SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 22, March 2017 - Page 98

umber of participants: Students belonging to freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes total 60 active students

in seven different committees. {Educational Outreach, Fundraising, Weekly Educationals, Environmental, National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) team, Whale-watching/hands-on science experiments/research expeditions, and Cabrillo Aquarium and Aquarium of the Pacific lecture series participation and transport. The club is affiliated to the LA Maritime Institute.

A description of the participants and demographics: The Marine Biology Club consists of students of Hispanic and African-American descent, ages 14-18 that come from low-income primarily immigrant families. Most of the students live in the community of Lennox and Inglewood and have seen first-hand the lack of bilingual resources in their Spanish-speaking community. With this as an incentive, all club members share an interest in serving their community through the dissemination of their knowledge on marine life, helping to end marine pollution, understanding global climate change, etc.

How do we conduct outreach for our educational program? The club participates in numerous activities at which bilingual flyers and pamphlets are distributed. The students visit the beach and pier and inform local fishermen about the potential dangers in fish they caught off the Redondo Pier. Middle and High school classes from Lennox, as well as numerous parent meetings are presented with PowerPoints and informational pamphlets by our students. As a condition of membership all club members are mandated to learn about and participate in outreach activities twice annually that might also include: environmental fairs, Earth Day, Sea Faire, Roots & Shoots, South Bay Water & Harvest Festivals, etc.

Thousands of bilingual pamphlets are handed out annually and scores of hours are spent delivering our message (through PowerPoint presentations and a student produced video) to other students. We reach an estimated 4,000 plus students, families, fishermen and community residents annually with Seafood Watch cards, brochures from the Physicians for Social Responsibility (mercury impacts) and safe fish preparation. They have also presented at teacher workshops at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium organized by COSEE-West and annually at a minimum of 5 Earth Day events in addition to Lennox health fairs, community events, etc.

A description of what has been accomplished: We carry out community wide educational efforts speaking to the youth and parents of Lennox and Inglewood in their native language, Spanish, about the marine environment and their impact on it. We distribute thousands of brochures to residents and fishermen/fisherwomen about the dangers of specific fish consumption, like White Croaker, caused by pollution/toxins emanating from land drainage and sewers.

We develop leadership by increasing the number of students capable of presenting the PowerPoint and accompanying oral content. By students attending the Cabrillo and Long Beach Aquaria lectures, Natural History Museum’s First Fridays and others we broaden students’ understanding of science- oceanography to molecular biology. Students participate in a 4-day research and adventure trip annually to Monterey Bay, San Diego or USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina.

Making presentations at Earth Day, health fairs, and parent events helps students develop public speaking skills and increase their knowledge of our environment and our mission. By training our newest members, we add strength because more students can carry out major responsibilities and assume club leadership. Members currently help 4 local High & Middle schools form similar educational/activist organizations. We have weekly educationals of 20 minutes at mandatory Thursday after-school club meetings. We’ve secured scores of scholarships & internships for members from: The Coastal Studies School for Girls (Maine), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USC Wrigley Center (Catalina), UCLA, JPL, COSMOS, Earthwatch, and USC Stem Cell research.

For more information, contact club advisor Mark Friedman at Marklewisfriedman@gmail.com

In-Depth: The Animo High School Student Marine Biology & Environmental Club

Mark Friedman

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March 2017 - Ocean Literacy

98 - SEVENSEAS