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Spring, 2019 Issue

March 5, 2019

NGI / NCEI Visiting Scientists to NASA Infinity Science Center

Our team staffed the NGI-NOAA/NCEI trawling activity tables at the Infinity Science Center Home School Monday event on the 25th of February from 09:00 to 13:00. Well over one hundred children accompanied by their parents and siblings participated in our trawl activity! We also had several interested citizens who stopped by the talk about our science and check out the booth.

The activity idea was borrowed from Chris Simoniellos GCOOS activity and modified for our use. Our activity consisted of having the participants: select a small or large mesh net for the trawl, pull the net through the container filled with animals, sorting the animals into groups, recording the counts on a field sheet, then transferring those counts to a cumulative bar graph representing the total catch for the day.

The idea of having large and small mesh results graphed separately shows how the trends in the types of animals caught changes based on gear selection. This activity tells the story of how NOAA studies fisheries from the planning phase (gear selection) to pulling the trawl by sorting types of organisms, enumerating and recording counts, and bringing those results back to the lab to create visual products for distribution. Staff discusses why we care about fisheries, reasons you may choose a particular gear, and how the data are used to make important decisions.