Future teachers and elementary school students learn about wetland ecology

UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant is working with students at the College of Coastal Georgia to monitor a freshwater wetland adjacent to a local elementary school and develop educational lesson plans on wetland ecology for elementary and middle school students.

Katy Smith assists two students of Oglethorpe Elementary School in monitoring the wetlands on their school's property.

Smith (left) explains how the rain gauge monitors rainfall at the wetland.

“Freshwater wetlands in coastal regions provide important habitat and resources for wildlife as well as ecosystem services that benefit humans, like water filtration and buffering against flooding and storm surge,” said Katy Smith, water quality program coordinator at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. “This project will allow us to study this habitat, learn from it and encourage stewardship of these areas for the benefit of wildlife and humans alike.”

As part of the project, which is funded by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division, Smith teamed up with College of Coastal Georgia faculty, James Deemy, lecturer of environmental science, and Amy Sneed, assistant professor, to provide experiential training for undergraduates at the college.

Deemy and Smith are working together to advise students who are pursuing a degree in science to carry out research activities at the site.

Kayla Russo, a rising senior at the College of Coastal Georgia, learned about the wetland project during her hydrology class and decided to assist with weekly monitoring.

“I was taking different water measurements, like conductivity, turbidity, and also running soil moisture transects,” said Russo, who is majoring in environmental science. “I was enjoying the stuff I was doing in-class, which was limited because we didn’t have all of the instruments, so I was able to go more in-depth through the [wetland] program.”

The baseline monitoring data on the wetland is being incorporated into lesson plans developed by senior-level teacher candidates at College of Coastal Georgia, with guidance from Sneed who coordinates middle grade and secondary education.

During the first year of the project, six lesson plans were developed that cover hydrology and soils, water chemistry, plant classification, environmental impact, and wildlife life cycles and habitat.

The lessons are being piloted by students participating in Oglethorpe Point Elementary School’s Marsh Lab program, which is led by Karen Garrett, who teaches at the school. As part of the program, Garrett works with all grade levels to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it outdoors through interactive experiences.

Katy Smith assists students in monitoring the wetlands by their elementary school.

Garrett shows students how to measure water temperature and document the results as part of an interactive education activity.

“I take their science curriculum and make it come to life,” Garrett said. “Since they can’t do hands-on science experiments in the classroom due to time constraints, they come to me every other week and we do experiments.”

With the new lesson plans, the students are learning about topics like water clarity, amphibians, soils and trees using real data collected by the college students. They are also able to conduct experiments in the wetland using some of the research equipment, like a rain gauge, that was set up by the college students.

According to Garrett, engaging students in the natural world encourages them to use scientific inquiry, investigation and exploration to complement their science curriculum. Having the students work through lessons that are directly connected to this important habitat at their school will help foster a sense of stewardship of this natural resource.

“They’re able to see the wetland and how it can be affected by their actions, so hopefully they can take that and create ideas for future actions or create their own opinions on environmental issues,” says Garrett.

The project has also supported summer interns to carry out some of the objectives. During the summer of 2020, Samantha Lance, a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis, created a series of teaching materials such as middle school lesson plans, educational activities about freshwater wetlands and climate change, an Instagram story and a coloring book featuring wetland plants and animals.

During the summer of 2021, Hunter Molock, a rising senior at Savannah College of Art and Design, will illustrate and design a series of educational signs to enhance the Discovery Trail at Oglethorpe Point Elementary School. The final signs will highlight wildlife, habitats and more, and will be installed during the fall of 2021.

“The overarching goal of this project is to foster appreciation and conservation of coastal freshwater wetlands,” Smith said. “We hope the resources created during the project will provide students with continuing opportunities to learn about, study and protect this important habitat.”

UGA, Coastal Outreach Soccer partner to boost STEM education, environmental stewardship

Middle and high school students in Brunswick are learning about coastal conservation through an afterschool program created by the University of Georgia and Coastal Outreach Soccer.

