Presentation Abstract

At the SEA Discovery Center, we have begun a community citizen science project to monitor Liberty Bay, to gain a deeper sense of understanding and inspire stewardship of the local marine environment. As a public aquarium and marine science center serving the communities of the Kitsap Peninsula region, the SEA Discovery Center has the opportunity to engage the community in environmental science that no one person could do alone. Elementary students, college interns, volunteers, and visitors from the community are mentored by SEA Discovery Center staff to measure abiotic (seawater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen) and biotic (phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance and species richness) features of Liberty Bay’s ecosystem every week, revealing dynamic seasonal changes. Community members work together, having different and complementary roles in the project. Student scientists from grades 3-5 learn scientific concepts, and collect real data for the projects from the exciting learning environment of our Floating Laboratory directly on the waters of Liberty Bay; this allows them to make observations, ask questions, and discover the answers through data collection. College undergraduate interns along with teams of dedicated volunteers collect samples and analyze data to discern patterns and correlations, and present the analysis to the community. Adult volunteers are excited to participate, are able to learn more based on their continuous observations, and are able to share their knowledge with the community as docents in the aquarium. Because of the scale, complexity, and frequency of sampling, the Liberty Bay monitoring project would not be possible without everyone’s contribution. Furthermore, everyone’s perspectives have informed the investigative process, which improves the project and provides a truly unique, collaborative experience. As we continue this project we hope to incorporate more volunteers and student scientists to monitor the dynamic ecosystem of Liberty Bay.

Session Title

Posters: Data & Information Management

Keywords

Community, Liberty Bay, Dynamic, Ecosystem, Water Quality, Citizen Science, Kitsap Peninsula, Students, Volunteers

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-44

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Community members of all ages work together to reveal the dynamic nature of Liberty Bay

At the SEA Discovery Center, we have begun a community citizen science project to monitor Liberty Bay, to gain a deeper sense of understanding and inspire stewardship of the local marine environment. As a public aquarium and marine science center serving the communities of the Kitsap Peninsula region, the SEA Discovery Center has the opportunity to engage the community in environmental science that no one person could do alone. Elementary students, college interns, volunteers, and visitors from the community are mentored by SEA Discovery Center staff to measure abiotic (seawater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen) and biotic (phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance and species richness) features of Liberty Bay’s ecosystem every week, revealing dynamic seasonal changes. Community members work together, having different and complementary roles in the project. Student scientists from grades 3-5 learn scientific concepts, and collect real data for the projects from the exciting learning environment of our Floating Laboratory directly on the waters of Liberty Bay; this allows them to make observations, ask questions, and discover the answers through data collection. College undergraduate interns along with teams of dedicated volunteers collect samples and analyze data to discern patterns and correlations, and present the analysis to the community. Adult volunteers are excited to participate, are able to learn more based on their continuous observations, and are able to share their knowledge with the community as docents in the aquarium. Because of the scale, complexity, and frequency of sampling, the Liberty Bay monitoring project would not be possible without everyone’s contribution. Furthermore, everyone’s perspectives have informed the investigative process, which improves the project and provides a truly unique, collaborative experience. As we continue this project we hope to incorporate more volunteers and student scientists to monitor the dynamic ecosystem of Liberty Bay.