Life is Good – Our Ocean

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Our Ocean

“Blue Winks” Courtesy of Peter Schaefer and UnderWaterCam

I’m on the board of an organization called Malama Pupukea – Waimea on the North Shore of Oahu whose focus is on preservation and education (free) to the public. Visit their Website at The director is Barbara Whitman, a marine biologist. Barbara is holding classes for adults over the next month or so. This from her desk:

Learn about our MLCD (Marine Life Conservation District). Science is very logical. It is not as difficult as most people think. And to be honest, it can be incredibly entertaining. It has kept my attention for 40 years and I get bored easily. This class will try to paint a picture of the marine environment so that it makes sense. No random facts to remember, just a logical understanding of how the marine ecosystem operates. Every topic is part of the entire picture. No subject stands alone – they are all connected. And they all make sense.

The Ocean Environment: In order to understand life in the sea, we need to know a little about the ocean they live in. The Animals: The sea houses a huge variety of creatures. We’ll discuss them from the aspect of where they live, how they live, their physiology and behavior. Wait until you hear about some of the things that go on in the ocean – you can’t make this stuff up. The Drifters: Plankton – they’re not all small but boy are they all important. The Swimmers: fish, marine reptiles, marine mammals, nearshore and open-ocean. The Bottom Dwellers: Deep-sea and nearshore fish, invertebrates. Marine Ecosystems: Coral Reefs,Tidepools,Rocky Shores,Sandy Beaches, Islands. Humans and the Ocean: From the mountains to the sea.

Throughout the classes, components will be tied together so that life in the sea is understandable. We will not study one topic and then move to the next. Because everything is interconnected, different pieces of the puzzle will be presented at the right time. You will learn how scientists get this information and do some sampling and field and lab work yourself. At least every other class will be at the shore or in the water.

Where: 84-231 Holt Street, Waianae – past Makaha Shores. First left on Makau. First right on Holt. House is on the left.
When: Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. beginning February 11, 2012 
Who: Classes are designed for adults
How: Classes are informal and interactive with activities designed to illustrate concepts. Come prepared to have fun. Bring your sense of humor. There is no set syllabus in order to provide a natural flow from one topic of interest to another which may be affected by your comments and interests each week. The overall idea of the class is to make logical and understandable connections between all the elements of the marine environment so that they make sense to you. 
Cost: $25/class includes all equipment and materials. You are responsible for providing your own transportation to classes or field sites.
 The first class, February 11th, is free. If you sign up, the rest of February is half price.
 For more information on what to bring and how to contact Barbara Whitman: Barbara Whitman (Marine Biologist/Educator) 808-551-6712

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