregrine falcons, egrets, ospreys, skimmers, swans, horseshoe crabs, mud snails, oysters, and many kinds of fish from the larger predators such as bluefish and striped bass to smaller killifish and silversides.  Human consumption restrictions do exist! The waters are too polluted, due to the historic industry of coal, gas, ship building, gas stations, auto salvage junk yards, and the most recent discovery of sewage seepage from a nearby housing complex. In fact, a Request For Proposal has just been issued to allocate violation funds to restore the creek, The C.I. Creek Environmental Benefit Project Fund. NYSMEA is in the process of applying for this to extend and enhance our efforts to improve the creek conditions and continue to work with schools and the community for sustaining both educational and stewardship ethics.

Despite the history of decades of dumping, the creek is resilient and improving with NYSMEA’s commitment to restoration, conservation and community education. We just completed our 4th annual event, “It’s My Estuary Day,” created by NYSMEA’s Executive Director and underwater welder, Gene Ritter, along with a collaborative team of partners and environmental organizations: C.I. History Project, C.I. Beautification Project, City Parks Foundation, Brooklyn STEM, (whose president is also our NYSMEA President Lane Rosen); Coastal Classroom, and other NYSMEA Board members; myself, Lisa Breslof, Lou Siegel, and Karla Ferrero. [Photo shows Gene Ritter (right) receiving a service citation from Councilmember Treyger, with NYSMEA President Lane Rosen to the left.]

With over 300 student volunteers from 10 schools, more than 1.5 tons of debris was collected. In the past, hundreds of Spartina plugs were planted to mitigate erosion and rebuild a breeding ground for marine life, the nursery of the sea. Students, teachers and community members engaged in interactive educational stations ranging from aquatic robotics, plankton viewing, whale bone explorations with Gotham Whale, the life of an oyster with the Billion Oyster Project, networking with the Waterfront Alliance, doing a seining and fish count with the NYSDEC, and many other participating organizations. It was an amazing day and a day in which we were so proud of the youngsters willing to care and learn about our waterways.

As I like to say, coastlines are our lifelines.

~Dr. Merryl Kafka
NYSMEA Board Member

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NMEA Blue-Green Lifestyle

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Thursday, June 28, 2018

It’s almost time for NMEA 2018, hosted by the Southwest Marine Educators Association in sunny Long Beach, CA!  As you begin to pack your bags please remember NMEA’s Blue-Green Initiatives and…

Bring Your Own (BYO):

  • BYOWB – favorite REUSABLE water bottle!
  • BYOM – favorite REUSABLE mug!
  • BYONBH – favorite REUSABLE name badge holder from a previous conference or workshop.  If you have a stash of extras and are willing to donate them, bring them along.  We will gladly share them at registration for others to reuse!
  • BYOT – favorite REUSABLE tote, for all of that awesome NMEA swag!

It’s always wise to plan ahead.  Think: how can I pack lighter? What do I want to do in my spare time? Where should I eat?  How can I be more blue-green?  Well, here are some additional travel tips and possible answers to those lingering questions:

  • Bring your own refillable toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. so that you don’t need to use the ones offered in your room.
  • Keep your towels on the rack and reuse them.
  • Practice water conservation!
  • Do to specific requirements of the ship, the rooms may be chilly…we recommend bringing layers!  But hey, southern California can be cool at night anyway!
  • Pack clothes that can be worn more than once.  Do you really need 5 pairs of jeans?
  • Eat at establishments that support local, organic and/or sustainable food supplies, and avoid take-out unless packed in sustainable packaging.  Check out https://la.eater.com/maps/best-long-beach-restaurants
  • OH…you can’t forget dessert! https://longbeachcreamery.com/ and https://thepiebarlongbeach.com/
  • Bring/use reef and eco-safe sunscreens. 
  • Support local businesses and buy locally-made souvenirs.
  • Make sure to plan some time to explore the historic Queen Mary.  From exhibits to tours, it has it all.  Check it out! https://www.queenmary.com/tours/   NMEA attendees get a discount! Woot! Woot!

