Marine Science in the News: New species discovered!

Six new species have been discovered in undersea hot springs 2800 meters below the sea surface! A research team from the University of Southampton used a deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore a region of the ocean floor in the southeast Indian Ocean. The region they explored, called Longqi (“Dragon’s breath”), was covered in at least a dozen vent chimneys. These hydrothermal vents form at locations where sea water meets magma. Conditions in these hydrothermal vent communities are harsh: the superheated water can be from 60 degrees Celsius to over 450 degrees Celsius, there are mineral-rich deposits and water, the water is very acidic and the pressure is so intense that it ha

Marine Science in the News: New species discovered!

Six new species have been discovered in undersea hot springs 2800 meters below the sea surface! A research team from the University of Southampton used a deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore a region of the ocean floor in the southeast Indian Ocean. The region they explored, called Longqi (“Dragon’s breath”), was covered in at least a dozen vent chimneys. These hydrothermal vents form at locations where sea water meets magma. Conditions in these hydrothermal vent communities are harsh: the superheated water can be from 60 degrees Celsius to over 450 degrees Celsius, there are mineral-rich deposits and water, the water is very acidic and the pressure is so intense that it ha

Children’s Marine Life Books -- A Swimming Holiday Gift

Are you still looking for that perfect gift for that special child? We’ve got you covered. Give a book on our favorite topic – marine life! At Marine Science Institute we use story books as teaching tools when working with children. Plus, books are wonderful gifts for several reasons. You can choose a book that: -- Fits the child’s interest, like a book about sharks. -- Is one of your favorites, like The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister -- Introduces a child to a new topic. It could be their passport to the sea and marine life. Books also make great gifts because they can be enjoyed now or later. It’s a gift that lasts and brings joy every time it’s opened. In fact, Icelanders give each other

Marine Science Camp 2017: Elephant seals galore

On Saturday December 17, the 2016 Marine Science Camp Families joined us for a guided walk along the dunes of Año Nuevo State Park. From December through March, up to 10,000 elephant seals use the sloping sandy beaches for their breeding season. In December the beach is full of adult and juvenile males staking out their territory and establishing dominance. Part 1 of our 3-part elephant seal series involved a naturalist-guided tour through 2.5 miles of rolling sand dunes and a boardwalk that brought us close to the elephant seals. The tour was followed by a picnic style lunch provided by MSI. Marine Science Camp Families are invited to join us for Part 2 of the series, which will be in Janua

Marine Science Camp 2017: Elephant seals galore

On Saturday December 17, the 2016 Marine Science Camp Families joined us for a guided walk along the dunes of Año Nuevo State Park. From December through March, up to 10,000 elephant seals use the sloping sandy beaches for their breeding season. In December the beach is full of adult and juvenile males staking out their territory and establishing dominance. Part 1 of our 3-part elephant seal series involved a naturalist-guided tour through 2.5 miles of rolling sand dunes and a boardwalk that brought us close to the elephant seals. The tour was followed by a picnic style lunch provided by MSI. Marine Science Camp Families are invited to join us for Part 2 of the series, which will be in Janua

Creature Feature: Look Who's Wearing Red Velvet This Season

Santa isn’t the only one sporting red velvet this season. The velvety red sponge (Ophlitaspongia pennata) also sports a bright red coat in December and all year long. This fiery-red sponge can also be found in colors ranging to a dull orange. (A color Santa never wears!) This sponge is easily identified by its tell-tale sign of looking like vibrant red splashes on rocks. These splashes of red are usually small irregularly shaped patches that are very flat and thinly encrust the surrounding rocks. The thin crust is often only ¼ -inch thick. However, these encrusting patches can sometimes grow to three feet across. The velvety red sponge is also commonly called the red encrusting sponge. An en

Creature Feature: Clowns Make Life Better Even in the Sea

These clowns of the sea – the southern sea otter -- so called because of their silly antics and playfulness, are the only member of the weasel family, (Family Mustelidea), that is a marine mammal. It’s also the smallest marine mammal, while its cousin the river otter is considered a land mammal. The southern sea otter (also called the California sea otter) made a remarkable recovery since first being listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. There are nearly 3,000 southern sea otters today. In 1938, the population dipped as low as 50 individuals living along California's Big Sur coastline. The sea otter population fell due to the fur trade. Sporting the world’s densest

