Do Savannnah

Learn what’s in Savannah’s sand, marsh and waters at free Skidaway Marine Science Day

  • Courtesy University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus
  • Photos courtesy University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus
  • Courtesy University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus
  • Courtesy University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus
  • Courtesy University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus
  • Courtesy University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus
 

Learn what’s in Savannah’s sand, marsh and waters at free Skidaway Marine Science Day

10 Oct 2017

Get up close to baby alligators, nonvenomous snakes, various types of crabs and other critters you might see in the sand, around the marsh and in the waters at the free annual Skidaway Marine Science Day.

Learn to understand these creatures; pet them, talk to them and talk about them. John “Crawfish” Crawford and other specialists will be glad to introduce you to them during at the event from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 14 on the University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus at the north end of the island. Skidaway Marine Science Day will also feature eight food trucks.

Remove the fear of the unknown, according to Mike Sullivan, external affairs manager at the University of Georgia School of Oceanography. Learn how to identify and understand the good critters in our environment.

Fish feedings at the aquarium are every 30 minutes starting at 12:30 p.m. until 3, and every 20 minutes from noon to 4 p.m. will be a behind-the-scenes peek of the aquarium. Pick up a free ticket in the lobby to tell you the time slot for your tour, Sullivan said.

Also at the aquarium, run by UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, will be a hands-on reptile exhibit and microscope investigations. A touch tank exhibit will allow guests of all ages to get up close and personal with common coastal invertebrates such as non-pinching spider crabs, whelks and horseshoe crabs.

The UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography’s 92-foot ocean-going Research Vessel Savannah will be open for tours and will exhibit science displays. Elsewhere on campus, Skidaway Institute will present a variety of marine science exhibits and hands-on activities.

The UGA Shellfish Laboratory research team will offer behind-the-scenes tours of Georgia’s only oyster hatchery. Researchers hope the hatchery will make the Georgia oyster aquaculture a more durable and sustainable coastal industry.

A hands-on science activity includes the Plankton Sink Off with competition every 20 minutes. Build your own plankton with pipe cleaners and beads. The slowest plankton to sink down the 3-foot tube wins. Another is the cotton swab test, where you swab anything from a tree outside to human hair or skin and transfer it to a Petri dish. A week later, go online and the scientists will have posted what grew in that week on your swab.

One scientist will give a history of Skidaway Island at 1 p.m. and, if there is an overflow, again at 3 p.m., Sullivan said.

Along with the campus organizations, the day will include displays, demonstrations and activities from a range of nonprofit and governmental science, environmental and education groups, such as The Dolphin Project, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 19 miles east of Sapelo Island between Savannah and Brunswick, will bring the reef to you via virtual reality, Sullivan said. The sanctuary, a division of NOAA, will give you a chance to look through special goggles to see what it would be like to swim around the reef.

Don’t forget to pick up a free tree at the Savannah Tree Foundation tent. Funded by a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation, the Alliance for Community Trees, CSX and Savannah Tree Foundation will have 200 3-gallon container trees to give away.

IF YOU GO

What: Skidaway Marine Science Day

When: Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 14

Where: University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus, 10 Ocean Science Circle

Cost: Free

Info: 912-598-2325, skio.uga.edu

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