By Adam Cook
Covering 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is one of the most fascinating natural wonders of the world. The mysteriousness of the ocean tends to strike curiosity in a lot of people and cause them to want to learn more about it.
On Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., UNH will be putting on its annual Ocean Discovery Day at the Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory. The event will be geared towards anyone who is curious about sea life, and wants to learn more about it and the science that goes into gathering data about the ocean.
“All of the opportunities between aquaculture, fisheries and transportations and other things that go on in the ocean are the things we want people to discover at ocean discovery day,” said Mark Wiley, the assistant director of marine education for Sea Grant, and cooperative extension specialist.
Three big organizations will be lending their hands to help out at Ocean Discovery day; they are Sea Grant, Blue Ocean Society, and the Seacoast Science Center. All attendees will be able to speak with representatives from any of the organizations to get more information about sea life and the ocean.
During Ocean Discovery Day there will be tents and tables set up inside and outside with different types of information and attractions that people can check out and learn from. Some of these tents will include a squid dissection, seaweed smoothie station and a shark tank to teach people about how sharks differ from other types of sea life.
“There will be a lot of biology-related exhibits for kids to touch the creatures,” said Wiley.
Along with the biology-related exhibits there will also be a more technological aspect to the event, allowing people to learn more about the engineering side of studying the ocean. There will be demonstrations of remote control operated vehicles and autonomous vehicles in which people will be able to try driving on top of and under the water.
“These simulations are for kids and adults so they can see the data collection that goes into mapping the ocean bottom to creating visualizations of data and how useful the data is,” said Wiley.
Rebecca Zeiber, a science writer for Sea Grant who will be helping out with Ocean Discovery Day said, “We hope that high school students who might be interested in a career in marine science, ocean engineering or a similar field will attend so they can see the wide range of career possibilities and the varied research that takes place at the N.H. Seacoast and throughout the world.”
With a large crowd expected, the organizers of the program hope attendees of all ages will take some sort of valuable lesson away from the event.
“Our hope is to teach the public about all the awesome marine-related research that takes place here at UNH,” said Zeiber.