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Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium Workshops will teach coastal science

By Daniel McBride

THIBODAUX — Scientists aim to teach adults about the coastal environment that impacts their everyday lives in a new program at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in Cocodrie.

The series of lectures and activities is intended to give locals a hands-on perspective on marine science. The first workshop is scheduled for Saturday, and five more are planned between March and June 2011.

“The goal of the workshops is to increase the public awareness of coastal issues,” said Murt Conover, the LUMCON associate who wrote the $20,000 grant that is paying for the six workshops.

The money comes from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, working with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. The workshops are intended to provide people ages 18 and older with information on water quality, nutrients, ecosystems and conservation along the Gulf coast.

Each workshop will feature a LUMCON scientist talking about a particular issue. Participants will travel on one of the consortium’s research vessels into the Gulf of Mexico. Participants will also test what they’ve learned through experiments at LUMCON’s labs.

Taught by LUMCON scientist Ed Chesney, Saturday’s workshop will focus on Louisiana’s fisheries. It will be the first of a two-part workshop: Part 2 will be held April 2.

Here is the schedule of next year’s topics:

– Plankton populations and water quality, March 12.

– Climate change, May 14.

– Salt marsh geology and ecology, May 21.

– Dead zones, June 4.

In addition to traveling on a research vessel and hands-on experiments, each workshop also includes a tour of LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center and lunch.

The workshops cost $10 per person per session and registration, including a medical waiver, is required. Advance registration is not required, but it is encouraged because space is limited, according to LUMCON spokeswoman Holly Hebert.

Registration for Saturday’s workshop begins at 9 a.m. at the DeFelice Marine Center, 8124 La. 56. The workshop is expected to last until after 3 p.m.

Registration forms can be found on the organization’s website, www.lumcon.edu. For information call Conover at 851-2860 or Hebert at 851-2842.

Staff Writer Daniel McBride can be reached at 448-7635 or daniel.mcbride@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @BayouSchools.

source: Workshops will teach coastal science | DailyComet.com

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