Sponsored by Honeywell, the Young Professional (Yo Pro) STEM training includes hands-on lessons taught by extension specialists at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant in Brunswick. The students are participants in Coastal Outreach Soccer, an afterschool program coordinated by staff and volunteers that focuses on soccer, academics and mentoring youth ages 4 to 18 years old.

The goal of the program is to introduce students to a range of future career opportunities in Brunswick and the surrounding areas and encourage the students to be good environmental stewards.

“The Yo Pro program is giving student athletes the exposure and hands-on experiences they need to identify their passion,” says Shawn Williams, executive director of Coastal Outreach Soccer. “It is great to see this level of engagement between UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant staff and our students. We believe this program will lead some of them to choose a career in environmental conservation.”

The program’s interactive lessons complement the State of Georgia’s standards for science education, and include tracking animal movements, studying the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff, learning about the importance of water quality and catching blue crabs. The in-person sessions are limited to small groups and face masks and social distancing are required.

Program coordinator Kimberly Andrews says she expects about 30 students, ages 11-17, to participate during the spring and fall of 2021.

Contact: Shawn Williams, cos-admin@hotmail.com

Phytoplankton monitors help keep communities safe from harmful algal blooms

Every Thursday, a group of dedicated UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant volunteers collect water samples from the Skidaway River. They process the samples in the lab at the UGA Aquarium, counting and identifying the phytoplankton in each sample as part of the National Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN).

“I absolutely adore it,” said Sandy Haeger, a PMN volunteer. “Thursdays are really special to me because I love getting to see the marine animals at the aquarium, collect data with the team and catch up with the staff.”

Volunteers look at water samples under microscopes to find phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton are critical organisms that serve as the base of the marine food web and they provide at least half the Earth’s oxygen. In a balanced ecosystem, phytoplankton provide food for a wide range of sea creatures including shrimp, oysters and jellyfish. When too many nutrients are available, phytoplankton may grow out of control and form harmful algal blooms. These blooms can produce extremely toxic compounds that have harmful effects on fish, shellfish, mammals, birds, and even people.

The PMN program was created in 2001 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a system to monitor marine phytoplankton and the potential for harmful algal blooms. The network has 250 sites in 22 states across the U.S., including Skidaway Island, Georgia. PMN volunteers collect ecological data and send it to NOAA, state and federal agencies and industry professionals in true citizen science fashion.

“The more information we have, the better we can understand (algae blooms) and organisms and hopefully better protect people from their harmful effects,” said Jennifer Maucher, one of NOAA’s PMN program coordinators. “Our volunteers are instrumental in this effort.”

PMN volunteers gather a variety of important data used for long-term phytoplankton monitoring.

The monitoring program at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant is one of the organization’s longest running volunteer efforts. Since 2003, volunteers have gathered data such as water and air temperature, salinity and tidal flow in addition to the water samples collected every Thursday morning. The volunteer program has been so successful that a new monitoring site was added in 2019 in Oglethorpe Bay, the waterway behind Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s Brunswick facility.

“These are not folks that came into this with the knowledge to do this monitoring. They were interested in contributing, and we do our best to support them through it,” said Katie Higgins, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s volunteer coordinator.

Higgins works to ensure that each volunteer is trained in the data collection process before starting. They learn to collect samples by towing a plankton net for three minutes at a time. Then, they bring their samples into the lab and analyze them under a microscope where they look for 12 target organisms, or phytoplankton organisms with potential hazards. The volunteers will take the data they have collected and enter it into the national NOAA database for future analysis and studies.

“At the first meeting I attended, I hadn’t been near a microscope in almost 50 years, so it was a steep learning curve for me, but everyone was so helpful,” said Haeger. “Learning is so important, especially life-long learning which is what this volunteer program is for me.”

All PMN volunteers are given training in microscope usage and phytoplankton identification.

The life-long learning and citizen science component of the program is what makes it so special, Maucher, Higgins and Haeger all say. Regular people with an interest in scientific efforts, their immediate environment, public health and safety, or climate change and its effects can play a role in phytoplankton monitoring whether or not they have a background in it.

According to Higgins, one of the biggest successes of the PMN program is how volunteers have shifted into playing an education role within the organization. UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant hosts a variety of educational public programs, some of which are tailored around teaching the general public, both adults and children, about phytoplankton monitoring.

