Friday, May 28, 2010

COSEE workshop

I was invited to participate in a workshop on concept mapping presented by the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Pacific Partners last week.

"In this workshop ocean and climate research scientists from Cal Poly will be paired with volunteers and educators from the central coast region. The scientists and educators will work in teams to create visual representations (concept maps) of the ocean/climate scientists' research. The teams will work to discuss various ways the local research can be presented to the public--via exhibits, informal discussions, lectures, or other ways informal educators may see useful for communicating to the public. This is a great opportunity to begin connecting the local ocean/climate scientific research with outreach to the public, and to network with other informal educators."

I hadn't thought of myself as an 'informal educator," but one of the speakers made the point that most people learn about the ocean informally. Little is taught in school, and in higher education, only those who choose courses n ocean science learn about it. So they either pursue their own interest in the ocean or pick it up from people like the elephant seal docents.

It was another way of seeing how important a place like Piedras Blancas is. Last week the Armey base at Fort Hunter-Liggett brought a busload of reservists over to see the seals. They were a unit called up from Missouri. Many had never seen the ocean at all. Some were reluctant to touch the elephant seal skin that I offer to visitors, to let them feel what the molted skin is like.

Thanks, COSEE and Cal Poly, for the opportunity. I plan to use concept mapping in organizing my material for books and public presentations.

This photo is the one I posted to the New York Times photo project, A Moment in Time, It seemed like a representative picture to illustrate that moment on the Central Coast. It was difficult to choose, though. I liked these pictures, too, of seals enterng and leaving the surf, and the expanse of beach to the north. All these pictures were taken at the north end of the bluff.

No comments:

Post a Comment