Marine animals fascinate visitors at Skidaway Marine Science Day

Both adult and children visitors to Skidaway Marine Science Day never fail to be fascinated by the marine “critters” at the University of Georgia (UGA) Aquarium.  The aquarium animals will be on full display for the campus-wide open house event which will be held on Saturday, October 15, from noon to 4 p.m. on the campus of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the north end of Skidaway Island.

Touch tanks amaze young visitors.

Skidaway Marine Science Day programs and activities are geared for all ages. These

include programs, tours, displays and hands-on activities, primarily related to marine science and the coastal environment. The event is open to the public and admission to all activities, including the aquarium, is free.

In addition to the marine displays, the aquarium staff will present a number of fascinating programs. Naturalist John “Crawfish” Crawford will present two programs — a reptile show at 2 p.m. and a program on Georgia sea turtles at 3 p.m.

For those who are not faint-at-heart, aquarium curator Devin Dumont will dissect a shark and explain their amazing systems in a special program at 1 p.m.

Other activities will include habitat explorations, fish feedings, behind the scenes tours and the opportunity to meet horseshoe crabs up “close and personal.”

Even young children are fascinated by what's under a microscope.

In addition to the aquarium, Skidaway Marine Science Day will include displays, programs and activities presented by the campus’s other marine research and education organizations, including the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

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.

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.

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.

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 Clean Coast 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.

All activities at Skidaway Marine Science Day will be free. For additional information, call (912) 598-2325, or visit http://www.skio.usg.edu.

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