On numerous occasions, volunteers like Haeger have taken the lead on teaching aspects of the programs since they are doing the work weekly and know firsthand its impacts.

“[UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant] utilizes not just citizen scientist volunteers but incorporates PMN into their summer camps for kids,” said Maucher.

Anyone interested in being a part of this program is encouraged to join. To find out more about the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network volunteer opportunities, visit https://gacoast.uga.edu/phytoplankton-monitoring-network/

Community science supports environmental research

You don’t have to be a professional scientist with an advanced degree to make a meaningful contribution to scientific research. That is one conclusion of a recent paper by Dodie Sanders, an educator at the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography researcher Jay Brandes. The article was published in the winter issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education.

The paper focuses on the researchers’ use of “community scientists” in a project to study the extent of microplastic pollution on the Georgia coast. The community scientists are volunteers, without extensive training or graduate degrees in the field.

The initiative began in 2018 when Brandes and Sanders were faced with the daunting task of collecting monthly water samples at 12 different sites along the Georgia coast, but without a large team to conduct the field work. The previous summer, a UGA undergraduate student, Jacob Mabrey, demonstrated that using community scientists to fill the gap might be the answer. Mabrey spent the summer traveling up and down the coast and collected dozens of samples.
Sanders and Brandes wanted to know whether community science could play a significant role in scientific research. They started with a model developed by the University of Florida microplastics project, Florida Microplastic Awareness Project.

“We took that model and adapted it to what we thought we needed here on the Georgia coast,” Sanders said.

Marine Educator Dodie Sanders

Sanders and Brandes initially approached the Satilla, Altamaha and Ogeechee Riverkeeper groups, who conduct monthly water tests in their areas already. The riverkeeper groups gladly joined the project. Sanders and Brandes then expanded to include a small group of volunteers who were working with Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant on the Skidaway Island campus.

“It’s worked out great because we have a group of volunteers that are very interested in learning more about this global issue,” Sanders said. “But more importantly, they’re interested in doing something about it. And so, this afforded an opportunity for volunteers to come in and not only help us do the science, but also become advocates for the project and advocates for what we were trying to accomplish.”

Roger Cayer is one community scientist volunteer. “I feel like studies like this are important to raise the awareness level of the general population about plastic pollution,” he said. “Who would have thought that synthetic clothing would become such a major problem?”

Brandes is very careful to avoid using the term “amateur” to describe the team of volunteers. “I think, sometimes, there can be a negative connotation to that word, but the people who have been working on this project have been wonderful and very dedicated.”

He said that everyone involved understands the critical importance of proper research technique, strict protocols and training in order to obtain believable data.

Volunteers collect water samples for microplastics.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the field work for the past 12 months. As Brandes said, it is difficult to socially distance on a 24 foot Carolina skiff.

Sanders and Brandes would like to see their work benefit other researchers and community scientists. The overarching concept of the article is to provide a model that other researchers can put to work elsewhere.

“Take community science, and its advantages, and its bonuses and how people can be an integral, an important part of scientific research, because they are force multipliers,” Sanders said. “They allow us to do so much more on such a larger scale than we would be able to do on a day-to-day basis.”

Sanders said the community scientists opened her eyes to how the public is interested in environmental issues, especially issues that are in their own backyard. And they want to be advocates.

“So that’s been a rewarding aspect of this project, to not only get to know the volunteers or the community scientists on a personal level, but to realize their passion for the work is just as great as our passion,” she said.

That passion is echoed by Cayer who said he has enjoyed “the camaraderie, the laughs, the sharing of knowledge and ideas. And getting to know each member on a deeper level by sharing a common passion and goals.”

The entire paper can be found here.

Published by Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

2020 Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant Annual Report

Two University System of Georgia graduates begin their Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships

Amara Davis, a graduate from Savannah State University, and Maria Mercedes Carruthers Ferrero, a graduate from the University of Georgia officially began their 2021-22 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships.

