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Working Waterfront / Inter-Island News, June, 2002

Friendship students work with lobster larvae

As part of its Lobster Literacy initiative, The Lobster Conservancy (TLC) is carrying out a two-month educational program at the Friendship Village School. The program is funded through an MBNA Maine Excellence in Education Grant. It is a collaboration between teacher Carla Eutlser, TLC's Education Coordinator Linda Archambault and Island Institute Fellow Dan O'Grady. Eutlser was recently named Elementary School Teacher of the Year by the Education/Envirothon Committee of the Maine Association of Conservation Districts.

The goal of TLC's Lobster Literacy Program is to increase students'environmental literacy, particularly with regard to lobsters and the marine environment, throughout the Gulf of Maine region. With increasing demands on marine resources, it is essential that the citizens, lobstermen and environmental leaders of tomorrow have a good working knowledge of the lobster fishery and the marine ecosystem. The project in the FriendshipVillage School is a pilot project;TLC plans to expand this project to other schools in 2003 and beyond.

Students in Carla Eutsler's fifth and sixth grade science classes have been caring for the lobsters from the time they hatch from eggs, through four swimming larval stages to the first juvenile stages, when they settle on the bottom (in an aquarium). Using the lobster project as a focal point, students have developed skills and knowledge in science, math, writing and art. Activities connected with the project have included: daily monitoring of water quality in the larval rearing system, identification of the larval stages, lessons on microscope use, the marine food web, the lobster life cycle, reproductive strategies of marine organisms, lobster art projects, and writing their observations in journals. TLC Senior Scientist Diane Cowan gave a presentation of the lobster life cycle. Sarah Gladu and Emily Kuhnlein of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension provided a presentation and field trip on phytoplankton.

The program will culminate with a field trip to the intertidal zone. There will be an open house at the school on the evening of June 10at6:30. —Linda Archambault The Lobster Conservancy

©2003 The Lobster Conservancy.
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