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Student Leaders from 4H Camp Receive Training from PSGUPR Educational Guides

June 10, 2019

On Monday, June 10, 2019, training was conducted for educational guides on mangroves, seagrass meadows, coral reefs, and climate change. The training was aimed at student leaders from the 4H camp and various teaching staff from agricultural extension. It was provided by the Education Section of the Sea Grant Program of the University of Puerto Rico (PSGUPR) at the Center for Resources for Information and Marine Education (CRIEM).

Dr. René Esteves, director of the Marine Extension component of PSGUPR and assistant specialist in aquaculture at the Agricultural Extension Service (SEA), welcomed and thanked everyone. He urged them to continue collaborating with this grand project, emphasizing the mission of fostering interest in the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems in fisheries and aquaculture.

Alan Iribarren, an agricultural extensionist, followed with enthusiasm about the training and internship. Dr. Delmis del C. Alicea Segarra, Curriculum and Evaluation Specialist at PSGUPR, offered a warm greeting and introduced the PSGUPR education team.

The purpose of the activity was to teach basic knowledge of educational guides to young people who had participated in previous years as students in the 4H camp. Now, they were trained leaders ready to educate others during the internship.

In the morning, after participants registered, they received a PSGUPR Program package containing three compact discs of educational guides: Mangrove, Seagrass Meadows, and Coral Reefs. The package also included an itinerary, activity sheets, a pamphlet from the Center for Resources for Information and Marine Education (CRIEM) of PSGUPR, an evaluation sheet, a marker, a pencil, and several stickers. Additionally, a pretest was distributed to measure participants’ knowledge of the upcoming topics.

The first topic was Mangroves, led by educator Héctor M. Martínez, with the assistance of Dr. Delmis del C. Alicea Segarra. Before delving into mangroves, Dr. Delmis conducted a dynamic activity where a student voluntarily drew a mangrove on the electronic board. The educator discussed the characteristics of mangrove trees, their geographical distribution, and the disturbances affecting mangroves.

Following this activity, they moved on to the second topic: seagrass meadows. During this topic, they highlighted the difference between seagrasses and algae. Before the discussion, the participants had the opportunity to engage in a virtual dive to distinguish between the two. They also learned about the locations of seagrass meadows and their importance in the marine ecosystem. An educational activity was conducted where participants identified seagrasses based on the characteristics and descriptions learned in the topic. To emphasize the importance of seagrasses, a hands-on activity was conducted where two student volunteers searched for “paper clips” representing various organisms in shoeboxes, simulating seagrass. This illustrated the role of seagrasses in the marine ecosystem.

They then presented the third topic of the morning: coral reefs. Educator Héctor and Dr. Delmis explained what coral reefs are, their importance, the threats they face, and conservation methods.

After lunch, in the afternoon, a talk on climate change was presented by educator and meteorologist Ángela Ferrá. The discussion covered the difference between climate and weather, as well as the effects of climate change on glacier melting, thermal expansion, and coastal erosion through educational demonstrations.

At the end of the workshop, participants were given a post-test to assess what they had learned during the training. Then, they received an evaluation sheet where they could provide feedback on the workshop.

The next day, participants engaged in various field activities on marine and coastal ecosystems at Playita Rosada in Lajas, Puerto Rico. The topics covered included mangroves, invertebrates, seagrasses, algae, sand composition, and meteorology as part of the training. Each participant received a certificate for their performance.

PSGUPR expresses gratitude to all marine extension staff for participating in the training and to the education component for continuing to expand the mission of caring for and conserving marine and coastal resources.

By Esther M. Vélez Bonilla, MC
Information Writer
Sea Grant Program, University of Puerto Rico

Photos by Efra Figueroa


June 10, 2019
Event Category:

Autorizado por la Comisión Estatal de Elecciones CEE-SA-16-893

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