September 12, 2008
Because of the emails that went out last week about this interactive opportunity with me in Australia, I have been quite busy. I am estimating I will have spoken to over 300 students in San Diego County. This teleconferencing has been very tiring even though it was quite enriching to the students back home. One class, whose teacher is Annie Johansen, asked me to explain the types of animals we were finding here and if I saw any sharks. After I explained the types of animals, I told them I saw a few sharks around the lagoon and close to the pier.
Ms. Christine Gilman at Canyon Crest Academy prepared for our conference by having her students research different topics about the coral reef before she emailed me their questions. This was great because the questions that I did not know I could ask the scientists at the field station and get the correct answer before I called their class. A high school class at Mission Bay had the privilege to talk with Dr. Fred Gurgel who is from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Herbarium about his research here, how he got into research, and what they need to do if they wanted to become a scientist. He spoke to them for about an hour, which ended at 2 am our time. It was very informative and I am grateful for him to take the time from his research to do this for these students.
As for my students, they were thrilled to hear and see me. Many of them had no idea where Australia was located. I thankful was able to share with them a little part of my life on this island.
This evening I went over to the resort for one last sunset. I do not know if I will ever be back to this island. However, I am left with a lot of memories and beautiful pictures. I thank the ARMADA Project for making this possible.