Information, Workshops, Events and Awards

INFORMATION

In light of the recent events in Japan, we would like to share some websites that provide basic information on nuclear energy and reactors. We hope you find these to be helpful in the classroom.
U.S. Energy Information Administration: Energy Kids – http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=nuclear_home-basics
Scientific American – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=nuclear-energy-primer
Video from The Advocate, Baton Rouge – http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/specials/interactives/_international/nuclear-explainer-video/index.html?SITE=LABAT&SECTION=MULTIMEDIA

Mathematical Model Could Help Predict and Prevent Future Extinctions
In an effort to better understand the dynamics of complex networks, scientists have developed a mathematical model to describe interactions within ecological food webs. This research, performed by Northwestern University physics professor Adilson Motter and his student, Sagar Sahasrabudhe, is published in the January 25 issue of Nature Communications. The work illustrates how human intervention may effectively aid species conservation efforts. Read article at: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=118384&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

New 6 Minute Video on CWPPRA’s Marsh Creation
CWPPRA recently completed a new video short to share its hard work in Louisiana’s coastal restoration activities. The new video titled “Marsh Creation – Step-by-Step” can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkwYSHJWyTE and also the CWPRPA web site www.LACoast.gov. The video highlights the East Marsh Island Marsh Creation project (TV-21) while sharing basic information about using sediment in re-establishing and re-creating healthy wetland ecosystems. Through the use of sediments and hydrology, new marsh is being created where standing water once was. CWPPRA project managers and scientists explain and demonstrate the process of the rebirth of this once lost marsh.

National Science Foundation - Climate Change Communications with Lesson Plans
A climate change communications project is being funded and carried out by NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, in partnership with NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News. (Not associated with an NSF grant.) The project, "Changing Planet," includes 13 videos with associated lesson plans, being posted online over 13 weeks.
Videos: Changing Planet http://www.nbclearn.com/changingplanet
Lesson Plans: Windows to the Universe http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/changing_planet/changing_planet.html
We are also holding three town halls with NBC TV personalities at US universities: Yale in January with Tom Brokaw, George Washington University in April, and an Arizona university in August. These panel discussions, at which the high school and college students making up the live audience can ask questions, focus on various aspects of climate change and are taped for later airing on TV. The Yale event focused on the impacts of climate change on lives; GWU will focus on clean energy; and Arizona on water resources.


WORKSHOPS

Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration Curriculum Part II – Saturday, April 2, 8:00 am–3:30 pm (Registration Deadline: March 18)
Join educators during this follow-up session to the introductory professional development workshop on Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration, a curriculum developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER). Conduct inquiry- and standards-based activities tied directly to ocean expeditions with facilitator, Dr. Beth Day-Miller. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with ocean explorer, Dr. Peter Etnoyer. Dr. Etnoyer will discuss the importance of seamounts and share submersible video highlights of deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Alaska from NOAA OER funded cruises in 2002 and 2004. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Each participant will receive unique take-home materials, a NOAA Ocean Exploration Certificate of Participation, a continental breakfast, and lunch. A $100 stipend will be available for those who participate in both the Introductory and Followup full-day workshops. If spaces are available, educators who have not yet participated in a NOAA Ocean Exploration Introductory Workshop are still welcome to join us for this Follow-up Workshop. To register: Contact Tricia LeBlanc at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, (504) 378-2675 or tleblanc@AudubonInstitute.org.

Gulf Lappniappe Adult Education Workshop Series - Louisiana Fisheries II
LUMCON’s Gulf Lagniappe adult education workshop Louisiana Fisheries II with Dr. Ed Chesney is being held on April 2, 2011 from 9am-3:30pm at the DeFelice Marine Center in Cocodrie, LA. This workshop will focus on Louisiana fisheries and related topics. Attendance of the first session is not required for the participation in the second session. Participants must be 18 years or older. The cost is $10/person. Activities include a presentation by Dr. Chesney, lab activities on fish anatomy, a cruise aboard the R/V Acadiana, and a tour of the marine center. Lunch will be provided for those that pre-register. For more information or to register please contact either Murt Conover at (985) 851-2860 / mconover@lumcon.edu or Holly Hebert at (985) 851-2842 / hhebert@lumcon.edu. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and Dauphin Island Sea Lab.


