Green

Category contains 21 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Discovery Channel calls it shark week but here at Courageous we call it Shark Supporters Week!

Sharks are a very important topic to include in any marine biology or environmental science program.  They are misunderstood creatures that are rapidly disappearing from our waters due to negative perceptions of sharks by humans. A majority of the over 500 species of sharks are currently listed as endangered or threatened because of human interactions.  People view sharks as man hunters because of movies, news reports, and other media, but in reality, humans are the actual hunters.  For every 1 human killed each year by sharks, people kill about 70 million sharks- that is over 11,000 sharks killed every hour!  Check out this amazing graph demonstrating this fact

The intention of Shark Supporters Week is to endear people to sharks and inform people about these amazing, critically endangered sea creatures.  I hope others will also start to spread the word about the importance of sharks instead of highlighting rare shark attacks. 

Stay tuned for some fun, educational shark activities!

in Green

 

This week, to celebrate our Fish Fanatics theme, we learned about fishing practices in order to highlight the importance that fish and fishing plays in the Boston Harbor ecosystem and local economy.  I altered an activity about declining shark populations to teach about how the fishing practices of hook and line, gillnets, long lines, and trawls. 

The lesson above demonstrates, in an active and fun way, how four of the most common fishing practices work.  Click here to learn more about fishing practices and about the fish on your plate.

Our fishing game this week has everyone ready for SHARK SUPPORTERS week next week!

in Green

 

To continue this week’s seabird theme, I facilitated two different activities with the youth program students focusing on migration and feathers.

The first activity, involving feathers and what happens to a bird’s feathers in an oil spill, can be found here.

Keys to this activity are to allow students time to observe their feather, think about the behavior of seabirds, and ponder how an oil spill might affect a seabird.  Though this activity requires materials such as vegetable oil, dish soap, and feathers it clearly demonstrates how feathers function and are negatively affected by oil.  Additionally, because the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred only three years ago, many students still remember and can relate to this tragedy.

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in Green

Every Tuesday during the summer at Courageous is Trash Race Tuesday!  Last week, Emily wrote about Trash Races but I would like to write a bit more about the full instructions and intention of this activity.

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in Green

This week’s theme is Seabird Specialists!  Boston has many seabirds, which our sailing students often see out on the water.  Cormorants, gulls, and terns are among the most frequently noted species.  Though seabirds might not be the most glamorous creatures, they play an important role in the ecosystem and are actually more interesting than they might appear.  For example, Artic Terns, who often stop by Boston Harbor along their annual migration route, have one of the longest migrations (by distance) of any bird- traveling about 25,000 miles each year!

Cormorants are one of the animals that spend the most time in the water around the sailing center and tend to raise the most questions among our sailing students.  These sleek, black birds are some of the fastest and deepest diving birds in the world!  Most commonly, cormorants are spotted sitting on mooring balls and rocks with their wings outstretched because their feathers are not waterproof, unlike other birds whose feathers repel water to keep them warm.  Cormorant’s feathers intentionally absorb water to help weigh them down so they can dive deeper and faster to catch fish. 

Both cormorants and terns inspired this week’s activities.  More information on that coming soon!

in Green