Other things you can do once conferencing is over:

  • Tide pooling at Abalone Cove
  • Taking a southbound drive down Pacific Coast Highway at sunset
  • Checking out the surf at Huntington Beach (Surf City USA!)
  • Walking down Main Street in Seal Beach
  • Eating breakfast burritos at every possible opportunity!

Most of all…ENJOY NMEA 2018 in LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA!

Tags:  Conservation  NMEA18 

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NMEA Board Election Results - Welcome to our new board members!

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Board Collage - Officers

The NMEA Nominations committee would like to welcome and congratulate our new Board of Directors who will take office on July 19, 2018.  Congratulations to President-elect Kate Achilles, Treasurer (re-elected) Jackie Takacs, and Directors Sean Russell (re-elected), Lindsay Patterson, and Jenny East

Board Collage - DirectorsWe would like to thank Steve Stewart who is rotating off the board after filling a one-year term.  We would especially like to thank David Christopher for over ten years of dedication and selfless service to the NMEA board.  He has served on and been chair of several committees, organized the 2014 NMEA Conference, and he has served as a chapter rep and a director.  NMEA would not be the same without all that he has done behind the scenes.

Board Collage - OutgoingOur gratitude also goes to Jeannette Connors, Lisa Ayers, and Jennifer Magnusson for their work in organizing the website, bios, and voting system.  NMEA is truly a great team that is successful because of everyone's involvement and support.

Tags:  Board 

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Why You Won’t See Beef at NMEA 2018

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Thursday, June 14, 2018

CattleDocumentation states that the livestock industry is responsible for approximately 15% of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.  Of this percentage, 80% of the emissions are directly related to animals such as cattle.  A typical cow releases 100 kilograms of methane gas each year, or approximately 1/10 of a metric ton. 

Now multiply that number by the outrageous number of cows on this planet (approximately 1.5 billion) and you get…a very big number!  Now, we know we can’t just blame the cows, but they are a major contributing factor in global climate change.  But is it really just the cows?  Scientific evidence shows that methane gas produced by livestock is second to fossil fuel production, but resource use and environmental impacts of farm-raised edible protein matters just as much, if not more.

Here’s an interesting fact from the World Resources Institute: “If cattle were able to form their own nation, they would rank third behind China and the United States among the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters.” That’s a scary thought.

Rest assured that without beef there will be plenty to eat, and you can bet that sustainable seafood will be on the menu. As consumers we need to be aware of the effects of our choices.  Along with this year’s conference being “beef free”, conference participants are being asked to bring their own lanyards, reusable water bottles, and mugs. 

As an added bonus, this year’s swag bags, designed by ChicoBags, are fashioned out of 100% post-consumer, recycled plastic bottles. Can we agree that this is awesome?! 

RMS Queen MaryIn addition, the conference committee is encouraging bus, bicycle, and boat transportation to and from events, the conference, and of course sightseeing around beautiful Long Beach, California.  Behind the scenes, the conference committee has been working hard to minimize the amount of single use plastics, and we are proud to say that all of the conference venues are on board!  Speaking of “on board,” let’s focus on the Queen Mary, shall we?  In terms of reusable items, the Queen Mary gets the win.  Her history is nothing, if not amazing.  She started as a transatlantic luxury cruise liner hosting many Hollywood elites, was transformed into the largest and fastest troopship to sail during WWII, transformed back to her original self, and finally became a grand floating hotel, attraction, and icon of Southern California.  We hope that you are as excited as we are.  Looking forward to a fabulous NMEA 2018!

~ NMEA Conservation Committee

Give it a try: observe one meat-free day a week to curb your carbon emissions.

Tags:  Conservation  guest blog; conservation  NMEA18 

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News from the NMEA National Office: Creating Great Stories with our Chapters

Posted By Jeannette Connors, Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I like to think of hosting an NMEA conference the way that American novelist and short story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the construction of a great story. He says that “easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Chapters BookNMEA has 16 regional Chapters (14 currently active) and each year one of these Chapters takes on the daunting task of planning an NMEA conference. Because these conferences run so smoothly and are so successful, our Chapters make it look like easy work. Assisting them behind the scenes gives the National Office a glimpse into how much work and how much time is involved in planning these events. Attending a conference is stimulating and satisfying, like a novel that is engrossing and easy to read. The only requisite is to show up, relax and enjoy. These conferences are fascinating from the Introduction to the last Chapter.

