Education - REPT Benefits To ORCA

2012 REPT Intern Project

ORCA's 2012 COSEE Research Experience for Pre-service Teachers interns conducted preliminary research to determine if the bioassay used to measure broad-spectrum toxicity in sediment could be adapted for testing toxicity of fish tissue. The interns had the opportunity work with ORCA's field technicians to collect fish, by hook and line and through netting, and to process the fish for analysis. In the laboratory, they worked with ORCA scientists to learn a variety of analytical methods, as well as general laboratory skills. The experience changed the perspective of these new science teachers, and gave them the confidence to bring real-world science into their classrooms. View Presentation Poster

View Deona Pearson's Presentation

View Catlin Gross' Presentation

2011 REPT Intern Project

The COSEE Florida REPT (Research Experience for Pre-Service Teachers) interns that worked at ORCA during the summer of 2011 conducted a study that was helpful in validating the methods ORCA uses for our Fast Assessment of Sediment Toxicity (FAST) program. ORCA uses the Microtox® solid-phase bioassay to conduct broad-spectrum toxicity analyses of sediment samples. The Microtox® method was selected because it is fast, inexpensive and sensitive to a wide range of potential toxins. While this method has been thoroughly standardized and validated by ORCA, we had never completed a direct comparison of the Microtox® method with a more commonly used toxicity bioassay. The REPT interns compared the Microtox® method with the EPA approved 10-day Amphipod Survival Bioassay. Although the REPT intern project was too small and preliminary to draw specific conclusions about the overall comparison of the Microtox® and Amphipod bioassays, the project did validate the superiority of the Microtox® methods in terms of ease of use, reliability and financial and time costs to implement. View Presentation Poster

In addition, ORCA REPT interns, Jennifer Abbott and Jackie Zakarian, have established a relationship with ORCA through the REPT program which has evolved into a mutually beneficial alliance. A vast amount of scientific knowledge is neither received nor understood by those outside the science community, including today's youth. Science educators are a critical conduit to inform, enlighten, and inspire not only the next generation of scientists but also ecologically responsible citizens. If students are cognizant of the extraordinary marine environment; an innate sense of protection should ensue. 

View Jennifer Abott's Presentation

View Jackie Zakarian's Presentation





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National Geographic


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