Press Release: March 2017

A marine science iBook entitled “Harmful Algal Blooms” has been developed as part of NUI Galway’s contribution to an EU-funded European research project Sea Change. The project aims to raise European citizens’ awareness of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean, or “Ocean Literacy”.

The iBook will be launched by Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research on Monday 13 March at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Opportunities to increase awareness of the ocean are limited in the junior cycle science curriculum across Europe. Dr Christine Domegan, lead methodologist for Sea Change, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, explains: “To co-create Ocean Literacy we need collaboration, discussion, participation and engagement across multiple stakeholders in Europe; from policy makers, to educators, and from media to mariners, children and grandparents.”

This iBook is designed to infuse the engaging story of harmful algal blooms into teaching across the sciences. Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae - simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater - grow out of control while producing toxins that can have harmful effects on fish, shellfish, marine mammals, birds and people.

During the launch, the author, Dr Robin Raine, from Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway, will speak about his experiences at the heart of the book. The audience will also be introduced to the teaching design used within the book, which aims to ensure the content can be taken up by science teachers and students to advance a “Sea Change” in Irish and European Ocean Literacy.

The great response from both teachers and students after piloting the iBook in Irish, Swedish, and Belgian schools is a step forward to introducing Ocean Literacy into more aspects of education. Co-editors Dr Veronica McCauley and Dr Kevin Davison of NUI Galway’s School of Education, believe: “Teachers are becoming more technology-savvy in the classroom and are finding innovative ways to teach the curriculum so that it encourages personal interest in the sciences.”

The importance of the ocean, and therefore Ocean Literacy, cannot be overestimated. The ocean defines and dominates everything about our planet. It is home to most of the life on Earth, regulates our weather and climate, provides much of our oxygen, and helps to feed the human population.

Dr Robin Raine, author and lecturer at NUI Galway, says: “This book will introduce students to important features of our ocean as well as harmful algal blooms. It will act as a resource for teachers to strengthen and promote science through the topic of marine science.”

To confirm your attendance at the launch, please register at: www.eventbrite.ie/e/launch-of-harmful-algal-blooms-ibook-tickets-32407091483.

For further information, contact Dr Veronica McCauley on veronica.mccauley@nuigalway.ie. The iBook is available for download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/harmful-algal-blooms/id1214392876?ls=1&mt=11.

Discover more about past, current and upcoming Sea Change resources and initiatives by following Sea Change on Twitter (@SeaChange_EU) or liking us on Facebook (@SeaChangeProjectEU).

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Sea Change Resources

Resources to help everyone make a SeaChange in their life.

About the Project

Sea Change is an EU H2020 funded project that aims to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them, as Ocean Literate citizens, to take direct and sustainable action towards a healthy ocean, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet.

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Our Ocean, Our Health

The ocean makes planet Earth a habitable place to live and the marine environment is a source of vital human health benefits.

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Consortium

The Sea Change consortium consists of 17 partners from nine different countries, coordinated by the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

This consortium, which comprises nine public research organisations, one SME, five non profit organisations and two higher education institutions, brings together selected experts to collectively provide the knowledge, competence, skills and facilities needed for ensuring a good project development, the achievement of project objectives and the successful delivery of project results.

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    Jon Parr
    Sea Change Coordinator
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    Jon Parr
    Sea Change Coordinator
    jpar@mba.ac.uk

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    Marine Biological Association
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