NEWARK, Del. — The Delaware Sea Grant College Program at the University of Delaware invites people interested in learning more about coastal scientific research and how Sea Grant engages with the community in a meaningful way to join the first-ever virtual Coast Day, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.
Since 1976, UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and Delaware Sea Grant have held the event at UD’s Lewes Campus but this year, because of coronavirus (COVID-19), the event will be held online.
Kathryn Coyne, director of Delaware Sea Grant, hopes that this event will broaden participation.
“Hosting a virtual event this year gives us a wonderful opportunity to share the broad range of exciting research and outreach activities of Delaware Sea Grant and UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment with participants across the U.S. and other regions of the world,” said Coyne.
Despite being virtual, Coast Day will still feature several interactive elements, from at-home science demonstrations to craft projects for families to complete and share on social media. Learn more about the projects at www.deseagrant.org/coastdaycreate including where kits for some of the projects can be picked up before the event.
Coast Day will also have presentations that follow two tracks: an Exploration Track and an Investigation Track. The Exploration Track is sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean, Energy Management (BOEM) and the Investigation Track is sponsored by the Delaware Electric Municipal Corporation (DEMEC).
The Exploration Track includes talks for families and teachers, follow-along activities and information about possible career fields in marine science with topics such as Working on the Ocean, Pathways in Marine Science, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Marine Science: A Perspective from NSF.
The Investigation Track will highlight marine science research and ways people can get involved, with topics including Cleaning Up Ghost Pots in the Inland Bays; Oysters, from Rehoboth Bay to Raw Bar; and Assessing Microplastics in the Delaware Bay.
Attending sessions on Coast Day and seeing participants’ completed projects will require registration. You can register now and get a preview of what kinds of materials will be available at www.deseagrant.org/coast-day-registration.
The theme of Coast Day 2020 is Planet by Numbers and the popular essay and photo contests follow this theme.
The fifth Grade Essay Contest asks participants to write about a virtual data set and what the dataset shows, what trends they see, how scientists or communities could use these data, and what actions the student could take that would influence these data in the future.
The photo contest asks participants to take pictures of Delmarva’s natural landscape that feature sequenced, fractal, or other numeric patterns, such as those observed in certain leaves, pinecones, and plant structures, insect and animal anatomies, as well as other subjects.
For more information and to stay up to date on a list of speakers, visit the Coast Day website at www.deseagrant.org/coast-day.
–Adam Thomas, University of Delaware