EVENTS

Volunteers Needed – Cypress Planting in Southern Louisiana
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, and RPM Ecosystems Gulf Coast LLC, Restore the Earth Foundation invite you to come volunteer to plant cypress trees in New Iberia. The objective of this volunteer project is to increase habitat quality and promote a healthy cypress forest at wetland sites in southern Louisiana. The restored cypress forest will provide critical habit for wildlife and provide storm protection to adjacent marsh and communities.
Cypress Planting – Spanish Lake Game and Fish Preserve (1 day event)
When: Thursday March 17th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Spanish Lake Game and Fish Preserve, 117 Spanish Lake Rd. New Iberia, LA 70560
All planting equipment (gloves, shovels, dibbles, etc.), refreshments and lunch will be provided. This is a strenuous activity so physical fitness is required. Volunteers must be over 15 years old. Please feel free to volunteer for one, two or three days. Additional information, including detailed directions and what to bring, will be provided to volunteers prior to the event.
Register online at www.crcl.org or by calling (888) LACOAST

Volunteers Needed – Planting Marsh Grasses to Restore Wetlands
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the America’s WETLAND Foundation are looking for volunteers to help plant 5,000 plugs of marsh grass at the Black Lake Marsh/Marcantel Property wetland restoration site in Hackberry, LA. The Black Lake Marsh site has been suffering land loss due to saltwater intrusion, wave erosion and hurricane damage from the storms of the last five years. The objective of this volunteer project would be to plant marsh grass along a newly constructed levee to help prevent further erosion and to stabilize the soil. Volunteer efforts will produce new habitats that will support a variety of aquatic wildlife and migratory birds.
When: Monday March 21, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Volunteers will meet at St. Peter Church located on the corner of Highway 27 and West Main Drive in Hackberry, Louisiana. From there we will caravan approximately 5 miles to the planting site.
Volunteers will be planting grasses along a newly constructed levee in Black Lake. Volunteers will be able to walk along the levee to plant or will be transported down the levee by boat. All planting equipment (gloves, shovels, dibbles, etc.), sunscreen and bug spray will be provided. Drinks and lunch will be provided to all volunteers.
Additional information will be sent out to registered volunteers a few days before the event. Register online at https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/316/mtglist.asp?formid=event

The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council National – Public Teleconference Meeting
Thursday, March 31, 2011, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm Eastern Time

The primary topic of discussion will be EPA’s charge to the NEJAC on ensuring long-term engagement of communities in Gulf Coast eco-system restoration efforts. There will be a public comment period from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Comments requested should respond to how best to:
1. Engage minority, low-income, and tribal/indigenous communities for input into decisions about Gulf Coast restoration plans, particularly for the impacts of such plans on permitting and how best to facilitate the participation of immigrant populations and communities with potential language barriers.
2. Consider indigenous, cultural, and historical concerns during restoration and recovery
3. Identify any regulatory and policy hurdles that impede, complicate, or discourage sustained community engagement in decisions about restoration and recovery.
To Register By E-mail: Send an e-mail to March2011NEJACMeeting@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com with “Register for the NEJAC-March Teleconference” in the subject line. Please provide your name, organization, city and state, e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up.
To Register By Phone or Fax: Send a fax (please print) or leave a voice message, with your name, organization, city and state, e-mail address, and telephone number to 877-773-1489. Please specify which meeting you are registering to attend (e.g., NEJAC-March Teleconference).
Please also state whether you would like to be put on the list to provide public comment, and whether you are submitting written comments before the Wednesday, March 23 deadline. Non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a foreign language interpreter may also make appropriate arrangements using the email address or telephone/fax number.
Members of the public who wish to attend or to provide public comment must pre-register by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Individuals or groups making remarks during the public comment period will be limited to five minutes. To accommodate the large number of people who want to address the NEJAC, only one representative of a community, organization, or group will be allowed to speak. The suggested format for written public comments is as follows: A brief description of the concern and what you want the NEJAC to advise EPA to do; Name of Speaker; Name of Organization/Community; City and State; and E-mail address.
Written comments received by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, will be included in the materials distributed to the members of the NEJAC prior to the teleconference meeting. Written comments received after that time will be provided to the NEJAC as time allows.
All written comments should be sent to EPA’s support contractor, APEX Direct, Inc., via e-mail at March2011NEJACMeeting@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com or fax at 877-773-1489.
For information about access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Ms. Estela Rosas, APEX Direct, Inc., at 877-773-1489 or via e-mail at March2011NEJACMeeting@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.