Marine Science in the News: "Lawn mowing" fish

A recent research publication out of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography examined the role of reef fishes in keeping corals healthy by ridding them of algae. It is widely known within the marine science community that certain species of herbivorous reef fish eat macroalgae, or seaweed, covering corals. This helps coral survival, as corals and seaweeds compete for space and sunlight on the reef. Without seaweed-eating fish, the reefs decline as corals are replaced by seaweeds. The study from the team at Scripps aimed to record feeding behaviors and the unique grazing roles of different reef-dwelling macroalgae eaters. The team examined feeding behaviors of 15 common species of algae-eatin

Marine Science in the News: "Lawn mowing" fish

A recent research publication out of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography examined the role of reef fishes in keeping corals healthy by ridding them of algae. It is widely known within the marine science community that certain species of herbivorous reef fish eat macroalgae, or seaweed, covering corals. This helps coral survival, as corals and seaweeds compete for space and sunlight on the reef. Without seaweed-eating fish, the reefs decline as corals are replaced by seaweeds. The study from the team at Scripps aimed to record feeding behaviors and the unique grazing roles of different reef-dwelling macroalgae eaters. The team examined feeding behaviors of 15 common species of algae-eatin

Marine Science Camp 2017: Camp dates announced!

Summer camp planning is in full force and heating up this winter! We are excited and happy to announce the 2017 Marine Science Camp dates below. All sessions run Monday through Friday, except July 3-7* which is shortened due to the 4th of July holiday. Plankton Pioneers (entering grades K-1st): Introduces campers to different aspects of marine science. Each day at our site is themed with hands-on activities, animal touching and a fun craft that is related to the theme of the day. During one camp day, campers are true marine biologists aboard our research vessel and practice animal collecting from the Bay! Session start dates: June 12, June 19, July 3*, July 24, August 7 Wetland Explorers (en

Marine Science Camp 2017: Camp dates announced!

Summer camp planning is in full force and heating up this winter! We are excited and happy to announce the 2017 Marine Science Camp dates below. All sessions run Monday through Friday, except July 3-7* which is shortened due to the 4th of July holiday. Plankton Pioneers (entering grades K-1st): Introduces campers to different aspects of marine science. Each day at our site is themed with hands-on activities, animal touching and a fun craft that is related to the theme of the day. During one camp day, campers are true marine biologists aboard our research vessel and practice animal collecting from the Bay! Session start dates: June 12, June 19, July 3*, July 24, August 7 Wetland Explorers (en

Students investigate wrack lines, measure fish while learning the scientific method

How do you measure a fish? What items can be found in a wrack line? What is a wrack line? How many animals live in a tidepool? Students investigate these questions and more through real life, hands-on, field research when learning the process of science through our Scientific Method Combo program. This multiple-exposure program combines a field trip and two in-class visits (“Inland Voyages”) giving students an in-depth, thorough look at the components of the scientific method. “(It was) good to see the scientific method brought into the real world,” according to a Northern Light School teacher, who particularly liked how students identified and measured the fish they caught while on the Disc

Funder's Corner: A BayLines Original Article

Donor Reception and National Philanthropy Day Marine Science Institute hosted a fun donor reception on September 26, 2016 to recognize Sand Hill Foundation as our Funder of the Year. Sand Hill Foundation funds our great mission, but they also demonstrate an outstanding commitment to philanthropy through their financial support, encouragement and motivation for all their grantees in taking leadership roles in their communities. Since 1995, Sand Hill Foundation has provided over $92 million in grants to organizations in San Mateo and northern Santa Clara counties, primarily for environmental education and Silicon Valley out-of-school programs. In that time, they’ve granted Marine Science Inst

