October 1-2, 47 teens gathered in Boston at the New England Aquarium to participate in NEOSEC’s Teen Ocean Summit 2011. All were revisiting the data they collected over the summer as part of the NaGISA protocol with one of our 9 Summer Science partner camps. On Saturday the teens worked in pre-assigned, mixed study groups to develop research questions, working with partner scientists who guided them through the type of thinking they use in their own research. The teens’ questions focused on the distribution of various species among the Summer Science sampling sites pictured here.
Some of the questions the study groups developed include: Does water temperature affect the abundance of Littorina littorea? Does latitude affect the density of focus vesiculosus? Does the coverage of Ascophyllum nodosum affect the abundance of Littorina littorea? Investigating these questions, they used ArcMap geographic information systems (GIS) software, and drew on the expertise of the Aquarium’s GIS specialists to map species occurrence and physical oceanographic data. With dinner at Hard Rock Café; sleeping with the jellies, sharks, and rays in the Aquarium; and a morning scavenger hunt around the Giant Ocean Tank, the teens had plenty of right-brain activities to provide fun breaks from hard work. On Sunday, the research groups presented their findings in a public poster presentation session.
“…it means so much to me to be able to be part of anything Ocean related!!! That was honestly the most fun time I’ve had in a while!” — Leah, 16, NEAq Harbor Discoveries
“Just wanted to let you know how much fun I had at the ocean summit this weekend. I had a fun time getting to know other teens and sharing data with them. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to attend the teen summit.” — Hannah, 12, Northeastern University Coastal Ocean Science Academy