Our Junior Marine Biologist program took place in the Annapolis Valley on July 4th – 5th. We started at Acadia University in the Biology labs, where we were assisted by female Biologists from the Coastal Ecology Lab in making behavioural observations and collecting data from lobsters. We learned about the scientific method and answered questions like “which substrate does your lobster prefer? The rock or the sand?” and took a series of measurements. We then headed to the Cogmagun River in Centre Burlington, where we joined the Porter family on their fishing and research boat as they set and pulled in eel traps. Once caught, American eels were brought to the shore to measure and tag. Our participants were lucky to get to help measure the eels, and to see Coastal Ecology Lab Biologist Lindsay surgically implant acoustic tags into these threatened animals. We even caught a previously tagged eel (a “recapture”) from 2 weeks earlier! These tags help us learn about where the eels go and what types of habitat are important for their survival. Science is so cool!
After this, we headed to Smiley’s Provincial Park to learn how to camp. We set up our tents and spent the evening practicing our scientific drawings of marine organisms (we had some artists in our midst!) The following morning, we went for a dip in Smiley’s ravine before having a discussion about marine pollution and how to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics. To finish up our program, we worked on posters of the data we collected from our lobster activity. Girls worked in pairs to present their results to our whole group, including parents.
Thank you to our fantastic participants for being so enthusiastic and engaged! To our amazing group of volunteers: Donna Young, Lindsay Carrol, Danni Harper, Liza Tsitrin, and Jessie Lilly, we’re so thankful for your help! Our extended thanks also go to the Porter family for hosting us on their boat, the Coastal Ecology Lab, Acadia University Biology, Smiley’s Provincial Park, and Jerry Lockett from Seahorse Productions.
This program was sponsored in part by a donation to the CFUW Wolfville (Canadian Federation of University Women).
This program will be offered next in July of 2020.