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GLIN==> Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant News: Nab the Aquatic Invader! GLIN Site of the Month

March 30, 2006
Source: Robin Goettel (217) 333-9448; goettel@uiuc.edu
Helen Domske (716) 645-3610; hmd4@cornell.edu
Nab the Aquatic Invader! GLIN Site of the Month
URBANA - The Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN) has selected Nab the Aquatic Invader! Be a Sea Grant Super Sleuth as their April Web Site of the Month. This educational Web site, created by several Great Lakes Sea Grant programs, provides the latest information about aquatic invasive species through colorful characters and a crime-solving theme.
"The site is rich with curriculum for teachers and creative educational activities for 4-10th grade students and other online audiences," said Robin Goettel, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) education specialist. Activities are aligned with National Science Education Standards and the site has been enhanced after review by scientists and educators.
The Web site (http://www.sgnis.org/kids) introduces student investigators to five cartoon detectives, each focused on specific aspects of AIS criminal cases, for example, Detective Ecofriend is an expert on the environmental effects of these species. Visitors can also find the 10 Most Wanted Species, including Zeke "the Prowler" Zebra Mussel and Gabby "the Lowlife" Round Goby. Crime solving involves taking part in quizzes, games, and other brain teasers that test the student investigator's knowledge about invasive species biology, transport, and their impacts.
Nab the Aquatic Invader!, which is part of the Sea Grant Nonindigenous Species Web site, contains a wealth of background information on invasive species for teachers and students in the form of Web links. It also provides opportunities for interacting with scientists, displaying student-created projects, solving riddles and learning the latest invader news.
"Once students become familiar with the AIS issues, the next step is to develop community stewardship projects that inform local citizens," said Goettel. "Some of these projects are already posted on the Web site, but stay tuned for many more from students across the country. Nab the Aquatic Invader! also lets people know of ways they can help prevent the spread of AIS. For example, a Canadian scientist is using our site to recruit people for a citizen monitoring program on green crabs." (View details at http://www.sgnis.org/kids/suspect_gerard.html.)
 "We now have funding from the National Sea Grant College Program to expand the site and provide a broader perspective by adding invasive species from waters beyond the Great Lakes," said Helen Domske, New York Sea Grant education specialist. "Educators in Sea Grant programs in Oregon, Connecticut and Louisiana are planning teacher workshops to create marine invader characters and develop new activities."
"In addition to expanding the site's geographic focus, we are reaching out to new audiences in other ways," said Goettel. "We are recruiting home school families and non-formal educational entities, such as museums and youth organizations, to look to this site as a resource for invasive species education.
The Great Lakes Information Network links hundreds of agencies and organizations serving the Great Lakes region. Each month GLIN highlights the wealth of information available on the Web site of one its many partners.
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of more than 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs.  Funding is provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Department of Commerce, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Two States Caring for one Great Lake

Irene Miles
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
376 NSRC
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, Il 61801
(217) 333-8055
FAX (217) 333-8046