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Ocean Institute Holds Girls in Ocean Science Conference for High School Students

Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The Ocean Institute welcomed about 150 high school girls on Saturday, March 16 for the Girls in Ocean Science Teen Conference 2019. Students represented local schools as well as institutions in Los Angeles, Colorado and Arizona.

Participants were able to hear from and interact with six women working in fields related to climate change, environmental advocacy, marine restoration, ecological toxicology and shark studies.

Participants spent the day conducting research with scientists in Ocean Institute labs, out at sea aboard the Ocean Institute’s research vessel, the Sea Explorer, as well as learning how to operate communications equipment for divers and shark researchers.

Guest speaker Andrea Stockert is a videographer and the co-founder for The Ocean Lab, a live-streaming service that captures ocean science expeditions on camera for classrooms. In her introduction to students, Stockert explained that her line of work involved plenty of trial and error.

“We were one of the first teams to figure out how to have a WiFi signal out in the ocean. We had many failures,” Stockert said. “But we learned from each of our failures in order to break ground and make ocean research more accessible.”

Emily Meese, one of the guest speakers, is a graduate student working in California State University, Long Beach’s Shark Lab. Her work focuses on the ecological footprint and activity of horn sharks along the coast of Catalina Island. She says that having women working in science helped inspire her to pursue her career goals when she was a young girl.

“We’re seeing more and more women in science,” Meese said. “It’s important that we offer mentorship to young girls, because they are the future of science. They have just as much to offer.”

To learn more about the guest scientists who participated in Girls in Ocean Science 2019, visit ocean-institute.org.

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