2017 Synthesis Unit immerses students in Ocean Health

EXCITING NEWS: This film has been selected as a finalist in the Raw Science Film Festival 2017!

Congratulations Anacapa!

"Healthy Ocean, Healthy Sharks," Darcy Bradley (center), Postdoctoral Researcher, Marine Science Institute

“Healthy Ocean, Healthy Sharks,” Darcy Bradley (center), Postdoctoral Researcher, Marine Science Institute

 

Before the Ocean Health Synthesis Unit, I knew vaguely about ocean acidification and temperature changes due to climate change. The Synthesis Unit opened my eyes to how these things happened and the impact they have had on both humans and marine life. – 10th grade

Anacapa’s mission to engage students in the big issues that affect all of us was on full display for the first three days of the new semester. Our 2017 Synthesis Unit Ocean Health brought 17 world-class scientists and environmentalists into Elliott Hall to speak to our students and faculty about the health of oceans worldwide. The theme for this year’s Synthesis Unit was created in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, which generously provided educational resources and three speakers via SKYPE from Seattle, Mexico, and Washington, D.C.

Ocean Health probed the impacts humans are having on the oceans of the world and ways to improve the health of the oceans.  In addition to the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the following organizations helped bring the world into our students’ lives: the UCSB National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS); UCSB’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program; UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; the California Academy of Sciences; the Southwest Fisheries Science Center; the UCSB Sustainable Fisheries Group; the Ocean Media Institute; Heal the Ocean; Santa Barbara Channelkeeper; and Ocean Futures Society.

Students are now busy working on their individual research reports and group film projects, which include the following six groups: Garbage, Over fishing, Habitat destruction, Chemical pollution, Warming, and Acidification.

"Measuring and Mapping the Health of the World’s Oceans," Ben Halpern, Ph.D., Director of the UCSB National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

“Measuring and Mapping the Health of the World’s Oceans,” Ben Halpern, Ph.D., Director of the UCSB National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

"Using Robotics to Study and Explore the Oceans," Kyle Neumann, Ph.D. Student, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science at UCSB

“Using Robotics to Study and Explore the Oceans,” Kyle Neumann, Ph.D. Student, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science at UCSB

 

"Human Trafficking and Labor Abuse in the Thai Seafood Supply Chain," Steve Sapienza, Senior Producer, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

“Human Trafficking and Labor Abuse in the Thai Seafood Supply Chain,” Steve Sapienza, Senior Producer, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

"An Update on the Vaquita, is Extinction Imminent?" Elizabeth Becker, Ph.D., Marine Research Scientist/Contractor, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

“An Update on the Vaquita, is Extinction Imminent?” Elizabeth Becker, Ph.D., Marine Research Scientist/Contractor, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Take a look at the amazing line up of speakers.

See more photos on Facebook.

 

Additional Student Testimonials:

I learned that there is no ocean space untouched by humans. That is important because it means that we have done more damage than I realized. I also learned that some coral reefs are dying. I think this is important because coral reefs are diverse ecosystems. Without the coral, the other species will die. – 7th grade

Before the Synthesis Unit, I saw these [climate change and pollution] as problems that can be resolved quickly, but it is not so easy. Everyone has to do something to make our ocean healthy. – 9th grade

One of the most important points I learned is how I can personally monitor my use of plastics, and the need to be hyper vigilant about where  my fish comes from, to only eat organic, sustainable fish. – 12th grade

As man became such an important influence on all our surroundings, human impact is the major cause of any ocean changes. It is fearful to think about our capability of destruction, and that should inspire us to do more to protect the environment, the best we can. – 12th grade