European Marine Education Monitoring Network
Mobidic was launched as a pilot project of MarBEF's Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Programme with school children as part of the activities of Outreach (WP8). In 2006 the Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (Ciimar) obtained a 2 year national grant to develop this programme that now works with 10 schools and 3 other groups in Portugal, involving more than 400 students. In the same year the Marine Biological Association (MBA) launched the Shore Thing project. A three year grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled over 1,000 students and volunteers to take part in 93 surveys at 46 sites around the UK. These two projects have similar rocky shore monitoring protocols and have been very successful in encouraging students and volunteers to monitor their local shores and in promoting marine biodiversity science.
Both organizations are keen to build on the success of their particular projects by developing a European Monitoring Programme. Thanks to funding from MarBEF a workshop was held at Ciimar, Porto in March 2009. The aim of the workshop was to bring together MarBEF partners involved in outreach monitoring work to discuss the practicalities of developing a European Monitoring Network and to examine funding opportunities and develop a proposal. Click on the Partners page for more information on the organization in attendance.
A component of the network would be an exchange programme with students from around Europe coming together in a Spring/summer school to share their environmental and cultural experiences. To help develop this aspect of the network students from Portugal, Poland, Greece and the UK took part in a number of surveys in conjunction with the workshop. Click here to find out more about Spring School 2009.
The workshop concluded that a European Marine Education Monitoring Network would comprise of the following components:
For this Network to be a success we need the support and involvement of institutions from around Europe that are presently undertaking outreach work. If you would like more information on the Network and/or would like to be involved then please contact Isabel Sousa Pinto at Ciimar or Fiona Crouch at the MBA.