WALTERS, LJ; Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando: Combining Research and Service: An Example of a Very Successful Educatorsí Workshop on Coral Reef Ecology and Restoration
More and more, funding agencies are requiring or strongly recommending that researchers include a service component in their proposals. One possibility is developing and running an educatorsí workshop. Educators are always looking for new and unique activities for their students, as well as ways to improve their training, especially in the sciences. To compliment current research on coral reefs run in collaboration with I. Kuffner (USGS), V. Paul (Smithsonian) and K. Beach (Univ. of Tampa), a 5-day workshop for selected pre-K through 12th grade educators was run in June 2004. The group met with resource managers, outreach specialists, and scientists in the Florida Keys to better understand this unique reef ecosystem and learn what gaps exist in available scientific and educational materials. As part of this workshop, all educators were also provided with scuba training before the workshop and spent half of each day diving. Dives to the Aquarius Underwater Habitat were sponsored by the National Undersea Research Center. Post-workshop, educators developed age-appropriate lesson plans on topics that most interested them (CDs of these plans will be available). Upon submission of lesson plans, each educator received an honorarium. All costs for educators for the workshop were provided thanks to the following agencies: Florida Sea Grant, Florida Institute of Oceanography, the US Geological Survey and the University of Central Florida.