Space Coast Jr./Sr. Partners With Ocearch To Make Positive Change In Marine Science

By  //  April 12, 2016

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Ocearch To Present seminar On Thursday

Joining forces with Ocearch, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting global conservation and awareness efforts by expanding data collection, analysis, and research of great white sharks and other keystone marine species, students at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High have been tagged as partners in a seafaring quest to make positive ripples of change in the world of marine science. (Facebook image)

Joining forces with the conservation organization Ocearch are students at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High, lead by marine science and biology teacher, Jennifer Cotton. (Facebook image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Joining forces with Ocearch – a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting global conservation and awareness efforts and research of great white sharks and other keystone marine species – students at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High have been tagged as partners to make positive change in marine science.

Four years ago, Space Coast Jr./Sr. marine science and biology teacher, Jennifer Cotton, reached out to Ocearch founder Chris Fischer in search of answers to complex student questions regarding sharks’ impact on the ocean as a whole.

Through multiple classroom Skype sessions, Fischer and the Ocearch crew have served as excellent resources by walking the students through the team’s Global Shark Tracker program, which provides waves of real-time data, enabling educators to hook students with an engaging STEM-focused educational experience.

Students track pings produced each time a shark’s dorsal fin breaches the surface of the water.

The classes study how various factors affect migration patterns such as typography, water temperatures, seasonal trends, and moon phases. Students also perform an in-depth comparative analysis to develop still further knowledge and expertise of marine life.

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Fischer recently arranged for Space Coast students to meet the Ocearch crew and tour the M/V OCEARCH, an at-sea laboratory used to safely lift, tag, and release mature sharks. Ocearch even named a newly tagged shark ‘Viper’ in honor of the Space Coast mascot.

Jennifer Cotton

Jennifer Cotton

“Working with Ocearch has been an amazing partnership,” said Cotton.

“Analyzing great white shark migration is important because they are a vulnerable species and we need to know where their mating and birthing grounds are so we can protect those areas.”

Coordinated by the Florida Sport Fishing Association, Space Coast Jr./Sr. will host an upcoming speaking engagement where Ocearch’s Brandon Eyre, ship manager, and Todd Goggins, first mate, will address interested BPS students and community members on Thursday from 6-8 p.m.

For more information or to make reservations for the Ocearch speaking engagement, please contact Cotton at cotton.jennifer@brevardschools.org

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