This week, Kate Furby (a PhD student of the Sandin’s lab) and I were at Balboa Park, judging the San Diego Science Fair with the Association for Women in Science. We spent several hours talking to middle school girls about their science fair projects. We may be a little biased, but our favorites were definitely the ocean-related ones. There were some very interesting projects about marine plants and ocean acidification, shark behavior, and bacteria in the sand at local beaches. We were really impressed with the dedication to science, and it was inspiring to think that some of these bright students will be the next generation of coral reef scientists.-Jill Harris, PhD student
Science outreach is an extremely vital tool for the Smith Lab, as well as for scientists around the world. Scientists discover new species, create new things, and understand how plants and animals work together to create a perfectly balanced ecosystem. It’s amazing! But what good is knowledge if you don’t share it?
Sharing research about coral reef ecology does not just benefit the public, but it’s a also a priceless tool for the members of the Smith Lab as well. Outreach provides an opportunity for them to improve their teaching and presentation skills, thus allowing them to improve their ability to communicate their own specific research to a broader audience.
We love participating in various outreach programs from interacting with the community right here in San Diego, to presenting our research at national scientific conferences. We are focused on understanding how humans impact marine ecosystems and developing strategies for restoring or preserving these environments for future generations. Knowledge is power and it’s meant to be shared to all so that together we can make a difference!
Written by: Tiffany Teng