The International SeaKeepers Society and Frost Science invite middle and high school educators in South Florida to apply for a two and a half day professional development opportunity in Miami, Florida. Through hands-on field experiences and educational activities, teachers will use Biscayne Bay as a case study to explore anthropogenic impacts on different ecosystems found along coastal communities.

Teachers will receive a Certificate of Completion for this professional development activity. Miami-Dade County educators who are accepted and complete the workshop will receive 16 master plan points (MPP).

Upcoming Workshop:

Frost Science & International SeaKeepers Society

Teacher Workshop in Miami, FL

September 29th - October 1st, 2023

Applications due Wednesday, September 6th at 11:59pm

Decisions distributed by Tuesday, September 12th at 11:59pm

Mandatory virtual pre-workshop meeting Thursday, September 21st at 4pm

Activity 1: Ecological Impacts of Urban Cities

Biscayne Bay is the crown jewel of Miami, however, the Bay’s proximity to such a large and ever-growing city in a highly populated state has left lasting impacts on its ecosystems. Through a set of on-the-water activities, teachers will learn the history of Biscayne Bay, the ecosystems that it encompasses, and the threats it currently faces. Teachers will learn about the impacts of pollution on this body of water, take measurements of water quality, and meet some of the habitants of the Bay. These activities will provide hands-on experiences to illustrate the ecological impact of humans on coastlines, which will be later applied to more local examples.

Activity 2: Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Ecosystems

Plastic pollution has become a large issue across the world, from busy urban areas to even the most remote islands. To learn more about the impact of such debris on wildlife, teachers will visit a small, remote island known to be a nesting area for many local birds, and collect data to determine the most common types of marine debris and plastic on the island. Teachers will discuss sources of the most common items, and propose solutions for reducing plastic on the individual scale as well as community scale.

Activity 3: Biology & Ecology of Marine Organisms

Miami is home to many different types of marine life. After exploring Biscayne Bay and becoming familiar with many of the species that reside in this area, teachers will head into the
coastal waters of the Atlantic to explore reef ecosystems and their residents. Through a snorkeling tour, teachers will learn about the different adaptations fish use to thrive in different environments and explore the role of coral reefs as ecosystem engineers.

Activity 4: Bringing it Home

South Florida has incredible biodiversity, especially when it comes to marine and freshwater animals. In this concluding workshop, teachers will discuss activities and techniques that they have used and/or can use in their own classrooms to bring information learned throughout the workshop to students.

Other experiences:

Throughout the experience, teachers will learn about the International SeaKeepers Society, Frost Science’s programming for teachers, as well as conservation research efforts by local and global scientists.

Please review the tentative itinerary here

DAY 1 – Friday, September 29th:

Afternoon: teachers arrive & meet at Frost Science
5PM: Welcome, Brief Introduction to SeaKeepers & Frost Science, Ice Breaker Activity (led by SK)
6:00PM: Guest Speaker – Introduction to Biscayne Bay, Miami Waterkeeper 1000 Eyes on the Water Training
7:30PM: Dinner at local restaurant, speaker invited

DAY 2 – Saturday, September 30th:

9:30AM: Teachers and staff meet at TBD marina
10AM - 11:30AM: Activity 1: Introduction to Biscayne Bay, local pollution, and water quality (led by SK)
11:45AM – 12:30PM: Lunch on picnic island
12:30PM - 2PM: Activity 2: Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Ecosystems (led by SK)
2-4PM: Break
*Pending backup activities in case of bad weather
3:30 - 4PM: Independent travel to Frost Science
4PM - 6:30PM: Classroom Lesson on Fisheries Sustainability at Frost & tour (led by Frost Science Education Team)
6:30PM: Released for travel home

DAY 3 – Sunday, October 1st:

9:30AM: Meet at Pier 66
10AM – 12:30PM: Activity 3: Biology & Ecology of Marine Organisms, lunch on boat (led by SK)
*Pending backup activities in case of bad weather
12:30PM-2PM: Break
2PM-2:30PM: Independent travel to Frost Science
3PM-5:30PM: Activity 4: Bringing it Home, Workshop feedback, experience sharing, conclusions (led by SK)
6PM: Farewells and released for travel home

SC.912.E.7: Earth Systems and Patterns
SC.912.N.1: The Practice of Science
SC.912.N.2: The Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge
SC.912.N.4: Science and Society

Contact Information:

Toni Lohroff, M.S.

Education Manager
International SeaKeepers Society
[email protected]
+1 269-369-5766

Analisa Duran

Assistant Director of Education
Frost Science
[email protected]
+1 305-434-9504