The fellowship program is designed for graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, and in national policies that affect those resources. Davis and Carruthers Ferrero were selected as the two finalists to represent the state of Georgia as fellows working in Washington D.C.

Amara Davis was placed in the National Sea Grant Office where she will serve as a communications specialist. In her role, she will develop a podcast, Stories of Sea Grant, which highlights the accomplishments and impacts of Sea Grant’s education, extension and research initiatives. Davis will also help with social media and other Sea Grant communication efforts.

“I’m most excited about the Stories of Sea Grant program. I think it’s important to tell the stories of how these programs work, of the people behind them and the people that are affected by them,” Davis said. “I’m looking forward to learning how to use a new form of communication and getting to meet all the people who make this program work.”

Maria Mercedes Carruthers Ferrero was placed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Federal Insurance Mitigation Administration (FIMA) Resilience Planning & Safety branch. In her role as the coastal hazards mitigation planning specialist, she will be collaborating on FEMA’s National Mitigation Planning Program’s mitigation assistance, flood hazards mapping and building science programs about policy updates, training and communications. She will also be working to maintain existing partnerships and foster new ones to help the program achieve its goals.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to better understand the inner workings of a federal agency, such as FEMA, and the partnerships these agencies form. I am also looking forward to learning about current hazard mitigation planning policies and how they account for climate change and future conditions,” said Carruthers Ferrero, who will be learning more about the agencies ongoing initiatives in the coming weeks.

Interactive, virtual curriculum helps fourth graders better understand weather

A new comprehensive, virtual-learning science curriculum for students in fourth grade focuses on the water cycle, weather, climate and natural processes that shape the Earth’s coasts and communities.

Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives provides a unique, hands-on experience that allows students to explore local weather, discover and create tools used by scientists to collect weather data, and evaluate long-term trends recorded by climate scientists.

“Our goal was to create a “one-stop shop” for educators to find up-to-date, virtual materials to teach water, weather and climate standards while introducing climate change science to their students,” says Katy Smith, water quality program coordinator at the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

Smith served as the principal investigator on the project, which was funded by the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA).

“While our curriculum is built around Science Georgia Standards of Excellence, it will benefit any fourth-grader learning about these universal topics,” Smith said.

Each lesson is designed as an online teaching resource for both educators and curious learners. Educators are able to teach the lessons to their students through Pear Deck, an interactive presentation tool for educators, while curious learners can launch the lessons at home. There are short tutorials and other resources on the curriculum web page to help users get started.

All lessons are paired with videos about the different topics and include hands-on activity tutorials for students to follow along with educators. For virtual students who don’t have access to classroom resources, Smith has developed 60 activity kits that are available for educators to request for their students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Educators can reserve kits by filling out this form.

A webinar about the curriculum is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Participants will learn how to implement the lesson plans and the project team will be available to answer any questions. Click here to reserve your spot.

The first 60 educators to utilize this curriculum and complete the evaluation will receive a one-year subscription to National Geographic Kids print magazine (nine issues).

The curriculum is available here https://secoora.org/education-outreach/water-shapes-our-planet-and-our-lives-curriculum/

Katy Smith, klaustin@uga.edu, 912-264-7268

Story originally published here. 

Coastal Research and Extension Fellow gains hands-on experience in public service

During his first six months as UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s first Coastal Research and Extension Fellow Isaiah Leach has moderated virtual public programming, cultured algae in the Shellfish Research Lab, assisted with citizen science programs such as Adopt-A-Wetland and the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, and developed environmental education content for students.

Leach holds a snake at the UGA Aquarium.

“Hopefully, this experience makes it easier for me to get into graduate school, which is one of my major goals now,” Leach said. “This is also a great opportunity to make connections with many important and interesting people.”

A graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a strong interest in marine ecosystems, Leach began his fellowship in September 2020.

“The purpose of the Coastal Research and Extension Fellowship is to give recent graduates exposure to the variety of positions held within UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant,” said Nina Sassano, intern coordinator for Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s diverse workforce includes environmental educators, science communicators, and extension specialists who work with communities to address issues related to stormwater management, coastal resilience, water quality and sustainable fisheries.

