|Monday, Mar 16, 2009|
Over the course of this month, Cabrillo staff are participating in the first annual San Diego Science Festival, including a âscientist for a dayâ event and a park science day. Theyâre also offering âYellow Submarineâ live interactive virtual exploration (LIVE) programs from the parkâs tidepools to select San Diego area middle schools.
In the âscientist for a dayâ program, citizen scientists who applied through the San Diego Science Festival are gaining up close and personal perspectives on park science at Cabrillo National Monument, joining the parkâs tidepool monitoring team as they âstep into the shoesâ of National Park Service biologists for a day. These citizen scientists are learning about current monitoring programs and research and how park scientists and visiting researchers study and care for plants, reptiles and amphibians, small mammals, birds, terrestrial and marine invertebrates, lichens, weather, water and air quality. After a brief orientation and training, the new citizen scientists help team members measure and document indicator species that the park monitors as part of its vital signs program.
After an application process through the San Diego Science Festival, students and teachers in select San Diego area middle schools are exploring the parkâs rocky intertidal areas without ever leaving their schools, as they take a virtual ride on a miniature submarine. During the âYellow Submarineâ LIVE presentations, students and teachers in remote audiences accompany, explore
and interact with Cabrillo rangers and scientists in real-time via the internet. A yellow, remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) which houses a camera â known as the âYellow Submarineâ â permits students to explore the underwater environment of the tidepools.
These LIVE programs are made possible through a partnership with the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) and the California Mediterranean Research Learning Center (www.researchlearningcenter.com). Images from LIVE presentations are stored on the HPWREN server and may be accessed at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu.
After the San Diego Science Festival, other opportunities will be available for schools and other organizations to participate in remote LIVE presentations from the park, one of a growing number of national park areas that are developing capabilities for providing educational programming to remote audiences.
Park Science Day will offer a unique opportunity to meet scientists who conduct on-going research on the flora, fauna and geology of the parkâs threatened Mediterranean and fragile rocky intertidal habitat. Hourly presentations will include time to meet and chat with the scientists.