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First stop: Edgartown. Photo credit: Adam Poquette, NEFSC/NOAA

July 12, 2013
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Students, Public Tour R/V Gloria Michelle on Martha's Vineyard, Learn about Fisheries Science, Careers

Students from Edgartown and Oak Bluffs schools and other visitors learned about fisheries science, careers and the work of NOAA Fisheries Service and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center during two days of community outreach and education with the R/V Gloria Michelle on Martha's Vineyard June 21-22.

"I think we showed there are a variety of career opportunities in science supporting the various missions of NOAA, and we introduced people to the work of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center," said Anna-Liza Villard-Howe, the Gloria Michelle's Officer in Charge. "The weather was perfect, we had lots of visitors who asked great questions, and all of us who participated had a great time sharing what we do with the island community. It could not have gone better. We look forward to doing more community outreach and education events in other New England ports if the opportunity arises."

The event had special meaning for Villard-Howe, who grew up on the Vineyard. She has many family members and friends there, some of whom stopped by to say hello and see the ship at Edgartown's Memorial Wharf on Friday morning, June 21, during the vessel's first of two stops on the island.

School tours were conducted for about 40 students in grades 6 and 7 from Edgartown School, who learned about the vessel and its operations from Villard-Howe and junior officer Shannon Hefferan, both members of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. Several students put on survival suits as part of a dockside safety-at-sea demonstration.

Science stations aboard ship and on the nearby dock featured posters on how fish age and size are related, hands-on displays of various fish species and parts used for determining age, and the Fisheries Scientific Computing System (FSCS) used during fisheries surveys. The ship was also opened to general visitation before it left Edgartown Harbor for Oak Bluffs and more school and public visits.

Nancy McHugh and Adam Poquette from the Ecosystems Surveys Branch, Heidi Marotta from Data Management Systems and William Duffy from the Population Biology Branch took turns manning the science stations and answering questions in both ports. Some 30 students in grade 6 from Oak Bluffs Elementary School and their teachers visited the vessel shortly after it docked at the town bulkhead.

The vessel open house at the 22nd annual Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival on Saturday, June 22, attracted many visitors. With the vessel docked in the center of the activity, guests of all ages enjoyed the opportunity to see the vessel and learn about the R/VGloria Michelle's work in local waters, and the chance to talk directly with NEFSC staff.

Visit the Gloria Michelle website for more information.

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The Northeast Fisheries Science Center conducts ecosystem-based science supporting stewardship of living marine resources under changing climatic conditions. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public. Join NOAA Fisheries on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and our other social media channels.

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