Last year, we received funding from Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund that allowed us to expand the seagrass sites we regularly monitor in Largo Sound AND expand our seagrass ecology service learning program.
Students who visit MarineLab interested in gaining more experience in the marine science field are taught a seagrass ecology lesson, protocols on conducting a proper seagrass survey, given the tools to conduct a survey with their classmates, and then an opportunity to discuss and analyze their data with MarineLab’s marine scientist staff.
While not every student who visits us here at MarineLab leaves with a solid goal of becoming a marine scientist, we do want students who participate in our service learning programs to go home with ambitions to continue with service learning elsewhere, in whatever field is of interest to them.
While we have only offered our updated seagrass survey program for a year, so far we feel like it has been a success. Students are learning! Seagrass is being appreciated! Science is being completed! Citizen scientists are being created!