WEEKLY eNEWS: Upcoming Events, Workshop, Contests, Resources, Lagniappe, Job Announcement

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana  


Community Oil Spill Public Forum (November 19)
The Central Gulf of Mexico Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE), housed at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL) is partnering with Louisiana Sea Grant, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center to offer a Community Oil Spill Forum at each location on Saturday, November 19th.
          One and one half years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill began in 5000 feet of water off the southeast coast of Louisiana, many questions remain about the effects of this catastrophe. The Community Oil Spill Forum has been designed to address some of these questions for members of the general public, including adults and their children over the age of 12. Classroom teachers who attend will earn continuing learning units (CLUs). The event will feature presentations by scientists geared to a general level of understanding, an opportunity to ask questions of the scientists and activities that will clarify aspects of the oil spill – specifically seafood tasting and turtle rehabilitation.
           The event will be a videoconference among the three partner sites with all speakers presenting to and answering questions asked at all sites. Speakers at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge include resident scientists: Dr. Ed Overton will provide an overview of the oil spill event.  Dr. Julie Anderson will discuss dispersant use. Dr. Lucina Lampila will explain the current knowledge regarding seafood safety. At the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Ms. Suzanne Smith, of the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, will discuss rehabilitation of large animals. At Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center in Shreveport, Dr. Jessie Kastler, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and producer of SpillScience.com, will summarize lessons of the oil spill and how science uncovers them.
          Registration for this event is strongly encouraged because space in videoconferencing facilities at each location is limited. Links to register at each location and more information about the event are available at http://cosee-central-gom.org/community_forum_la.htm. Contact Dianne Lindstedt at Louisiana Sea Grant, 225-578-1558, lsged@lsu.edu; Tricia LeBlanc at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 504-378-2675, tleblanc@auduboninstitute.org; or Michele McKee at Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, mmckee@sciport.org, (318) 424-8688, for more information. 

First Annual Nutria Rodeo (December 3)
Sassafras, Louisiana is very proud to announce that it will host the First Annual Nutria Rodeo on December 3rd, 2011! The Nutria Rodeo is an effort to bring much needed attention to invasive species populations found in southern Louisiana, and will be set up similar to a fishing rodeo but with a creative twist. Each participant must follow all federal and state hunting laws and will be required to purchase a ticket prior to weighing in nutria, coyote, Asian carp, or feral swine. The Hurricane Levee Band will be playing most of the day and Cajun food will be sold. T-shirts are on sale now for $15 and tickets for $10.  If you are interested in being an exhibitor for the First Annual Nutria Rodeo please fill out the attached registration form and mail it to our address or email it to Alex Naquin alexnaquin@sassafrasla.org or call 985-696-0529 for more information.


FREE Educator Workshop (Deadline: November 18)
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is hosting another great NOAA Ocean Explorer professional development workshop! This new workshop, “Why Do We Explore?” will be held on Saturday, December 3, and is open to all 5-12th grade educators. Wonderful new classroom and interactive materials will be distributed, and educators who attend the full day will also receive a $50 stipend. Please see the attached flyer for complete workshop details and registration form. Applications can be emailed or faxed directly to Sara E Johnson, or sent via usps. To register, or if you have any questions, contact: Sara Johnson at (251) 861-2141 x7515 or sejohnson@disl.org


"Document Your Environment" Contest for Students (Deadline: January 6, 2012)
The National Archives in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a student multimedia contest, "Document Your Environment".  Drawing inspiration from a collection of environmental photos from the 1970s, this contest invites students ages 13 to 18, college, and graduate students to create any type of graphic art, a short video, or a poem using a Documerica photo as a prompt. The grand prize for this contest will be $500, courtesy of the Foundation for the National Archives. The contest is hosted on challenge.gov, the federal government's online challenge platform. Entries will be accepted from November 1, 2011 to January 6, 2012. Finalists and the grand prize winner will be announced in February 2012. Finalists may be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the National Archives and a traveling exhibit with the EPA.
View contest details online at: http://documerica.challenge.gov/
Documerica Photos on National Archives Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/collections/72157620729903309/
Documerica photos online in National Archives Online Public Access (OPA): http://research.archives.gov/search?expression=parent-id-lnk%3A542493+lod-display-lnk%3AItem&pg_src=brief&data-source=selected-archival-data-records&data-source=archival-descriptions-with-digital-objects
Environmental Protection Agency's State of the Environment Project: http://blog.epa.gov/epplocations/

