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The Oceans to Classrooms (O2C) program at MSI is run by REEF DIRECTOR/Staff Research Associate, Scott Simon, and employs undergraduate that serve as docents, mentors and role models to the students through our on-, and off-, campus efforts.
On-campus instruction is done at the Research Experience and Education Facility (the REEF) located adjacent to the beach at UCSB, while off-campus efforts are conducted through the Mobile REEF which are the foci of this increment of funding. In the O2C program students learn about the marine ecosystems off southern California and the environmental and socio-economic challenges that they face. Experiences include learning the natural history of key species that are of ecological and economic importance thorough hands-on experiences with live animals and student-designed experiments on climate impacts on ecosystems including responses to ocean acidification and warming. The current funding will be used integrate current CIMEC research into relevant learning experiences for students and their teachers.
Local teachers will be informed of CIMEC, its goals and current research during teacher professional development activities. Integration is straightforward as CIMEC’s mission and research naturally aligns with existing approaches within O2C.
This increment of funding will focus on the Mobile REEF. The Mobile REEF brings the O2C also experience to classrooms who may not be able to visit the REEF on the UCSB campus. Additional, it may be used as a pre/post campus visit tool to frontload students, or extend learning back in the classroom, respectively. The equipment for students to conduct experiments and live animals are brought to classrooms. The Mobile REEF program will use the same CIMEC research themes and examples to convey the importance and societal relevance of CIMEC research to students and teachers.