Monday, May 31, 2010

ROCKPOOLS - A window to another world

Little wonder Rockpools are popular places to visit and explore. Being alert and gentle in this very harsh and demanding habitat can yield exciting and sometimes surprising discoveries. The photos included here are from a very low tide at the edge of a SE Queensland suburb. On this winters day corals and their relatives, tunicates (sea squirts) and an amazing variety of life provided a colourful tapestry.

Later in the year AUSMEPA is looking forward to presenting a unit of work on Rockpools that is bound to whet the appetite for later in 2010.

In the meantime be sure to make good use of the marine conservation information libraries that are available as integral parts of the AUSMEPA free online school marine study units for middle year students (click here).

Monday, May 24, 2010


The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre (SCMDC) played a vital community education role after the discovery in Twofold Bay of what was believed to be an invasive sea squirt (Didemnum vexillum) in recent months.

When a routine annual inspection of the wharf pylons on the Multi Purpose (Navy) Wharf found the suspicious looking organism, all steps were taken by the NSW Dept. Industry & Investment to restrict its spread, including engaging SCMDC staff and volunteers to get the message out to the wider community.

The good news is that DNA test results have confirmed that the species found in Twofold Bay is not Didemnum vexillum – a great relief to the local community and particularly for the mussel farmers in the bay.

Industry & Investment staff have thanked SCMDC for their quick action in assisting with distributing information pamphlets on the pest species and raising awareness about the importance of reporting any new unidentified species to the authorities.

To find our more about the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre click here.

To find out more about Didemnum vexillum click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The IPMEN 2010 conference theme for Vakarau ni se siga toka is an old expression that means “Prepare whilst there is time.”

The IPMEN 2010 conference strands are:
Strand 1: Key Challenges in Ocean Literacy.
Strand 2: Building Healthy Sustainable Coastal Communities.
Strand 3: Women in Fisheries - Partnerships for Change.
Strand 4: How Does Climate Change Affect Children of the Pacific?

Any marine educator is need of mental refreshment and professional renewal in a beautiful island setting should seriously be getting themselves ready to participate in the IPMEN conference this year.

If you cannot physically go to the conference you should investigate how to participate via the web by contacting

See more at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Enric Sala: Glimpses of a pristine ocean (TED TALK)

"Working at the intersection of science and policy, Enric Sala searches for the last pristine marine environments on Earth — and brings back data to help governments protect them"

.......from TED TALKS -- click here

Monday, May 10, 2010

TED TALK: Jeremy Jackson

TED TALKS - ideas worth spreading (click here). The TED talks are quite riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world. Below you will find a talk by Jeremy Jackson on the state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse. Making the case are striking photos and statistics and a spectacular summing up.

Educators please refer to the AUSMEPA unit of work on Climate Change and Coral Bleaching (click here) to help inform your upcoming workplans.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

SPOTLIGHT: Ocean Life Education, SE Qld

Australia is blessed with gorgeous oceans and remarkable individuals who are determined to help educate the rest of us about what's in there and how we can look after it.

Watch this space as we Spotlight marine education providers around Australia over the coming months.

Ocean Life Education is an extension education provider to schools in south east Queenslannd operating from the Sunshine Coast.

Here is a short clip about who they are and what they do with schools.

To hear more from the enthusiastic team at Ocean Life Education, keep reading. Richard Coward Marine Ecologist/ Teacher Ocean Life Education has provided perspectives on just what they are trying to achieve.

"Live marine animal incursions into schools, child care centres and vacation care are an important step in breeding environmentally aware adults of tomorrow. If we truly want to save our planet from human driven extinction then the first step is to install understanding and stewardship into our youth today. This is the driving passion behind Ocean Life Educations ( presentations, and because of its powerful interactive nature children are loving it, absorbing and understanding the immediate plight of our delicate marine environment."

"The initial journey to achieve these affective incursions weren’t without mishap! Like all great adventures early teething problems needed to be overcome. One such example occurred while transporting Sea Urchins, the spiky member of the Echinoderm Phylum. With great shock and horror while unpacking the animals for display it was noticed that the bag containing the Urchins had lost most of its water into the carry box, and the bag had sagged over the urchins! Luckily the venue for this days presentation was close in proximity to home base on the Sunshine Coast, and due to the nature of the box and the volume of water the Sea Urchins were still in good health, though the health of the presenter was a little shaken."

"Suffice to say this was a good learning experience and hence forth stronger bags times two are now used for Sea Urchin transport, thus leaving presenters in a much better state to spread the important message of protecting the marine environment! It’s an old cliché but a true one...our kids are our future...and the protectors of it!"


Ocean Life Education will be on display at Sunshine Coast University for World Environment Day Celebrations Sunday 6th June 2010.

To visit the Ocean Life Education website click here

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sea Urchins of the World - Diversity, Symmetry & Design

Regular visitors to the sea have been known to ponder the patterned sea urchin tests that wash up there. Urchins become topics for wider discussion as impacts of overfishing, natural predators and poleward movement become environmental issues.

We've just received news of recent publication on Sea Urchins of the World by Ashley Miskelly that is the fruit of many years of study on these sea star relatives. The images are magnificent and you may find your perception of these often underestimated denizens takes a turn into awe. The book visually demonstrates the symmetry, diversity and fascinating architecture of sea urchins from Antarctia to the tropics.

Want to find out more about this book click here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

OCEANS by Disney

Disney has put out a new production screened on World Environment Day in the US -- click here for trailer

For beautiful ocean images this looks like something that all seafarers, enthusiasts, educators and students might enjoy.