Louisiana Earth Day is Sunday, April 17th from noon to 8:00 PM
Join in on the 22nd Earth Day Celebration. This year’s theme is “This Land is Our Land”. For more information, contact Dianne Lindstedt at dlindst@lsu.edu or 225-578-1558.

Eco-Art Kayak Adventures (Weekdays in April 2011)
A Once in a Lifetime Environmental Field Experience for Students in Galveston Bay
Don’t miss this great opportunity in April for public and private schools, universities, and educational groups to experience hands-on education kayaking and exploring Galveston Bay with Artist Boat at an extremely affordable price. The Adventures are life changing. Cost is $450 (transportation not included) for up to 25 participants. Your day will include a 4 hour Eco-Art adventure. Activities will include water color painting, paddling lessons, birding, and other sightseeing while observing local ecology!
Call us today to see how much fun you can have learning!! www.artistboat.org

Louisiana’s 9th Environmental Awareness Student Art & Language Arts Contests (Deadline: April 21)
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, along with contest sponsor Alcoa Foundation, announces the 9th Environmental Awareness Student Art & Language Arts Contests. This year’s theme is “Louisiana Outdoors: A Beautiful Experience!” Louisiana students may enter their original work in the art and/or the language arts area of the contest. Winning art and language arts entries will be published in our 2012 calendar. All winners will be honored at a reception to be held at the Governor’s Mansion. All entries must be postmarked by April 21, 2011.
Categories for both art and language arts contests: Group 1 – Ages 5-7, Group 2 – Ages 8-10, Group 3 – Ages 11-13, Group 4 – Ages 14-18
Prizes awarded to contest winners: 1st place in each category – $200, 2nd place in each category – $100, 3rd place in each category – $75
An official entry form and release must accompany each entry. Entries that do not comply with contest rules will be disqualified. The reproducible registration form can be downloaded from our website and MUST accompany the entry and MUST be signed by the contestant and parent or guardian. For more information, full contest guidelines, and contest entry form, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/environmental-awareness-art-language-arts-contest or contact Juliet Raffray at jraffray@wlf.la.gov.

Announcing International Marine Debris Art Contest (Deadline: May 15, 2011)
http://www.jason.org/contest/art/marine_debris.aspx
Calling all artists! Kids in grades K-12 are invited to participate in an international art contest sponsored by Immersion Learning, The JASON Project, the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The theme of the contest is “Marine Debris.” Marine debris is any human-made waste that has ended up in a lake, sea, ocean, or other waterway either by accident or on purpose. Examples include plastic bags, glass bottles, old fishing equipment, and abandoned boats. Contest submissions should focus on the types, sources, and/or impacts of marine debris on the environment. To learn more about marine debris, visit www.marinedebris.noaa.gov. All entries must be uploaded by May 15, 2011.

LOWA 2011 Youth Outdoor Journalism Contest Begins (Deadline: June 3)
The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association announced the start of its 2011 Youth Journalism Contest. Open to all youth 18 and under, the contest is designed to stimulate an interest in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and most outdoor activities--and the ability to communicate this interest to the public. This highly popular contest attracts entrants from all over Louisiana and neighboring states, and is lauded by educators statewide as an effective youth literacy project. The contest has three categories consisting of Senior Essay (14-18 YOA), Junior Essay (13 YOA and under), and Photography (18 YOA and under). Awards are given in 1st through 4th place in each category, and the winning students will be recognized by the LOWA at the annual conference banquet to be held in August. For more information on contest rules and submissions, interested persons can go to the LOWA website at www.laoutdoorwriters.com or they may email Gordon Hutchinson, contest chairman, at ghutchinson@theadvocate.com

 

AWARDS

EPA Gulf Guardian Award (Deadline: March 31, 2011)
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program partnership developed the Gulf Guardian awards as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and organizations that are taking extraordinary steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. For the year 2011, the Gulf of Mexico Program partnership will be awarding 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for seven (7) categories: Business & Industry, Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity, Civic/NonProfit
Organizations, Partnerships, Youth Environmental Education, Individual, and BiNational partnership efforts. To complete a nomination application for 2011, go to the Gulf of Mexico Program’s web site at http://www.epa.gov/gmpo, and then click on the Gulf Guardian Application button. Applications are available in both English and Spanish. Email your nomination to gulf.guardian@epa.gov by March 31, 2011.