Board Updates: A BayLines Original Article

Good Luck Jim! Jim Crawford, the board chair for the Marine Science Institute, is stepping down from our board after eight years. Jim joined the Board of Trustees in October 2008 and became chair six years ago. He is the president and owner of Turner Designs, which specializes in providing sensitive, reliable and easy-to-use fluorometers for environmental and industrial use. He has guided MSI through amazing growth, multiple capital improvements on our ship, the Robert G Brownlee, and has led us through our latest strategic plan. His leadership was very valuable to us and he will be sorely missed. Welcome aboard Norman! Norman Chen joined MSI’s Board of Trustees in June 2016. Growing up near

Board Updates: A BayLines Original Article

Good Luck Jim! Jim Crawford, the board chair for the Marine Science Institute, is stepping down from our board after eight years. Jim joined the Board of Trustees in October 2008 and became chair six years ago. He is the president and owner of Turner Designs, which specializes in providing sensitive, reliable and easy-to-use fluorometers for environmental and industrial use. He has guided MSI through amazing growth, multiple capital improvements on our ship, the Robert G Brownlee, and has led us through our latest strategic plan. His leadership was very valuable to us and he will be sorely missed. Welcome aboard Norman! Norman Chen joined MSI’s Board of Trustees in June 2016. Growing up near

Funder's Corner: A BayLines Original Article

Donor Reception and National Philanthropy Day Marine Science Institute hosted a fun donor reception on September 26, 2016 to recognize Sand Hill Foundation as our Funder of the Year. Sand Hill Foundation funds our great mission, but they also demonstrate an outstanding commitment to philanthropy through their financial support, encouragement and motivation for all their grantees in taking leadership roles in their communities. Since 1995, Sand Hill Foundation has provided over $92 million in grants to organizations in San Mateo and northern Santa Clara counties, primarily for environmental education and Silicon Valley out-of-school programs.  In that time, they’ve granted Marine Science Inst

Celebrating 20 Years of Passion and Dedication: A BayLines Original Article

As of 2016, our wonderful executive director, Marilou Seiff, has been with MSI for 20 years! In October, our staff and board members hosted a great party to celebrate Marilou, and to thank her for 20 years of service to marine science education and to the youth of the Bay Area. Marilou began working at MSI in November 1996. She advanced from Science Instructor to increasing levels of responsibility before being named Executive Director in 2003. Prior ro MSI, Marilou worked as an aquatic biologist at the Pacific Environmental Laboratory, a diver at the Marineland of the Pacific, and a biologist at the California Department of Fish & Game. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Stanford University,

Celebrating 20 Years of Passion and Dedication: A BayLines Original Article

As of 2016, our wonderful executive director, Marilou Seiff, has been with MSI for 20 years! In October, our staff and board members hosted a great party to celebrate Marilou, and to thank her for 20 years of service to marine science education and to the youth of the Bay Area. Marilou began working at MSI in November 1996.  She advanced from Science Instructor to increasing levels of responsibility before being named Executive Director in 2003. Prior ro MSI, Marilou worked as an aquatic biologist at the Pacific Environmental Laboratory, a diver at the Marineland of the Pacific, and a biologist at the California Department of Fish & Game. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Stanford University,

Engineering at Marine Science Camp: A BayLines Original Article

Every year, the Marine Science Institute is eager to greet both new and returning students to our summer programs in an effort to foster their growing interest in marine science. We offer familiar fun such as a scientific expedition aboard our research vessel, opportunities to touch marine life and theme-based hands-on lessons, as well as new material and activities. It is especially important for us to incorporate new curricula and themes each summer. The Marine Science Camp summer option for middle schoolers, called Underwater Investigators, has a different theme and focus each year so that the subject matter is fresh, current and exciting for all of our summer participants. Summer 2017 wi

Engineering at Marine Science Camp: A BayLines Original Article

Every year, the Marine Science Institute is eager to greet both new and returning students to our summer programs in an effort to foster their growing interest in marine science. We offer familiar fun such as a scientific expedition aboard our research vessel, opportunities to touch marine life and theme-based hands-on lessons, as well as new material and activities. It is especially important for us to incorporate new curricula and themes each summer. The Marine Science Camp summer option for middle schoolers, called Underwater Investigators, has a different theme and focus each year so that the subject matter is fresh, current and exciting for all of our summer participants. Summer 2017 wi

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