Queen Mary Bow ViewAn NMEA conference unfolds like a charming novel. A good story starts with an inviting setting. This year, the Southwest Marine/Aquatic Educators Association (SWMEA) is hosting our annual conference from July 15-20 and they have chosen a picture-perfect backdrop. We will be aboard the RMS Queen Mary, a retired British ocean liner now permanently docked in Long Beach, CA as a hotel, museum and event facility.

Similarly, the Introduction to a great read should be appealing and capture the reader’s attention. NMEA18’s Introduction invites us to experience a thrilling evening on the beaches of California. A starry, perhaps moonlit night will open an event called the Grunion Run. Grunion are small silverside fish with, shall we say, interesting behaviors when they make their way onto the beach. Be sure to arrive in time to enjoy this unique activity! If you can’t attend this beach event, we also have an evening kickoff event in the Queen Mary’s Britannia Salon. This elegant salon is situated at the stern of the ship and opens onto a private deck where guests can enjoy the fresh ocean air and panoramic views of Long Beach.

Skimming the Contents, some of the chapters of our story include:

  • Reflect, Blend and Design at our Pre-Conference workshops!
  • Sessions, sessions and more sessions. A few of our many sessions include:
    • Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA
    • If You Eat Seafood, You’re Probably Eating Plastic
    • Project Based Learning Marine Science
    • Globally Sourced Interdisciplinary Lessons that Flow from the Mountains to the Ocean
  • NMEA’s Youth Conference rocks! Calling all middle school, high school and college students who are passionate about marine science, education, and conservation
  • Field Trip Fun including Catalina Island, whale watching and the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge

After finishing an unforgettable book, sometimes I want to flip to the first page and start the adventure again. Fortunately, I can look forward to another bestseller by the Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA) at the NMEA2019 conference in New Hampshire!

Queen Mary photo credit: www.queenmary.com

Tags:  National office  NMEA18 

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Q&A with NMEA Member Spotlight - Jennifer Magnusson

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Thursday, April 26, 2018

Describe your involvement in marine/aquatic education:

Jennifer Magnusson

I think of myself as a behind-the-scenes marine educator. I’ve worked in the classroom, aquarium, advertising agency, and research lab, and they all became a part of who I am and helped me find my niche. I am lucky to work with some really great organizations that are helping to make known the world of water—notably the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), and now NMEA! The ocean inspires me and I aspire to boost ocean literacy through social media, science communication, website and graphic design.

I have helped organize and facilitate MBARI's EARTH Teacher Workshops since 2003. EARTH workshops connect teachers with scientists in order to bring current research and real-time data into classrooms and informal learning environments. I am always inspired by the fabulous teachers I get to work with every summer and am looking forward to this summer's workshop in Newport, Oregon, co-hosted by Oregon State University, NSF Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV), and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub!

What do you like most about being a part of NMEA?

I love that feeling of belonging I get when I am with my fellow marine educators! It doesn’t matter where we are or what our focus is, the ocean brings us all together for conservation, education, and ocean literacy! The people I have met at conferences and events are all doing amazing things and their enthusiasm buoys me up. Right now I live over 1200 km away from the ocean in northern Alberta, so being with like-minded people really connects me back to the thing I love the most!

What issue are you most passionate about right now?

Jennifer Magnusson

I think the issue that is most relevant to my life right now is single-use plastics. My family has done our best to reduce or eliminate our use of things like plastic bags, plastic water bottles, Ziploc bags, plastic wrap, straws, and individually-wrapped snacks. So much of the marine debris and plastic pollution comes from our society’s need for things to be fast and easy, but if we all just take a few extra minutes to pack our child a litter-free lunch or bring our own cup and straw to the coffee shop, we could reduce that waste significantly. I am committed to doing my part and spreading the word to help others do theirs. There are many resources available to help end plastic pollution:

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

I have always wanted to go to Antarctica and haven’t been able to get there yet! When I was in the 6th grade, we watched a film about an icebreaker in Antarctica, and some of the scientists came to visit our classroom. Oh, how I wanted to be one of those scientists on that icebreaker! There is so much exciting research going on right now in Antarctica…I just need to connect with someone who’s looking for a science communicator to take along on an expedition!

