Science Sunday: Meet a Marine Biologist

3 08 2011

It’s so hot out! We wish we could gather everyone in Austin up and escape to the beach. But, until we find a beach house big enough, we’ll bring the beach to Austin! On Sunday, August 7th, a group of Marine Biologists will be at the Austin Children’s Museum with animals, activities, and all things aquatic.

Pink Sea Anemone

From 3:00pm to 5:00pm, Marine Biologists Mary Middlebrook and Morgan Monshaugen will be introducing visitors to their field of study. Mary and Morgan both hold degrees in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston. Marine Biologists study life in the oceans and other saltwater environments; from the smallest plankton to the biggest whale.

Mary and Morgan have partnered with AquaTek Tropical Fish to bring Touch Tanks to the Museum. Visitors will be invited to have a hands-on encounter with starfish, sea urchins, snails, crabs, and more. There will also be displays featuring squid, octopus, shrimp, crabs, coral, and other fishy friends.  Mary and Morgan will also be leading experiments about water density and whale insulation that kids can participate in.

We couldn’t wait until Sunday to get out hands wet and tried out a Marine Biology activity ourselves. Follow this post after the jump to make your own Ocean Food Chain!

The ocean is a rich habitat for many plants and animals, big and small. Larger creatures rely on smaller ones as sources of food.

We made a quick Marine Food Chain activity that links larger predators like humans and tuna to smaller creatures like zooplankton and flying fish, all the way back to the sun which provides energy to phytoplankton.

To make your own at home, print out this marine food chain coloring sheet: marinefoodchainpdf

Color in all the parts of the food chain. Then cut out each food chain strip along the dotted lines. Tape the strip with the sun on it into a loop, then tape the phytoplankton strip to the sun loop to build a paper chain:

Make a paper chain Food Chain!

To learn more about how you can be a healthy part of the Marine Food Chain, check out information over at the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch site.

Don’t forget to visit the Austin Children’s Museum on Sunday, August 7th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm to meet some Marine Biologists and get up close and personal with some ocean life!

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One response

8 08 2011
Yan

I am an aspiring Marine Biologist and I am seeking some guidance as to how to join the field. I am a Jamaican citizen going into my second year at the University of the West Indies in the coming semester. Could you please provide me with the steps I should take and any particular events or societies I could join; even scholarship opportunities?

Thank you 🙂

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