Leach will continue to work with a variety of faculty and staff throughout his nine-month fellowship, including assisting with the development of a Georgia Seafood Trail, creating marketing and communications materials and helping to organize conferences. He will be exposed to the multidisciplinary work happening across UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s facilities in Athens, Skidaway Island and Brunswick.

“I’m still feeling out what specifically it is I want to do professionally; although it will definitely be within the biological sciences,” said Leach.

The Coastal Research and Extension Fellowship was made possible through support from the Friends of the UGA Aquarium, whose donations help the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s marine education, environmental outreach and coastal research initiatives. If you are interested in becoming a Friend, visit https://gacoast.uga.edu/give/friends-of-the-uga-aquarium/.

After 50 years of on-site experiential education programs, the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium goes virtual

On the deck of the Sea Dawg, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s 43-foot research vessel, Marine Educator Dodie Sanders sets up her computer, webcam and teaching props, which include live fish, corals and a stingray.

She introduces herself through her webcam and asks her first question, “What do we call water that’s in between fresh and salty?”

“Brackish!” responds a chorus of students from the speakers of her computer.

A few hundred miles away in Rome, Georgia, 25 fifth graders at the Darlington School are watching Sanders’ program on their iPads. Typically, this conversation would happen aboard the Sea Dawg while trawling for live specimens in Wassaw Sound. For the next two days, educators at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium are bringing the on-site, outdoor experiences to the classroom for the first time by way of virtual school trips.

Sanders describes the importance of Georgia’s brackish water estuaries where so many different species, like red drum, shrimp and blue crabs spend all or part of their lives. She talks about the different animals in her touch tank, explaining the physical and biological characteristics that are unique to each animal.

Sanders uses a computer and webcam to virtually teach students.

The educational trawl is just one of 16 different virtual classes now available to K-12 classrooms across the state. Available classes include marine debris, squid dissection, maritime forest hikes and more.

“Shifting from on-site to virtual programs has made us approach everything we do from a very different perspective with the goal of creating meaningful and impactful education programs,” says Sanders, who, along with her marine educator colleagues, spent several months modifying on-site programs for a virtual setting.

“How do you virtually capture searching for invertebrates living on the underside of a floating dock, the smell of salt marsh mud, hiking across an undeveloped barrier island, or touching cool organisms collected in a trawl net?” Sanders asks. “We’re incorporating the same teaching methods, the same tricks of the trade but perhaps on a more complicated and elevated level.”

The education team developed program templates, wrote teaching outlines, created new pre- and post-activities and tested new audio-visual equipment to prepare for the virtual school programs.

They keep the students engaged by showing pre-recorded videos of local environments and up-close live shots of animals that are native to the coast.

They also frequently pause instruction for question and answer sessions and encourage opportunities for students to share their own stories.

“Do you ever not want to go trawling and just sit on the boat instead?” asks one student during the virtual trawl.

“What happens if you catch a shark?” asks another.

Julie Fine, a fifth-grade teacher at Darlington School, says students at Darlington have been visiting the education facility on Skidaway Island for 10 years.

“We were really concerned that our kids would be missing out on a lot of the things that make fifth grade special. So much has already changed in their world,” says Fine. “When we reached out to see what you guys might be able to offer, we were really excited to hear about the virtual experience.”

Fine and fellow fifth grade teacher Bebe Cline chose the classes they would normally have done on-site, like the squid dissection and dolphin excursion, but they also picked new classes, like the trawling trip and coastal reptiles, which ended up being big hits with their students.

Through virtual programming, students can experience live animals such as this alligator held by Marine Educator Katie Higgins.

“At one point, one of the fish jumped out of the little tray and they loved that. They loved seeing them up close,” Fine says.

Their goal was to make the two days as full and as exciting as possible, without actually being at the coast, Fine says. They also chose topics that aligned with their studies of classification and coastal Georgia as part of the fifth-grade curriculum.

“Our students were definitely focused and learning and really getting the material, much the same that they do while they are actually there,” Fine says.

This positive feedback from Darlington is encouraging for educators at the Marine Education Center and Aquarium, who plan to further enhance virtual school programming and reach more students in the coming year.

