Youth Volunteers To Present Symposium

May 06, 2008

Oregon Coast Aquarium youth volunteers will present a symposium on six different marine topics May 24 at the Aquarium. Six groups, including Nye ARMS (Awareness, Research, Monitoring, and Stewardship), the NOSB Team (National Ocean Science Bowl), Green Teens, Native Plants Team, Oddwater Team and Animal Enrichment Team will give presentations about their projects. When the youths are not presenting they will be at tables in the Aquarium lobby displaying posters about their projects and answering questions. The presentations are open to the public and will be held in the Aquarium Theater. There is no extra charge for the programs after regular Aquarium admission.

“Youth volunteers have been hard at work over the winter on projects that have increased their knowledge while supporting Aquarium needs,” said Renee Rensmeyer, Aquarium Youth Volunteer Coordinator. “They will be present their projects and provide tips on what you can do to help.” Rensmeyer said the youths have become knowledgeable about their topics and have shown a high level of commitment as good stewards of the marine environment. “One of the groups, the Nye ARMS, were invited to give their presentation on Nye creek water quality issues at this month’s city council meeting. The group proposed that the city pass an ordinance that would make it illegal to feed the birds and the city was receptive to the idea,” said Rensmeyer.

The Nye ARMS (Awareness, Research, Monitoring, and Stewardship) have been working on solving water quality problems on Nye Creek. They have been working with the Surfrider foundation and the City of Newport to assist with water testing along the creek to help locate areas with high levels of bacteria. Their efforts recently expanded to litter clean up when they noticed litter on the creek during a recent water sampling of an area behind the library.

The NOSB Team (National Ocean Science Bowl) competed in a regional competition, learned about oceanography and created a booklet titled “Oceanography for Dummies.” They will distribute the booklet to Aquarium volunteers, talk about their project and present a mock competition.

The Green Teens group has been working to make the Aquarium a “greener” place through the creation of recycling signs, creating a newsletter and working with CoastWatch to develop a marine debris survey. Their presentation will include a skit that covers what it means to be green and how you can live a greener life. They will also talk about the CoastWatch survey and how to get involved.

The Native Plants Team has worked with the Aquarium grounds crew to clear an area of invasive scotch broom and replant it with native trees. They were also involved in an invasive species removal at South Beach State Park with the Surfrider foundation. Their group will be presenting on this topic and will give helpful tips on what you can do to get rid of invaders and why it is important to plant with native species.

The Oddwater Team has been working to develop a booklet on Oddwater animals for volunteers to use when interpreting. Oddwater is a new Aquarium exhibit opening Memorial Day weekend. They will give a presentation on the highlights of Oddwater and what went into making the exhibit.

The Animal Enrichment Team worked with the animal husbandry department to learn about animal enrichment and develop new tools for the animals. They will present a program on types of enrichment that are commonly used and tell about their experiments.

The Youth Volunteer Symposium schedule May 24:

  • Green Teens: 10:30 am, 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm
  • Oddwater Team: 10:45 am, 12:25 am and 1:45 pm
  • Nye ARMS: 11:00 am, 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm
  • NOSB (National Ocean Science Bowl): 11:15 am, 12:45 pm and 2:15 pm
  • Native Plants Team: 11:30 am, 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm
  • Animal Enrichment Team: 11:45 am, 1:15 pm and 2:45 pm

For more information about the symposium and the youth volunteer programs, contact Renee Rensmeyer, Aquarium Youth Volunteer Coordinator at (541) 867-3474 ext 5312.