Southeast & Caribbean Region

Following a successful 10-day mission on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster studying the hardbottom reefs and fish communities in a proposed wind energy area off Cape Fear, North Carolina, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) hosted a series of public outreach events 16-17 May 2014.

Science Day for local school groups was held on Friday morning and hosted 38 students and 5 teachers from Harkers Island Middle School and over 40 students and 2 teachers from the 9th grade earth science class at East Carteret High School.  In addition to experiencing short demonstrations on the various forms of science and technology NOAA researchers used on the cruise, the students also got a feel for life on the ship including sampling of some of the snacks in the galley and races to don ocean survival suits.

The open house for managers, policy makers and research partners included presentations by representatives from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, University of North Carolina, Geodynamics, LLC, and NCCOS.  Each co-investigator gave a 10-15 minute presentation on the science and technology that Attendees included leadership from NCCOS and NMFS SEFSC, as well as NMFS Southeast Regional Office, North Carolina Sea Grant, Southern Wind Coalition, directors from area academic marine laboratories and a staff representative from Senator Richard Burr’s (R-NC) eastern office.

Lastly, on Saturday 17 May, an open house was held for staff and families from NOAA laboratories and offices in Carteret County, NC including NCCOS, NMFS/SEFSC, NC NERRS and the NWS office in Newport, NC.  Over 60 staff and family members toured the ship on a bluebird Carolina Saturday morning.

A special thanks to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.  We specifically recognize Lt. Cmdr Shoup, Lt. Kliewer, Lt. Drummond and crew of the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster and William Hoffman, William Waskes and Brian Hooker from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Office of Renewable Energy Program.  The student science outreach was coordinated by Jenny Vander Pluym with assistance by Paula Whitfield, Avery Paxton (UNC-IMS) and students from UNC-IMS, Erik Ebert, Christine Buckel, Shay Viehman, Sloan Freeman (Geodynamics, LLC), and Chris Freeman (Geodynamics, LLC).

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