In the past, transportation, funding and logistics have often made field trips a challenge for schools who want to come to the Marine Education Center and Aquarium.

With the virtual programs up-and-running, teachers can bring the coast to their students with the click of a mouse and at a fraction of the cost.

“Our new world of teaching virtually affords the opportunity to reach and serve more diverse communities, especially those who may not be able to take part in our on-site programs,” says Sanders. “Virtual programs make us more accessible.”

Teachers can learn about and register for Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s virtual school programs at https://gacoast.uga.edu/virtual-school-programs/

UGA naturalist retires but legacy will continue on through endowed fellowship

For 30 years, John “Crawfish” Crawford has regaled campers and school children on field trips to the UGA Aquarium, guiding them on nature walks through the salt marsh and introducing them to the many creatures that call coastal Georgia home.

His tenure officially ended Dec. 1, when Crawford retired from the University of Georgia. But his legacy will continue through an endowed educator position at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, funded by a generous estate gift made by longtime supporters.

The John “Crawfish” Crawford Public Service and Outreach Faculty Fellowship will generate incentive for a leading naturalist to fill a faculty educator role at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium and provide the resources to support traditional naturalist practices that maintain an emphasis on exploration, curiosity, field interpretation and personal connection to the world.

A new film by Motion House Media tells the story of Crawford’s impact through interviews with individuals who have been inspired by the larger than life conservationist over the years. Watch it here. 

The endowed funds will also enhance the faculty fellow’s ability to make a difference in the lives of students and help fulfill the university’s public service and outreach mission—as Crawford has.

“Someone who gets the endowed fellowship will need to know who John is, what he cared about, and what he’s like,” says Ruth McMullin, who, with her husband Tom, made the gift. “We want to make sure the way (John) teaches, his enthusiasm, and his methodology remain when he’s no longer here.”

McMullin, who lives on Skidaway Island, has been volunteering at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium for 23 years. She is inspired by Crawford’s curiosity, enthusiasm and ability to mold minds and develop stewards of Georgia’s coastal environments.

“He’s just so special,” McMullin said. “I was really happy to volunteer because I knew I would get to spend more time learning from him.”

“I have learned an awful lot from watching how he interacts with children and adults and how he shares his excitement with other people. You can’t be somebody you admire, but you can copy them.”

Crawford grew up in Savannah, where he explored the coast’s mud flats and maritime forests, discovering corn snakes, fiddler crabs and other animals that often found their way into his house. At age 15, he had dozens of pet snakes, all of which he kept in his room.

He cultivated his knowledge of coastal resources at Armstrong State College and Florida Keys Community College in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After his time in Florida, he made his way back to the Georgia coast where he continued to make his mark on the conservation and environmental education community.

He joined UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant in 1990, where as a marine educator he has spent 30 years sharing his knowledge with K-12 students, teachers, education fellows, coastal residents and conservation professionals.

“He has taught hundreds of professional educators, tens of thousands of students, and changed the landscape of environmental and marine education along the coast,” says Anne Lindsay, associate director of marine education at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. “He knows boats, plants, animals and people and a little about every other natural science or coastal topic you can think of.”

Lindsay, who was mentored by Crawford when she was hired at what was then the UGA Marine Extension Service in the 1990s, explains how he laid the foundation for the education programs that are still offered at the facility today.

“He has helped us expand our reach, establish new collaborations and partnerships, nurture long standing relationships with educators, scientists and citizens,” Lindsay said. “He has cemented the reputation of the Marine Education Center and Aquarium as an institution with a standard of educational quality that we aspire to uphold.”

Learn more about Crawford and the importance of this endowed position in a short film by Motion House Media, a video production company based in Athens, Georgia. The film tells the story of Crawford’s impact through interviews with individuals who have been inspired by the larger than life conservationist over the years.

You can watch the film here:

Gifts in honor of Crawfish can be made at http://gacoast.uga.edu/crawfish

Contact: Emily Kenworthy, ekenworthy@uga.edu, 912-598-2348, ext. 107

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