Nab the Aquatic Invader! now featured at the Smithsonian
Great Lakes Coastal Youth Education - Press Release


Helen Domske, NYSG Coastal Education Specialist, P: 716.645.3610, E:
Buffalo, NY, February 08, 2010 – As of February 1, Nab the Aquatic Invader! is being featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. as part of the Ocean Today Kiosk in the Sant Ocean Hall. It will also be on display at Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers throughout the country.

“New York Sea Grant has been a proud educational partner on this project since its inception and we are pleased that the Smithsonian has chosen to highlight this innovative education web site,” said NYSG’s Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske.

This educational web site about aquatic invasive species (AIS) was created by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant along with Sea Grant programs in New York, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Oregon to provide the latest information about AIS through colorful characters and a crime-solving theme. Since its inception, the project has expanded to include species from coastal regions around the country.

“In addition to being clever and fun, the site is rich with curriculum for teachers, ideas for stewardship projects, and creative educational activities for students and other online audiences," said Robin Goettel, IISG associate director for education.

The Nab the Aquatic Invader! feature will focus on the suspects – aka the invasive species – in four regions of the country: Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf, and Great Lakes. In each region, visitors can see read interrogation interviews with the 10 Most Wanted AIS and learn their origin, problems they cause, and some control methods used to slow the spread of these species.

“Aquatic invasive species, from sea lamprey to zebra mussels, have had a significant impact on the ecology of the Great Lakes, said Domske, “and this site provides students with an interesting way to learn about these invaders and the changes they have caused in the environment. Teachers will also find the site useful for its collection of resources and suggested stewardship activities that they could involve their students in.”

The Ocean Today Kiosk, developed by NOAA in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, presents news, video stories and in this case, interactive pages that highlight some of the most interesting, surprising, and pressing issues facing our ocean today. Through a large touch-screen interface, kiosk visitors are offered a variety of information about ocean life, current science and technology, and recent discoveries. The kiosk also features a 'current news' section, presenting users with near real-time data about ocean and weather conditions around the U.S.

“The Ocean Today Kiosk team is excited to partner with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant to turn content from the Nab the Aquatic Invader web site into an interactive feature,” said Katie Snider, kiosk executive producer at NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “The Ocean Today Kiosk was designed to educate the public on fundamental ocean literacy concepts. There's no better way to teach kids (and big kids!) about invasive species than by letting them ‘touch screen’ their way through the crimes and profiles of invasive ‘suspects’ around the country.”

In addition to the Sant Ocean Hall, Ocean Today Kiosks will be located at a growing network of aquariums across the nation through the Coastal America's Ecosystem Learning Centers, including one already installed at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. This partnership will ultimately provide opportunities for 20 to 30 million people to engage with Nab the Aquatic Invader! and many more ocean resources.

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