GREAT SOUTH BAY

Speaker series to educate on local waterways

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Save the Great South Bay is hosting a speaker series that encapsulates the education of local environmentalism, using creeks as an extension of the traditional classroom.

Join the panelists at The View in Oakdale on Friday, Feb. 7. The talk will begin at 9 a.m., however those planning to attend are strongly encouraged to convene at 8 a.m. for a complimentary continental breakfast and networking opportunities with colleagues.

Melvyn Morris, the manager of special programs at Brookhaven National Lab, is one of the four panelists. He is a co-director for Day in the Life program, which brings students into the field of nature along waterways to perform visual observation and testing. The data collected over the course of several years has been significantly beneficial in terms of the analysis of a water body’s environmental health.

Peter Walsh, the education director at Seatuck Environmental Association, also is quite involved in Day in the Life program. His efforts to promote learning about the natural environment at Seatuck through the organization’s various offered camps and nature walks have proven beneficial for Long Islanders.

Lou Siegel, a founding member of the state Marine Educators Association, is the regional director of the association for Nassau County. He is a member of almost all the association’s relevant committees, notably the awards committee that directly recognizes those who make significant contributions to marine endeavors in the areas of science, education, research, social endeavors and the arts, and maritime literature or art.

John Dolan, superintendent for East Islip School District, is the fourth panelist. He and the school district have taken particular interest in incorporating outside-the-classroom educational opportunities into the standardized curriculum for their students. The idea is that learning in the natural environment, especially Long Island watersheds, is an opportune avenue for education that deserves more of a presence in school curricula in general.

Dr. Arthur Kopelman, president of the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island and a SUNY-distinguished service professor, will moderate the discussion. Kopelman is the education committee chair for Save The Great South Bay.

A Q&A session will follow after the panel is given time to share their investment along this vein of education. Save the Great South Bay hopes this portion creates a brainstorming opportunity for everyone present to discuss various ways to incorporate hands-on environmental education and research in the classroom. 

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