Congratulations to our newly elected and appointed FMSEA Board members

posted May 18, 2018, 2:17 PM by Jason Robertshaw   [ updated May 18, 2018, 2:17 PM ]

Congratulations to our newly elected and appointed FMSEA Board members and many thanks to all of our Board and membership who volunteer their time and talents to make FMSEA the outstanding educational organization that it is!
  • President-Elect:  Katie Murray, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, president-elect @ fmsea . org (newly elected)
  • President:  Jennie Fagan, Nease High School, president @ fmsea . org
  • Past-President:  Earnie Olsen, Marine Science Station/Citrus County School District, past-president @ fmsea . org
  • Secretary:  Kaitlyn Rivera, Pasco County Schools, secretary @ fmsea . org  (newly elected)
  • Membership Secretary:  Terran McGinnis, Marineland, membership @ fmsea . org  (newly elected)
  • Panhandle RD:  Charlene Mauro, Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, panhandle @ fmsea . org  (newly elected)
  • North RD:  Josh O'Leary, Marine Science Station/Citrus County School District, north @ fmsea . org  (newly elected)
  • West Central RD:  Sabrina DiNella, Florida Aquarium, westcentral @ fmsea . org  (newly elected)
  • NMEA Representative:  Jenna LoDico, Director of Marine Studies at the Canterbury School, nmea-rep @ fmsea . org (newly appointed)
  • Northeast RD:  Karyn Meyer, St. Johns River State College, northeast @ fmsea . org
  • East Central RD:  Ryan Cilsick, Brevard County Schools, eastcentral @ fmsea . org
  • Southeast RD: Veronica Frehm, MacArthur Beach State Park, southeast @ fmsea . org
  • Southwest RD: Dana Henderson, Mote Marine, southwest @ fmsea . org
  • Community Manager, Brandon Mullins, St. Paul's School Clearwater, community @ fmsea . org
  • Historian, Diane Bassett, Retired and Loving It, historian @ fmsea . org (newly appointed)
  • Treasurer, Kathy, t-------- @ fmsea . org
  • ASCW Collections, Kathy Russel, City of Fernandina Beach, collections @ fmsea . org
  • Tech Support, Jason Robertshaw, Mote Marine, support @ fmsea . org

FMSEA 50 Official Conference Program!

posted May 2, 2018, 5:56 PM by Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski

We will see you tomorrow at the FMSEA annual conference! This year is special as we are celebrating 50 years of marine science! 

On this post we have made the conference schedule available to you a day early! 

Please check it out and get pumped for tomorrow!

#FMSEA50 Field Trip Details!

posted Mar 9, 2018, 12:50 PM by Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski   [ updated May 18, 2018, 2:18 PM by Jason Robertshaw ]

Below are details for the Field Trips that you can register for as a part of this year's FMSEA Conference!

  • Science Eye - Everglades Experience: The Everglades Experience is a full day field experience which takes place in the Florida Everglades in Conservation Area III in Broward County, Florida at Everglades Holiday Park. Participants who attend will be involved in an in-depth investigation of a natural sawgrass prairie succession. The area was completely burned during the 1999 drought and has recovered and re-established itself as a biologically diverse community. Participants spend the day investigating the biodiversity of the Everglades, exploring the geology of the system, relating critters to the health of the ecosystem, analyzing water, and understanding the impact of exotic flora and fauna. A truly submerging experience… participants will not only go on an airboat ride in the marsh but will also slog through the sough (walk through water up to upper thigh high). We will be walking through a little bit of sawgrass, a light-weight long-sleeve shirt is optional. Visit for some other information and images of what to expect!

  • Flamingo Gardens,3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie, Fl.  33330: Flamingo Gardens is a 60-acre not-for-profit Tropical Botanical Garden Collection and an Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary. Take a 25-minute Narrated Tour by Tram, walk through our half acre free flight Aviary, visit the Birds of Prey and our rescued animals or get a taste of old Florida in the Historic Wray Home.

  • NSU Marine Environmental Education Center 4414 North Surf Road, Hollywood, FL 33019: Marine Environmental Education Center Tour: Get a guided tour through the new Marine Environmental Education Center at the Carpenter House in Hollywood, Florida.  Come learn about our coastal marine environments and meet Captain, our newest resident, an endangered green sea turtle!

  • NSU Guy Harvey Research Institute - 8000 North Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, FL 33004 NSU GHRI Shark Tagging Expedition: Join scientists with the NSU Guy Harvey Research Institute for a HANDS ON shark tagging research expedition.  Help to bait hooks, set gear, pull in sharks (by hand) on the specially designed research gear, and even help to tag, measure, and collect samples of the sharks that are caught that day!

  • NSU Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program - 8000 North Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, FL 33004: Join the sea turtle experts with the NSU Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program and become a "Turtler" for the day as you ride along on the morning beach survey to help find and document new sea turtle crawls, mark nests, and learn more about these amazing animals.  

