COAST delivers and facilitates workshops to learn more about sea life for the public and for schools. We are happy to adapt sessions for groups. For example, in spring and summer 2018 at the Octopus Centre we had the following activities:
Plankton discovery: explore under the microscope the smallest inhabitants of our seas, how they float, what they eat and who eats them, why they have such amazing shapes and colours. This activity can be complemented by two more sessions, one with an interactive presentation about plankton and making a plankton sample collector, and an outdoor session in which participants explore the shore, collect the samples themselves and examine the water conditions (wellington boots required for this!)
Seaweed identification and foraging: we organised a course where interested people, including local restaurant owners, learnt about edible seaweeds and plants from Mark at Galloway Wild Foods.
Our team can offer short sessions on seaweed identification, collection and fun scientific experiments with the seaweed samples back at the Octopus Centre.
Seasearch training: If there are enough interested snorkellers and divers we can organise for Seasearch Scotland to come and deliver a training course to learn how to identify different types of underwater substrates, sea life and how to survey these. Once you become a certified snorkeller or diver, your data will be reviewed and incorporated in the National Marine Biodiversity Network Database. This is a vital example of citizen science, in the UK, as it covers an area of data collection and management that is used to guide environmental policy and which the current government does not invest the resources in themselves.