University of Plymouth prepares to host UK teachers on international education expedition

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By Milthon Lujan

Plymouth, UK.- Teachers from across the UK will get to see the University of Plymouth’s marine expertise in action as part of an expedition to the city to learn about sustainable fisheries.

EarthEcho International, a leading non-profit organisation dedicated to equipping young people with the resources to act now for a sustainable future, is bringing secondary school teachers and Philippe Cousteau Jr on an EarthEcho Expedition this August.

Participants will explore a broad range of fisheries-related issues and solutions with leading researchers from the University and the Ocean Conservation Trust. They will take what they see back to engage and inspire their students, but also develop adventure-based STEM learning modules that will be distributed digitally to classrooms across the world during 2020.

The teachers will be in Plymouth for five days, and will spend time with scientists working in the University’s School of Biological and Marine Sciences, and the Marine Institute. This will include a trip on the University’s fleet of marine vessels, where they will learn about the rich heritage of fishing in Plymouth and discover the technology being developed and used at the University to study fisheries. They will also visit the iconic Marine Station, and hear about University research into the planktonic food webs that underpin global fish production and eco-engineering to generate habitats for fishes.

During a field trip to one of Devon’s unspoilt estuaries, they will investigate technological approaches to understanding the critical role of coastal habitats in supporting the early life stages of fished species. They will also visit a local trout farm, where they will explore aquaculture as an alternative method of food production.

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Lecturer in Marine Biology Dr Benjamin Ciotti, who is coordinating the University of Plymouth’s involvement, said: “Plymouth is a fantastic place to study marine life and the marine environment. We are delighted to welcome teachers from across the UK to our vibrant research and teaching community and are eager to share our work on fisheries with them. We hope that our visitors will pass our curiosity and passion to their students, nurturing a generation that values the oceans and engages with the environmental issues ahead.”

EarthEcho Expeditions is an annual program that leverages the rich Cousteau legacy of exploration and discovery to bring STEM education alive for today’s 21st century learners and their teachers.

Through the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, this year’s participating educators will join explorer and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr. and local experts to explore the science and technological solutions being deployed to help create sustainable fisheries in Plymouth.

Philippe Cousteau, Jr., founder of EarthEcho International, said: “EarthEcho Expeditions provides educators with the opportunity to join scientific experts and community leaders on the frontlines of our most pressing environmental crises to better understand the real-world solutions that mitigate them. Our focus with each expedition is to create place-based education experiences that our Expedition Fellows can leverage on a global scale. England is home to some of our most prolific and historically significant fisheries. We are excited to partner with the Northrop Grumman Foundation on this year’s timely Expedition, examining innovative solutions to protect critical fish populations and the people and communities who depend on them.”

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Loveday Trinick, Schools Officer at the Ocean Conservation Trust, added: “At the Ocean Conservation Trust, we’re delighted to be working with Philippe Cousteau, Jr. and EarthEcho International on their ‘What’s the Catch’ expedition and are very much looking forward to hosting Philippe and his participants at the National Marine Aquarium – our centre of Ocean excellence in Plymouth. As an Ocean Conservation charity, we believe that education plays a vital role in securing a brighter future for our Ocean and we’re delighted to see some of the modern solutions being deployed in the city to help create sustainable fisheries.”

Source: University of Plymouth

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