Be a part of the FMSEA Board of Directors

posted Feb 21, 2018, 11:07 AM by Jason Robertshaw   [ updated Feb 21, 2018, 11:08 AM ]

Your Board of Directors are working hard on getting ready to host the Florida Marine Science Educators Association conference in Ft. Lauderdale, May 3 through May 6, 2018! We will have several positions open on the FMSEA board for 2018. Please read below about the open positions and what duties they entail.

President-Elect: The President-Elect serves for one-year as the de-facto vice president, filling in when the FMSEA President is unavailable, before assuming the office in the following year. The President-Elect also collects the nominations for the next round of elections and awards. Other responsibilities including awarding teacher scholarships, awards, and elections.  The President-Elect also serves as a mentor to the Regional Directors. 

FMSEA Membership Secretary: The Membership Secretary serves for three years on the FMSEA Board and leads the FMSEA Membership Committee.  The Membership Secretary promotes membership in FMSEA.  Other responsibilities include maintaining an accurate membership roster of current and past members; providing FMSEA Board with a membership roster on a quarterly basis; validating membership eligibility for elections, awards, and scholarships; serving as the Registration Chair for the annual FMSEA Conference; mailing FMSEA membership cards throughout the year to members attending Collection Workshops or those who join FMSEA through RegOnline; communicating with FMSEA Treasurer regarding applications and invoices; and ensuring the transfer of well organized membership data to the elected successor.

Secretary: The secretary serves for two years on the FMSEA Board and must attend Board Meetings or appoint a proxy.  The secretary’s main focus is to record and document all votes and minutes of all proceedings. Other responsibilities include promoting membership in FMSEA, and updating the Standard Operating Procedures as directed by the Board of Directors 

Panhandle Regional Director: The Panhandle RD serves for two years and must attend Board Meetings or appoint a proxy, submit a Regional Report and Agenda Items to the Board at least one (1) week prior to the Meeting. Regional directors also arrange, coordinate and organize Regional Outings (field trips, workshops, etc.), communicate to your Regional Membership, minimum of quarterly (*monthly preferred) with email updates. The Panhandle region includes the following counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Washington, Holmes, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Franklin, Gadsen, Wakulla, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor. 

North Regional Director: The North RD serves for two years and must attend Board Meetings or appoint a proxy, submit a Regional Report and Agenda Items to the Board at least one (1) week prior to the Meeting. Regional directors also arrange, coordinate and organize Regional Outings (field trips, workshops, etc.), communicate to your Regional Membership, minimum of quarterly (*monthly preferred) with email updates. The Northeast region includes the following counties: Hamilton, Suwanee, Columbia, Union, Lafayette, Gilchrist, Dixie, Bradford, Alachua, Levy, Putnam, Marion, Citrus.

West Central Regional Director: The West Central RD serves for two years and must attend Board Meetings or appoint a proxy, submit a Regional Report and Agenda Items to the Board at least one (1) week prior to the Meeting. Regional directors also arrange, coordinate and organize Regional Outings (field trips, workshops, etc.), communicate to your Regional Membership, minimum of quarterly (*monthly preferred) with email updates. The East Central region includes the following counties: hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto.

NMEA: The NMEA representative will serve as the communications liaison between NMEA and FMSEA for a term of three years.  During this time period, the NMEA Representative must be a member in good standing with both organizations and attend (or send a proxy to)  board meetings for both organizations.  

If you are interested in any of the positions above please send a short biography, a professional headshot and a statement saying why you are interested in joining the board to your regional director or me ( by March 20, 2018.

Call For Exhibitors

posted Jan 30, 2018, 2:05 PM by Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski   [ updated Feb 21, 2018, 11:08 AM by Jason Robertshaw ]

Hi Everyone!

Not only has registration opened we also have the call for exhibitors open still as well! See the letter below for how to register your company or organization to exhibit at this year's conference #FMSEA50

Dear  Potential Exhibitor,             

My name is Chuck Shields; I am the Exhibits Chair for the FMSEA 2018 conference. This year FMSEA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. I invite your organization to join us as an exhibitor in Fort Lauderdale at Nova Southeastern University on May 5, 2018, where we expect 150 members and guests. The exhibit hall will be open all day on Saturday, May 5th during the conference concurrent sessions. Set up is available early on that Saturday morning. Highlight your organization’s mission and goals to an audience of the leading marine educators in Florida.

The exhibitor’s fee this year is $75.00 for non-profit and $150.00 for-profit organizations.* The outlined fees include space for two representatives during exhibit hours. We provide one six foot long table, two chairs, refreshments and lunch. Exhibitors are expected to bring their own table covering, signage and extension cords. There will be $100.00 charge per additional representative.

Please note that for-profit exhibitors are asked to donate to our silent auction. Non-profit organization donations are optional and encouraged.

Sign up as an exhibitor here!

If you would like to participate in the conference workshops and individual events, there is an additional registration fee. Conference registration is found at

I will be in the exhibit hall to assist your organizational all day on May 5th. I am looking forward to working with you at the FMSEA 50th Anniversary Conference. If you have any questions, feel free to email or call me.

Thank you,

Chuck Shields

FMSEA Exhibits Chair


FMSEA Board Meeting 1/20-1/21 Conference Site Tour!

posted Jan 21, 2018, 5:37 AM by Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski   [ updated Jan 21, 2018, 7:52 AM by Jason Robertshaw ]

Hey everyone! 

This is my first attempt at a FMSEA Blog/Vlog so I would love your feedback to let me know if there are other things or more important info that you would like covered.

I intend to use this platform to increase transparency and access to the board, provide updates, facilitate fun information, give recaps and general FMSEA related initiatives and celebrations. So without any further we go!

We are all currently packed into the smallest meeting room at the Ft. Lauderdale Renaissance where this years FMSEA50 conference will be held. The hotel is really nice and the staff has been great. 

We took a tour of the NSU campus yesterday where the Concurrent Sessions, Exhibitors Hall, Research Talks and more will be held on 5/5. The campus is awesome! There is plenty of space and lots to see from the Guy Harvey Shark Wall, to the original hand blown Chihuly glass, to the Knight Lecture hall. NSU Has it all!

Then we took a tour of the ultra-swanky Signature Grand Banquet Hall where we will host the Keynote Speaker and final Banquet. 

For those of you that have been coming to FMSEA for a while, you might be used to our "no shirt, no shoes no problem" mentality towards these events in the past, but our flip flops and Jimmy Buffett Tshirts won't cut it this year! We will make a more intentional effort to educate our conference goers that this years 50th celebration will be a more formal affair. It will be amazing!

Now we are all back to the grind as we have robust conversations about how we can make this years conference better than ever. Keep on the lookout for registration to open soon. Remember that vendors and speakers are welcome to submit their proposals now! You can register for that HERE.

Until then, enjoy our pictures from this last board meeting before the conference!

-Brandon The Community Manager 

Session proposals now open for FMSEA18 conference

posted Dec 8, 2017, 6:02 AM by Jason Robertshaw   [ updated Jan 20, 2018, 2:13 PM ]

The Florida Marine Science Educators Association invites you and your colleagues to propose a session at:

FMSEA18: Fifty Years of Marine Science
Full Conference Dates:  May 3 - 6, 2018
Concurrent Sessions Date:  May 5, 2018

Topics on the history of FMSEA, ocean literacy, marine & ocean conservation, new & innovative marine science content, research, activities, and K-16 curriculum are encouraged.  

All concurrent sessions will be Saturday, May 5, 2018.

Please complete and submit the Call for Presenters form by using the following link:

Deadline for proposal submission is 5:00PM March 1, 2018.  Notification of accepted proposals will be sent out no later than March 16, 2018.

Questions?  Contact:

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOUR PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTED THEN YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE. Information on registering for the conference and the conference hotel will be sent out in a future update. Thank you for all you do for marine science education in the state of Florida and beyond. Looking forward to seeing you all at #FMSEA18.

Update, Aquatic Species Workshop, 9/16, Sarasota

posted Sep 13, 2017, 11:24 AM by Jason Robertshaw   [ updated Sep 13, 2017, 11:50 AM ]

This is an update about the Aquatic Species Collection Workshop scheduled at Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL on Saturday, 9/16 from 9 am - 11 am ET.

Mote fared okay during Hurricane Irma and our classroom has electricity and is functional for the workshop. I will not be cancelling it and look forward to seeing you all.

If you expect to miss the workshop, please let me know. In most cases, your registration fee can either be refunded or applied to a future workshop at another location.

We will meet in Mote's Mote's Marine Education Resource Center (MERC)
  1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
  Sarasota, FL

See attached for the location and available parking. MERC is the first gray building on your right as you turn down Ken Thompson Parkway. Note - parking directly in front of MERC is limited due to construction equipment. Some parking is available in Mote's Keating Center directly across the street from MERC. Additional parking is available down the street in front of the aquarium.

If you have any additional questions, please let me know. My email and phone number are below.

Jason Robertshaw
FMSEA Technology Committee
EMAIL : support @ 
PHONE: 941-388-2904

Message regarding Hurricane Irma

posted Sep 10, 2017, 12:48 PM by Jason Robertshaw   [ updated Sep 10, 2017, 12:49 PM ]

Message regarding Hurricane Irma

On behalf of of the FMSEA Board of Directors, I'd like to extend our thoughts, well-wishes, positive vibes, and prayers for your safety as you prepare your place of work, your homes, and your families for the possibility of Hurricane Irma impacting your region of Florida and beyond. Our sentiments extend to our friends and colleagues who live and work in the islands throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic. In FMSEA, we're family, and we're extending all our love and concern to each one of you. Stay safe!
Take good care,

Website updates

posted Sep 9, 2017, 6:45 AM by Jason Robertshaw   [ updated Sep 13, 2017, 11:47 AM ]

FMSEA has switched content management platforms for our domain from Wordpress to Google Sites. We hope this change will allow for greater ease of use by the Board of Directors and allow more timely and accurate updates to our members. If you have any questions or concerns about the updates, please contact: support

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