Accept the Biology Challenge: Become part of the USA Biology Olympiad (Deadline: February 3, 2012)
The USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) is the premiere US biology competition for high school students. After two rounds of challenging exams, 20 students are invited to a residential training program at Purdue University where they experience labs and lectures with advanced biological concepts and exacting lab skills. The top four students go on to represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) in Singapore July 8 to 15, 2012. Online registration is open from October 24, 2011 to February 3, 2012 at http://www.usabo-trc.org. For more information on how your students may participate in the USABO, please contact Kathy Frame at kframe@cee.org.
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Announcing EPA’s New Student Blog
Teachers, students, parents, tell us your favorite website about nature, plants, or water. We might write a blog about it. We can help you get started writing your own blog entry about an environmental service project. This blog is a place where you can read about what kids are doing to protect the environment. You will also read about contests and cool environmental sites. Comment on our posts and tell us about all the great things you are doing to help the environment. Teachers and parents visit the blog to find out about all the great things kids are doing for the environment and how you can help them become future environmentalists! From this blog you can check out our new students site which includes resources for both students and teachers.

EarthEcho International's New Classroom Action Guide asks “What's On Your Fork?”
Does what you eat really have impact on our planet? Could mealtime choices actually help promote clean drinking water? What’s On Your Fork? is a new, free downloadable Action Guide and collection of supplementary educational tools from EarthEcho International designed to help educators and students explore the environmental and community impact of daily food choices. Rich in academic connections, the What’s On Your Fork? step-by-step Action Guide includes stimulating content, student organizers for discussions and planning, and examples of youth taking action.
           Visit www.WaterPlanetChallenge.org to learn more, including news about NEA Foundation Water Planet Challenge educator grants AND an upcoming What’s On Your Fork? Webinar hosted by Philippe Cousteau, Jr.
          What’s On Your Fork? A Campaign for Meatless Choices is authored by Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A. for Earth Echo International with contributions from the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future.
          Additional Water Planet Challenge Action Guide topics include: Know Your Flow (water efficiency), Out the Spout (water quality), Down the Drain (water quality), You Have the Power (energy efficiency), CleanUP (marine debris)

New Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas Now Available
For the first time in 25 years, a new Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas is now available: http://gulfatlas.noaa.gov. Based on the idea of a traditional atlas but offered via the Internet by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the new Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas provides answers to questions related to the physical environment, marine resources, and economic activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Published on-line by NOAA’s National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), this initial release of the pilot version of the atlas has 95 map plates in 31 different subject areas with more planned in 2012. The actual map data can be found here. Each plate has a description explaining how the data was gathered and how it is relevant. Users can also link directly to the data and to a high resolution image of the original 1985 plate if available.

Invasive Species Compendium (Beta)
Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide.
The ISC is a constantly developing encyclopedic resource containing:
          Datasheets on over 1500 invasive species and animal diseases
          Basic datasheets on further species, countries, habitats and pathways
          Bibliographic database of over 65,000 records (updated weekly)
          Full text documents (updated weekly)
To see papers authored by NWRC staff, go to the Start Menu > highlight NWRC Virtual Library > click on Library Shared Files > select desired file and print or copy. Although there are exceptions, most files use the following naming conventions: author > pub year > publication > first page.
The bibliographic citation has been added to the NWRC Pubs database. When searching, be certain to add an asterisk after the search term to pull up more accurate search results.
Publications Database: http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/pblctns.htm
USGS Publications Warehouse: http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/


Promoting Outdoor Recreation and Conservation in Louisiana
The Department of the Interior will issue a 50-state report outlining the country's most promising ways to reconnect Americans with the natural world. They are highlighting two projects in Louisiana that will be included in the final report – representing stakeholders believe are among the best investments to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor recreation jobs across the country. Creating a partnership to revitalize and increase access to rivers, lakes, and streams in the New Orleans area and habitat restoration in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin are among the projects nationwide that will be highlighted in the report as part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to establish a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and reconnect Americans to the outdoors. These projects were identified for their potential to conserve important lands and build recreation opportunities and economic growth for the surrounding communities as part of close engagement with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the state of Louisiana, as well as private landowners, local- and tribal-elected officials, community organizations and outdoor-recreation and conservation stakeholders.
To view a map of the projects announced, click here.


BTNEP - Public Involvement Coordinator (Deadline for Applications: November 28)
The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) is seeking to fill a position for a Public Involvement Coordinator. This person will be domiciled in the BTNEP office on the Nicholls State University campus. The Public Involvement Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of BTNEP Action Plans related to involving the public in various volunteer programs and restoration activities within the Barataria and Terrebonne systems. To ensure maximum consideration, please submit a letter of application, a résumé, and three references by November 28, 2011. For position details, please visit: www.btnep.org


Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at http://lacoast.gov/calendar/

Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec