Celebrate Skidaway Marine Science Day with UGA Marine Extension on Saturday, Oct. 16

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Marine Extension Service invites adults and children to an afternoon of marine science programs, displays, tours and hands-on activities at Skidaway Marine Science Day 2010 on Saturday, Oct. 16, from noon to 4 p.m. on Skidaway Island.

Skidaway Marine Science Day will feature an open house of the Skidaway Island campus with activities, primarily related to marine science, for all ages from young children to adults. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The event will be presented by the campus’s marine research and education organizations, including the University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium and the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory, both part of the university’s Marine Extension Service, as well as the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and WSVH Georgia Public Radio.

The UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium will be open with no admission fee. In addition, the aquarium education staff will offer visitors a full afternoon of activities including science talks, a reptile show, boat tours, touch tanks, and behind-the-scene tours of the aquarium. The Savannah Blood Alliance will be on-site and will make donations to the aquarium for each blood donor. FM radio WZAT 102.1 will be broadcasting the event, live.

The UGA Shellfish Laboratory will provide visitors with displays and information on marine life on the Georgia Coast. Children will be given the opportunity to help protect the marine environment by bagging oyster shells used for oyster reef restoration projects.

The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will offer a variety of activities for adults and children, including tours of the Research Vessel Savannah and smaller research vessels; science displays and talks on current research programs; and hands-on science activities.

The staff of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary will set up their remotely-operated-vehicle in a swimming pool and teach visitors how to drive it and pick up objects from the bottom of the pool.

WSVH Georgia Public Radio will be open for visitors.

Another activity at this year’s Skidaway Marine Science Day will be a high-tech treasure hunt dubbed “Skiocache.” The event is modeled after the increasingly popular “geocache” activities in which treasure hunters use GPS devices to track down the locations of hidden prizes. Using their own GPS devices, they will track down the various piles of hidden loot. Participants without a GPS device will still be able to participate and will receive a different set of clues.

Skidaway Institute professor Bill Savidge will present a special program aimed at parents and students involved in science fair projects. The program, “How to prepare a successful science fair project,” will be presented twice, at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the McGowan Library Auditorium.

For the second year in a row, Skidaway Marine Science Day will also be open to non-campus scientific and environmental groups. Organizations such as the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will be on-hand to present information, displays and activities.

School classes or other large groups wishing to attend Skidaway Marine Science Day can be accommodated only through advance arrangements. For additional information, call 912/598-2338.

All activities at Skidaway Marine Science Day will be free. For additional information, call 912/598-2338, or see www.marex.uga.edu/aquarium.