Friday, October 26, 2012

Nature Nut’s Tech Corner

Illustration by Jean Bitting, 2012
Do you feel like your inner nature nut and techie geeks are at odds with each other? Are you looking for a fresh new way to explore nature?  Are you a technophobe looking for a way to start plugging in? Perhaps you wish you had a way to inspire today’s technologically bound youth to re-connect with the natural world surrounding them? Whatever your current relationship with the ever-changing world of technology might be, the Nature Nut’s Tech Corner is the perfect resource to help you get your geek on with nature!  Visit us on the last Friday of each month, right here, as we spotlight a new field tested application.

Marine Debris Tracker

As hard as it is for many of us to believe, we find ourselves at yet another final Friday of the month! In this edition of Nature Nut’s Tech Corner we bring you an application that helps you make a difference by checking in when you find trash on our coastlines and waterways. Marine Debris Tracker is an application resulting from a joint partnership of the NOAA Marine Debris Division and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI), located within the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia, and was created with the hope that it would spread awareness of marine debris, as well as serve as an easy to use and simple tool for marine debris data collection. More recently, the app has even been used to help NOAA track marine debris from the Japanese tsunami.

This handy app allows you to record debris location using your phone’s GPS. You can also view the data on your phone and submit to the Marine Debris Tracker Website for viewing and download later. A map in the app allows you to view the recent items you have located in the area. The app does require registration, which you can do directly from the app itself. Your username is shown on the website for only the most recent 5 items you have tracked, but your GPS coordinates are not shown. Your personal location remains anonymous to the public. This tool can be quite useful for tracking items found during beach cleanup events or during simple strolls along the water.

The app is very user friendly, and contains a pre-loaded list of commonly found marine debris items. Categories of cloth, fishing gear, glass, metal, plastic, processed lumber, and rubber are then broken down further into lists of common items within them. For example, under the cloth category, you will find clothing and shoes, fabric pieces, gloves (non-runner), rope (non-plastic), and towels/rags. The pre-loaded list of commonly found marine debris items can also be accessed as an alphabetical list for ease of use. Items not located on the pre-loaded list can be entered as “other” along with a description from the user. Photos can also be taken from the submission screen to accompany the entry (this is a recent addition which is not seen in the screenshot below).

The Marine Debris Tracker app is available on Android and iPhone. We encourage you to check this app out the next time you enjoy our beautiful coastlines and waterways and use the wonderful technology available to us to become involved!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

GTM Research Reserve Celebrates National Archaeology Day Saturday!


In the words of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), National ArchaeologyDay is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the AIA and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. The declaration of National Archaeology Day, which began its first year in 2011, was made in order to help raise awareness around the importance of archaeology, which is very misunderstood by the general public. It also is meant to be a day of fun and excitement which, according to AIA “provides the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones”.

Image by Heritage/Markus Miligan
courtesy ArchaeoSoup Productions
The GTM Research Reserve is thrilled to be celebrating National Archaeology Day in conjunction with the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) this Saturday, October 20. 2012. We invite you to a day of fun and exploration at the Environmental Education Center from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Activities will include a guided trail hike highlighting cultural history, a lecture learn where visitors can learn about archaeology in Northeast Florida, and Archaeolympics  where participants can test their own archaeology skills.

Sarah E. Miller, MA RPA
Photo courtesy of Historic City News
The lecture, led by Sarah Miller, Director of the Northeast Region of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, will introduce the basics of archaeology. The presentation, which is entitled “Fantastic Archaeology: Florida Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries.”, will also focus on the misuse and abuse of Florida’s past as well as discuss a few unsolved mysteries.

As another very exciting part of this event, the GTM Research Reserve will unveil a new display of Native American ceramics in the exhibit hall which were found on the Guana Peninsula by William Evenden and Fred Williams during the 1950’s. In 2005, the collection was donated to the State of Florida.

Event Schedule and Additional Details

9 a.m. – Guided Hike
10 a.m. through 11 a.m. – Archaeolympics
11 a.m. – Lecture, “Fantastic Archaeology: Florida Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries”
Noon through 2 p.m.- Archaeolympics

This event is free and open to the public. Visitors are invited to tour the Environmental Education Center after participating in the event. Admission is $2 per adult, $1 for children 10-17 and free for children 9 and younger. Please RSVP for the guided hike online or by calling 904-823-4500.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We Have Plans for You This Saturday!

OceanWise: An Evening for the Estuaries

Are you facing another mundane weekend at home? We have a wonderful solution for you! The Friends of the GTM Research Reserve invite you to join us for a signature evening event in one of the most beautiful settings northeast Florida has to offer. The evening begins at 6 pm Saturday, October 13, with a beer and wine cocktail reception featuring live music by the Dunehoppers, a St. Augustine based Folk, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues, and Old Time String Band.

The evening will continue with a delectable variety of ocean-friendly sustainable seafood prepared by select chefs from some of our favorite local restaurants. It doesn't stop there! Participate in our exciting silent auction to benefit education, research and stewardship at the GTM Research Reserve, and celebrate with featured honoree Jim Kern, Wildlife Photographer, Author, Conservationist, and Founder of the Florida Trail Association and the American Hiking Society.

Come join us in this opportunity to support the GTM Research Reserve while enjoying an evening of live music, good food, drink and fun!

Details and Registration:

Saturday October 13, 2012
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT

GTM Research Reserve
Environmental Education Center
505 Guana River Rd.
Ponta Vedra Beach, FL 32082

Donation Amount-
$50 per person

Dress code-
Cocktail Attire

For Information Call-

Or email-

Please note: Registration is processed through PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account use the guest option on the PayPal page.

Thank You to Our 2012 OceanWise Sponsors: