Tag Archives: skidaway marine science day

Annual open house attracts large crowd

More than 2,400 visitors attended Skidaway Marine Science Day on Saturday, October 13. This campus-wide open house event was sponsored by UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The free event included a wide range of displays, tours and activities for children and adults.

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Skidaway Marine Science Campus weathers Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is now a memory, but like most of the coastal area, the Skidaway Marine Science Campus still bears signs of its passage.

The Skidaway Institute docks were heavily damaged by wave action at both at the main campus and the Priest Landing sites. While most of the campus buildings remained above the water line, the storm surge inundated some of the facilities shops at the north end of the campus with up to 24 inches of water. Due to the water damage, extensive internal repairs were needed.

One of Skidaway Institute's shop buildings at the height of the storm.

One of Skidaway Institute’s shop buildings at the height of the storm.

The UGA Aquarium was able to reopen the weekend following the storm, but parts of the Jay Wolfe Nature Trail remain closed due to downed trees and debris.

It also became necessary to cancel the campus’s annual open house event, Skidaway Marine Science Day. Both Clark Alexander, interim director of UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, and Mark Risse, director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, had hoped to reschedule the event, but no other date was available this fall.

Downed trees and storm debris near Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary's building.

Downed trees and storm debris near Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary’s building.

“We are upset we are not able to offer this great event this year,” Alexander said. “However, we will be back bigger and stronger in 2017.”

Skidaway Marine Science Day has been an annual event on the Skidaway campus since 2001. The free, family-oriented program is presented jointly by the UGA Skidaway Institute, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

Skidaway Marine Science Day to feature Georgia’s first oyster hatchery

A close-up look at Georgia’s first oyster hatchery will be one of the featured attractions at Skidaway Marine Science Day on Saturday, Oct. 24. The campus-wide open house will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Island campus, located on the north end of the island.

The oyster research team will provide behind-the-scenes tours of the new hatchery, which is a project of the UGA Marine Extension’s Shellfish Laboratory and Georgia Sea Grant, units of UGA Public Service and Outreach. It is hoped the oyster hatchery will make the Georgia oyster industry more durable, contribute to aquaculture diversification and elevate one of Georgia’s best-kept culinary secrets from the backyard roast to the tables of the finest restaurants from Savannah to Atlanta and beyond.

The hatchery tour is just one feature of a lengthy program of activities, displays and tours making the annual event one that attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography’s 92-foot ocean-going Research Vessel Savannah will be open for tours and will exhibit science displays.

Tour the Skidaway Institute’s ocean-going Research Vessel Savannah.

Tour the Skidaway Institute’s ocean-going Research Vessel Savannah.

Elsewhere on campus, Skidaway Institute will present a variety of marine science exhibits and hands-on science activities, including the ever-popular Microbe Hunt and Plankton Sink-Off. Skidaway Institute scientists will present a series of short, informal talks and question-and-answer sessions on current scientific and environmental issues.

The UGA Aquarium, operated by UGA Marine Extension, will be open to visitors with no admission fee. Aquarium educators will offer visitors an afternoon full of activities including a hands-on reptile exhibit, behind-the-scenes peeks of the aquarium, fish feedings and microscope investigations.

The Reptile Experience fascinates nature lovers of all ages.

The Reptile Experience fascinates nature lovers of all ages.

A brand new touch tank exhibit will allow guests of all ages to get up close and personal with common coastal invertebrates.

Touch tanks allow visitors to experience sea creatures   up close.

Touch tanks allow visitors to experience sea creatures up close.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary will offer visitors the experience of using the tools of the trade. They can explore an underwater reef with a remotely operated vehicle and find out how youth can participate in Savannah’s own MATE ROV competition. ROVs are underwater robots used on NOAA research vessels worldwide and are crucial for data collection in marine environments.

"Fly" an underwater ROV with Gray's Reef.

“Fly” an underwater ROV with Gray’s Reef.

A photo booth will allow visitors to visualize themselves SCUBA diving at Gray’s Reef or in other exotic settingsand will be able to post their pictures on social media.

Along with the campus organizations, Skidaway Marine Science Day will also include displays, demonstrations and activities from a wide range of science, environmental and education groups, such as The Dolphin Project, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and The Nature Conservancy. Georgia Power will be on hand to provide information on the upcoming wind turbine project planned for the Skidaway Institute campus.

All activities at Skidaway Marine Science Day are free. For additional information, call 912-598-2325, or see http://www.skio.uga.edu.

Campus open house attracts more than 2,000

Close to 2,000 visitors enjoyed a beautiful day visiting Skidaway Marine Science Day on Saturday, October 25.

The campus-wide open house featured exhibits, programs and activities sponsored by the campus partners, including the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service Aquarium, the Marine Extension Service Shellfish Laboratory and the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

As in past years, the open house event also featured a number of outside environmental organizations.

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