Upcoming Marine Education Conference


(PROVINCETOWN, CAPE COD, MA) – The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, in partnership with the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, will host a 3-day marine education conference at the Hiebert Marine Laboratory in Provincetown, beginning at 9a.m., April 24 through April 26, 2009.


“Today’s naturalists understand that the most valuable aspect of whale watching is its potential to educate people of all ages and from all backgrounds to appreciate, value and understand marine mammals,” said Dr. Carole Carlson, of the Dolphin Fleet and adjunct scientist at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies.  “The goal of our workshop is to help naturalists, through dedicated seminars and discussion, to translate the whale watch experience to a wider audience and to inspire greater involvement and follow-up activity from those who participated.”


The purpose of the conference is to educate naturalist/science educators, interns, volunteers, and those directly involved with whale watch tours or research in the Gulf of Maine region.  The conference will include morning lectures that address the status of great whales and seals in the region, physical oceanography and current conservation concerns.  Afternoon workshops include; “Plankton and the Ecosystem,” which includes lectures and hands-on identification of multiple species; and “Photo-Identification Catalogues,” how to best use them as both a research and education tool.   


Primary funding for the conference is made possible with support from the Wendy Joan Shadwell Fund for Whale Watch Naturalist Training and Education, created from a generous bequest from Wendy Joan Shadwell, a long time supporter of PCCS and devotee of whale watching aboard the Dolphin Fleet.  The fund was established by PCCS to support ongoing education programs for whale watch naturalists.


 “Responsible whale watching literally saves whales,” according to WDCS Senior Biologist, Regina Asmutis-Silvia.  “It is an economically viable alternative to whaling, a platform for research, and a means to educate millions of people about whales and the importance of the marine ecosystem.” 


The conference culminates on Sunday with a whale watch tour hosted by Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown, weather permitting. For more information, or to register for the conference, please contact Regina Asmutis-Silvia at regina.asmutis-silvia@wdcs.org.

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