Skidaway Marine Science Day set for Saturday, October 16

An afternoon of marine science programs, displays, tours and activities — Skidaway Marine Science Day 2010 — will be held on Saturday, October 16, from noon to 4 p.m. on the campus of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the north end of Skidaway Island.

Young visitors get up close and personal with marine critters at the aquarium touch tanks.

The Skidaway Marine Science Day is a campus-wide open house with activities geared for all ages from young children to adults. These will include programs, tours, displays and hands-on activities, primarily related to marine science. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The event will be presented by the campus’s marine research and education organizations, including the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the University of Georgia (UGA) Marine Education Center and Aquarium, the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and WSVH Georgia Public Radio.

The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will offer a variety of activities for adults and children, including tours of the Research Vessel Savannah and smaller research vessels; science displays and talks on current research programs; and hands-on science activities.

Research vessels, like the RV Savannah, will be open for tours.

The UGA Marine Extension Service Aquarium will be open with no admission fee. In addition, the aquarium education staff will offer visitors a full afternoon of activities including science talks, a reptile show, boat tours, touch tanks, and behind-the-scene tours of the aquarium.

The UGA Shellfish Laboratory will provide visitors with displays and information on marine life on the Georgia Coast. Children will be given the opportunity to help protect the marine environment by bagging oyster shells used for oyster reef restoration projects.

Bgging shells at last year's event.

Bagging shells at last year's event.

The staff of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary will set up their remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV) in a swimming pool and teach visitors how to “drive” it and pick up objects from the bottom.

WSVH Georgia Public Radio will be open for visitors.

Another activity at this year’s Skidaway Marine Science Day will be a high-tech treasure hunt dubbed “Skiocache.” The event is modeled after the increasing popular “geocache” activities in which “treasure hunters” use GPS devices to track down the locations of hidden prizes. Using their own GPS devices, they will track down the various piles of “hidden loot.” Participants without a GPS device will still be able to participate and will receive a different set of clues.

Skidaway Institute professor Bill Savidge will present a special program aimed at parents and students involved in science fair projects. The program, “How to prepare a successful science fair project,” will be presented twice, at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the McGowan Library Auditorium.

For the second year in a row, Skidaway Marine Science Day will also be open to non-campus scientific and environmental groups. Organizations such as the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will be on-hand to present, information, displays and activities.

School classes or other large groups wishing to attend Skidaway Marine Science Day can be accommodated only through advance arrangements.

For additional information, call (912) 598-2325.

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