Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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RIVERS TO REEFS 2016

Day 1, Monday: June 13, 2016

Anne Marie Addison; South Hart Elementary, Hartwell, GA
Jody Boutwell, North Heights Elementary School, Rome, GA
Marilyn Kinney, Cartersville Middle School, Cartersville, GA

Anne Marie Addison
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I have been to the aquarium many times in the role as the educator, teacher. This time was a very different experience for me. I was the student. Not only did I participate in a preview/workshop session, I also went behind the scenes and learned about the actual Science and the necessary delicate balance needed to have a healthy aquatic life for all marine animals that call the Georgia Aquarium home.

Learning how Tropical Diver Reef works at Georgia Aquarium

Learning how Tropical Diver Reef works at Georgia Aquarium, behind the scenes.
(Photo:Michelle Riley, GRNMS)

One of the most interesting parts of this tour was the Tropical Diver Reef which simulates the tide waters and the processes which have been studied and replicated successfully. What an awesome educational experience!

Throughout the day, I noticed how passionate the instructors were. It is apparent to me that this is a labor of love for all of these stakeholders. What a legacy they will be leaving behind.


Jody Boutwell
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Amazing! Today began our journey in the Rivers to Reefs workshop and it was a spectacular beginning to this week long journey! We were invited to participate on a behind the scenes tour of the Georgia aquarium to learn the how's and why's of the daily operations that take place at the aquarium.

GRNMS Foundation chair Cathy Sakas (R) explains coral growth to teacher Kelli Bivins (L) at Georgia Aquarium

GRNMS Foundation chair Cathy Sakas (R) explains coral growth to teacher Kelli Bivins (L) at Georgia Aquarium.
(Photo:Michelle Riley, GRNMS)

We were allowed to see the Ocean Voyager exhibit and the Tropical Diver Reef exhibits from atop the tanks which provided a whole new level of appreciation for how much time and effort is needed to provide the public with such awesome showcases of nature's beauty.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see the animals from a new perspective and to learn about how the scientists care for each animal. What a spectacular start to this journey!!


Marilyn Kinney
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Wow! What a great way to start a teacher workshop at the beautiful Georgia Aquarium. The atmosphere immediately gets you into the learning groove. The only expectation I had coming to this workshop was to get some hands on, completely immersed activities. What became quickly apparent was I was not only going to learn, but have teacher collaborators for the rest of my teaching career.

Professor Theresa Stanley preps teachers in Georgia Aquarium classroom for Day 2

Professor Theresa Stanley preps teachers in Georgia Aquarium classroom for Day 2.
(Photo: Michelle Riley)

The leaders of this workshop are so enthusiastic it is easy to be excited about our adventure. We have already talked about the connections we hope to make to see the human impact on our aquatic ecosystems.

We have gone behind the scenes to see the amount of work and technology it takes to create a "natural" environment for the organisms to survive and flourish. Every step of the way through the aquarium was an opportunity to learn and interact to teach how each person impacts every other organism on the planet.

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