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Winter 2019 Issue

December 1, 2018

NGI and NOAA-NCEI Partner for Outreach Event at NASA Infinity Science Center for NASA's 60th Anniversary

Our team staffed the NGI-NOAA/NCEI trawling activity tables at the Infinity Science Center SSC Family Day and NASA 60th Anniversary event on Saturday, September 29 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Well over two hundred kids and several adults participated in our trawl activity! We also had several people who stopped by the talk about our science and check out the booth.

The activity idea was borrowed from Chris Simoniellos GCOOS activity and modified for our use. Our activity consisted of having the participants: select a small or large mesh net for the trawl, pull the net through the container filled with animals, sorting the animals into groups, recording the counts on a field sheet, then transferring those counts to a cumulative bar graph representing the total catch for the day.

The idea of having large and small mesh results graphed separately shows how the trends in the types of animals caught changes based on gear selection. This activity tells the story of how NOAA studies fisheries from the planning phase (gear selection) to pulling the trawl by sorting types of organisms, enumerating and recording counts, and bringing those results back to the lab to create visual products for distribution. Staff discusses why we care about fisheries, reasons you may choose a particular gear, and how the data are used to make important decisions.