Marchetti Lab in the Community

As Marine Science ambassadors, we feel it is our responsibility to educate the general public about our research and other marine-related issues.  Below are a few examples where we have been able to share our enthusiasm for phytoplankton with others within and outside of the UNC community.

DSC_0059Marine Scientists at School

Our lab is working in collaboration with grade school teachers to bring research concepts as well as the scientists themselves into the classroom. In April 2014, our lab taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Harkers Island Middle School about our upcoming California Current System research cruise through a presentation about our research that included hands-on microscopy activities. In addition, their teacher, Ms. Miriam Sutton will be accompanying our research group on the cruise to learn more about how scientists work in the field and share those findings with her students back home.  Follow Miriam’s Science by the Sea blog about the cruise.

Meet The Scientist Event

The Marchetti Lab brought the microscopic world to focus for K-12 students and families at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center during their “Meet The Scientist” event. Phytoplankton groups including diatoms, dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria were on display under microscopes for families to visually explore while learning about each group’s critical role in the ocean. In order to demonstrate a world exists beyond what we can see with our naked eye, participants were given the opportunity to construct their own microscopes out of glass beads, construction paper, and silly putty.  This event was co-organized by Denise Young who is the director of education and planning at the Center.

Carly-showing-off-her-diatom-after-viewing-them-under-microscopes-part-of-The-Trees-of-the-Sea-Intro-to-Phytoplankton-exhibit1Marine Mammal Day

The Marine Sciences graduate students organized UNC’s involvement in a large outreach event at North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Sciences, “Marine Mammal Day,” designed to bring current ocean issues and areas of research interest to the general public. Our faculty presented oral talks showcasing their research, while the graduate students created interactive booths to demonstrate key oceanographic concepts to K-12 students. The Marchetti Lab set up live-imaging microscopes displaying a natural assemblage of microbes including diatoms, green algae, cyanobacteria and motile flagellates. Participants crafted their own super-sized diatoms. This event attracted 3,600 visitors to the museum and exposed many families to the importance of oceanographic research and marine phytoplankton.