Monday, March 28, 2011

Aquarium Lecture: Ecological Education - A new code for education

On Monday, March 28, Coleen O'Connell gave a free Aquarium Lecture about her mission to instill in children the confidence and ability to tackle the complex issues that are hurtling toward them. The lecture was webcast here.

O’Connell is on the faculty in the Environmental Studies Division of Lesley University in Cambridge. She designed and has been the lead faculty member in the Ecological Teaching and Learning MS Program. This program, the first of its kind, works with formal and informal educators to make complex systems thinking and ecological principles the foundation of their teaching practices. As an ecological educator for 30 years, she has traveled extensively with the Audubon Expedition Institute and Living Routes programs. She has been active in the New England environmental education community for 20 years and founded Ravenwood Sustainability Education Program with colleagues on 170 acres in Maine.

The next Aquarium lecture will be given by New England Aquarium Research Scientist Dr. Randi Rotjan, entitled "Corallivore’s Dilemma: Understanding the Relationship between Fish and the Corals They Consume." Note that it will not be webcast. Register to attend that free lecture in person here.
The Aquarium has been providing free lectures and films by scientists, environmental writers, photographers and others since 1972. The Aquarium Lecture Series is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute, which has been providing funding for free public lectures at universities and museums since 1836.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Aquarium Teens Present in the Capitol

Four Boston Latin School sophomores involved in the Aquarium's Teen Programs recently traveled to Washington, DC for the 3rd Coastal America Youth Summit. The summit is designed to teach high school students about the interconnectedness between the ocean, Great Lakes, inland seas and climate with particular focus on climate change and help prepare them for future careers in ocean and climate science and policy.

The Aquarium delegation to the 3rd Coastal America Youth Summit.

They presented about ocean hypoxia in the southern Gulf of Maine and its effects on Atlantic herring. The presentation was webcast live through the Ocean Portal and included a video and a synopsis of their action plan. Check out their short three minute video about herring below, which features testimony from Aquarium biologist Scott Dowd.

The students also met with politicians from the Boston area to talk about climate change and other legislation that will help our oceans in New England.

Liz Whitlinger, Teen Programs coordinator, has high praise for the students in her group. "These kids are doing amazing work and are a true testament to our future leaders of a Blue Planet!" They will be working to carry out their action plan throughout the year of 2011, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Right Whales on the Radio: From the Researcher's Mouth

Scott Kraus, vice president of Research at the New England Aquarium, recently sat down with the host and producer of ThoughtCast to discuss the beleaguered North Atlantic right whale.

Learn about the infancy of the Aquarium's Right Whale Research Program, the curiosity of calves, the ongoing problem of ghost gear and other hazards facing this urban leviathan and how the Aquarium is trying to help. Have a listen!

video platform video management video solutions video player

Monday, March 7, 2011

Aquarium Lecture: "Adventure Beneath the Sea: Living in an Underwater Science Station"

Tonight, author Ken Mallory spoke about his book Adventure Beneath The Sea: Living in an Underwater Science Station.

He described living 60 feet below the ocean waves? Mallory and Brian Skerry (National Geographic photographer and the Aquarium's Explorer in Residence) found out. They spent a week in the Aquarius underwater laboratory on a coral reef off the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The lecture was webcast live, and the video will be online shortly. In the meantime plan to attend the next Aquarium lecture. And be sure to connect with the Aquarium on facebook, twitter and tumblr for updates on all Aquarium events.

The Aquarium has been providing free lectures and films by scientists, environmental writers, photographers and others since 1972. The Aquarium Lecture Series is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute, which has been providing funding for free public lectures at universities and museums since 1836.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Groupon teams up with the Simons IMAX Theatre!

The New England Aquarium teamed up with Groupon to offer Boston's deal-seekers an amazing discount on tickets to see wild animals up close on the largest screen in New England! Thousands of groupons for the Simons IMAX Theatre were sold. Be sure to check back with this blog and connect with the Aquarium on facebook, twitter and tumblr for early notification next time deals like this go on sale.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Tron: Legacy 3D" — The Social Media Ticket Giveaway!

With blazing imagery of disc battles and high-tech high speed chases, the largest screen in New England is the most thrilling place to see Disney's Tron: Legacy An IMAX 3D Experience. Join us on the Aquarium’s social media networks for your chance to plug into this complex cyber universe for free!

There are three ways you can win tickets to see Tron: Legacy 3D  at the Simons IMAX Theatre. Try all three!

Be sure to "like" the Aquarium. Then comment on our facebook page and tell us why you want to see Tron: Legacy on the largest screen in New England. We’ll direct message the lucky winners.

Start following the Aquarium on twitter. Then post with hashtag #NEAQTron and tell us why you want to see this movie on Boston's largest screen. We’ll contact the winners via DM.

Sign up to follow our tumblr page and reblog this Tron: Legacy 3D movie poster. Make sure your Ask feature is turned on so we can let you know that you’ve won!

The contest begins on Thursday, March 3, and runs until noon on Friday, March 4.

Let this long-awaited sequel wash over you, with all its 3D glory and 12,000 watts of digital sound blasting Daft Punk’s original soundtrack. Fans of the classic film will be blown away by the updated computer graphics and evolving story line. Those new to the plot will be riveted by the good-versus-evil struggles from another dimension. We'll see you on the social networks! In the meantime, here are even more reasons to check out Tron: Legacy 3D.

"The only way to see "Tron: Legacy" is in IMAX 3-D…"
New York Daily News

"…This can be a fun movie, particularly for those willing to sit back and let it wash over them."

"Both [Tron] films, made so many years apart, can fairly lay claim to being state of the art."
Chicago Sun-Times

This film is rated PG. Use your college ID for special discounts! Member passes cannot be accepted for this special presentation. Don't miss the show times and a preview.

Untangling Large Whale Entanglements

New England Aquarium researcher Tim Werner hosted a three-day workshop organized through the Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction on the dynamics of large whale entanglements. This meeting brought scientists, rope manufactures, policy makers and fishermen together to review and analyze the nature of fishing gear entanglements involving North Atlantic right and humpback whales.

An entangled right whale spotted by Aquarium researchers in 2009, more information on the Right Whale Blog.

The goal was to reverse engineer actual whale entanglement events using hands on techniques and state-of-the-art computer graphic programs to get a better understanding of how these whales are getting entangled. Below are just some highlights from this important event.

Scott Kraus, the Aquarium's Vice President of Research, demonstrates a flipper entanglement with a plush representation of a North Atlantic right whale. Photo credit: Kate McClellan

Students from the Adams School in Castine, ME, used a big screen to demonstrate the entanglement software that was created by Laurens Howle from Bellequant Engineering and Duke University using an X-box controller. Photo credit: Kate McClellan

Right whale researchers Amy Knowlton and Moira Brown also examined actual entanglements during a breakout group session at the event. Photo credit: Kate McClellan

Right whale researchers are trying to save these critically endangered animals from human activities, as well as effectively put changes in place that will eliminate these dangers. Both of these goals are challenging to accomplish but there is a concerted effort on several fronts to do so and this kind of meeting is an example of those efforts. 

Learn more about the serious problem of right whale entanglements on the Right Whale Blog.