Tags:  member highlight  Q&A 

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2018 Student Webinar Series

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

NMEA is hosting two FREE live webinars this spring. Educators may bring their students or attend on their own. It is a great opportunity for young people in particular to learn about conservation, citizen science, and careers in marine science.


May 9 @ 1:00 pm ET

Citizen Science on the Beach: Research and Outreach with California Grunion

Dr. Karen Martin (Pepperdine University) and Melissa Studer (Beach Ecology Coalition)

Grunion runningThe spectacular midnight runs of California Grunion are well known to Californians. This endemic silverside fish, found only off California and Baja California, shares critical spawning habitat with millions of beach goers along one of the world’s most heavily populated coastlines. Spawning occurs during spring and summer, the times of heaviest human use. Although regulations offer some protection, human impacts on California Grunion include a recreational fishery with bare-handed catching, and habitat loss from shoreline armoring and beach erosion. This webinar will examine the adaptations and adventures of these amazing fish in the California beach sand, and the influence of citizen scientists called Grunion Greeters on beach management and protection of this charismatic species. 

Register online: http://bit.ly/grunion-webinar

Image courtesy of S. Kasbati and grunion.org


Archived Webinar:

Vaquita: The world’s most endangered marine mammal

Dr. James Danoff-Burg  (The Living Desert)

VaquitaPlease join Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation at The Living Desert, as he discusses conservation efforts for the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. Both classrooms and individuals are invited to join this webinar.

You can listen a recording of the webinar here >

Image courtesy of D. Bader


Webinar Flyer Thumbnail

Please feel free to
download and share
the flyer with any
educators who might
be interested!

Tags:  webinar  youth 

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2018 NMEA Membership Drive

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NMEA Membership DriveDear NMEA Members,

The Membership Committee launched the 2018 Membership Drive at NSTA on March 22, and it will continue through Wednesday July 2nd.

This time it will be a bit different! Here is the plan, and the prize is an NMEA Lifetime Membership!

  1. Any existing NMEA member who brings in a new (NOT renewing) member gets an "entry"
  2. Anyone who gets that person to also join their chapter gets a second "entry"
  3. All entries will be placed in a hat and the winner will be drawn from the hat at the conference. Winner gets a lifetime NMEA membership.

Additional details

  • There is google form (https://goo.gl/forms/matw85RXBk1ailNB2) that members fill out for each person they bring in (they can pay for the new member’s membership or just recruit them). There will also be a line on it for if they also join their chapter.
  • Also encourage your “new members” when they fill out the membership registration form to include your name as how they learned about NMEA.
  • Right before the conference, we will verify that they are all actually members.  Then we will print out names and draw from a hat to choose the winner!

The prize of a Lifetime Membership is made possible by a generous donation from our past president, Tami Lunsford. What a wonderful way to give back to NMEA. Thanks, Tami!

Any questions please contact NMEA Membership Committee Chair, Lynn Whitley at lwhitley@usc.edu.

Good luck to all of us for a very successful Membership Drive 2018!  

NMEA Membership Committee
(Bill Andrake, Dave Bader, Mellie Lewis, Diana Payne, Lynn Whitley)

Tags:  membership 

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Check your inbox for our winter newsletter

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Saturday, March 10, 2018

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Our winter newsletter is out

It features information about our NMEA Whale of a Share-a-thon at the NSTA conference in Atlanta. It also highlights the latest issue of our journal, Current, a wrap-up of the regional NOSB, registration information for NMEA18, and student opportunities, as well as other news items and reminders! 

Didn't see it in your inbox? No worries, you can access it here, and update your contact email or sign-up for future mailings here >

Tags:  newsletter 

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NMEA 2018 Annual Conference