LiMPETS Data at Research Symposium
LiMPETS Science Education & Technology Manager, Monika Krach, presented coastal ecological data trends at the Bay Area’s Beyond the Golden Gate Research Symposium in December 2016 held at San Francisco State University. Through an oral presentation, attendees learned about the LiMPETS youth-based citizen science program and its long-term population trends of sea stars, mussels, and sea lettuces at monitoring sites along the North-central California coast. In a poster presentation, LiMPETS’s 15 years of sandy beach monitoring data revealed a correlation between El Niño events and recruitment of sand crabs at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
LiMPETS Presents Ecological Trends to Non-profit
On September 14th, the Greater Farallones LiMPETS team, Abby Nickels and Monika Krach, presented to Friends of Fitzgerald board members. LiMPETS in the Greater Farallones management area have collected ecological data at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Half Moon Bay since 2006. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a Marine Life Protected Area that lies within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The non-profit that supports the Reserve, Friends of Fitzgerald, is a vital partner to the LiMPETS program. The Board learned about the long-term, ecological trends revealed by LiMPETS student-collected data, as well as the scientific and educational updates to the program. After the presentation, Friends of Fitzgerald donated funds to buy new equipment and create field materials for the LiMPETS rocky intertidal program. Thank you Friends of Fitzgerald!
Publication Shows LiMPETS’ Effective Education Outcomes
Our partners at UC Davis published an article that profiles LiMPETS in the scientific journal Biological Conservation: “Youth-focused citizen science: Examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation.” It reveals findings that show the positive influence of LiMPETS on students, particularly the science communication projects lead to increase student environmental agency.
LiMPETS Paper Published
Dr. John Pearse et al. used LiMPETS data to publish a paper on the Santa Cruz surfgrass community and its long-term recovery after sewage discharge. Thank you to all of the volunteers and students who collected information in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for LiMPETS!
LiMPETS in Monterey Bay Sanctuary Condition Report
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary just released its 2015 Condition Report. LiMPETS contributed to the rocky intertidal analysis, providing valuable results on changes in mussel and sea star abundances.
From the report: “On-going monitoring efforts in the sanctuary, including Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe), PISCO, RCCA and LiMPETS, will be the key to track these potential changes in the status and condition of structure-forming species in nearshore habitats.”
LiMPETS Students Present at the American Geophysical Union Conference
LiMPETS students presented their research among 24,000 scientists at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. High school students from the Branson School displayed a poster on the correlation between El Niño and decline in abundance of certain rocky intertidal organisms. Also using LiMPETS data, high school interns from the California Academy of Sciences explained the relationship of sex and gravidity on the prevalence of parasites in Pacific mole crabs.
How to enhance the LiMPETS experience for you students
LiMPETS Starts the School Year with More Student Resources
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! Monika here from the Greater Farallones Association’s LiMPETS team. We are very excited to get into the field monitoring alongside our teachers and students. This past year, we have worked with scientists and teachers to improve our trainings and protocols. Our curriculum has been updated to align with Next Generation Science Standards and California state teaching standards. We’ve created a new and improved quality control plan which we are piloting this year. Increasing LiMPETS scientific rigor is a big goal of 2015!
The roll-out of our new Student Resources excites me the most. It includes quizzes, videos, and games for both Rocky Intertidal and Sandy Beach Monitoring. We encourage our teachers to direct their students to these resources not only because it will increase students’ understanding of California’s coastal ecology, but also it will give our data-users more confidence in student-collected data. Citizen science is gaining traction in the scientific community and we will continue to be the exemplary youth-based citizen science program.
Go to the Student Resources page to see some of these training materials and keep checking in for new ones this fall!
LiMPETS Students Present at the MBNMS Currents Symposium
This year, eleven LiMPETS students presented research posters at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Currents Symposium on April 25, 2015. Their five posters, documenting trends in sea star wasting, predator-prey dynamics in the intertidal, and parasite prevalence in Pacific mole crabs, were among only 50 posters accepted to the poster session at the Symposium. One student team, comprised of high school interns from the California Academy of Sciences, won an award for their outstanding poster.
After a busy poster session, LiMPETS student Yusef Nayib from James Logan High School was both energized and excited. He said to his teacher, “I NEVER thought I would get so into this. I mean, Ms. Childers, you didn’t think I’d ever get so into this, right?”
Filming at Fitzgerald
LiMPETS is implementing student communication projects, like science blogging and filmmaking, aimed to take students beyond their monitoring experiences, deeper into the process of science. The goal is for teachers and students to think critically about their monitoring results and communicate the broader meaning of their work to a variety of audiences. Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve provided LiMPETS with two GoPro cameras. A GoPro captures high-quality video, and in its waterproof housing, can withstand being dropped on the rocks, rolled in the sand, and pounded by waves. It’s durable, much like the tiny and tough intertidal denizens of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.
Read more about the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and LiMPETS partnership in the FFMR’s Newsletter.