The Marine Mammal Center’s online learning resources based in part on a highly anticipated IMAX feature film are the first in a weekly series to be released to help teach about marine mammal health, science & conservation for students now sheltering at home
The Marine Mammal Center, based in Sausalito, CA, has released a series of online learning resources this week to help families and teachers amidst school shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The educational resources, featuring the ‘Life by a Whisker’ Education Guides, are intended to aid families and teachers in guiding 3rd-8th graders to learn more about marine mammal health, science and conservation through a series of easy to understand learning activities. The Marine Mammal Center, founded in 1975, is the largest marine mammal hospital and education center in the world, generating research and scientific outputs at volumes similar to top academic institutions.
This is the first release of weekly online educational resources features planned from The Marine Mammal Center. The learning activities can be downloaded from their website: www.marinemammalcenter.org/education/online-learning-resources/
The ‘Life by a Whisker’ Education Guides include an in-depth teacher guide for grades 3-5 and 6-8. The guides were crafted by The Marine Mammal Center’s award-winning staff to be a powerful, interactive tool for teachers worldwide to implement marine science education, ideal for remote learning.
The ‘Whiskers’ Education Guides come before the highly anticipated international release of ‘Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker.’
‘Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker’ is a feature IMAX film that documents the story of Australian sea lions and Dirk Holman – a marine scientist who monitors the native sea lion population along Australia’s southern coast. The film highlights the mission of The Marine Mammal Center as a model for global marine mammal conservation in which Holman seeks to acquire new skillsets and knowledge to bring back home.
Many of the learning activities focus on California sea lions that have been patients at the Center, including the rescue of Snapper, who was found with a fishing hook on her flipper. With a volunteer force of more than 1,400, The Marine Mammal Center covers a rescue range that spans 600 miles of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The Center responds to more stranded marine mammals than any other organization in the world.
"We train groups from all over the world on the best practices in marine mammal rescue. We are taking those lessons and stories and providing them in a way to help families, teachers and especially their students during this difficult time," said Dr. Jeff Boehm, CEO of The Marine Mammal Center. "By focusing on the health of individual marine mammals, we can also teach about the health of our entire ocean ecosystem."
Throughout each school year, The Marine Mammal Center offers award-winning marine science programs in California, called Ocean Ambassadors, and in Hawai‘i, called Nā Kōkua o ke Kai. The Center partners with middle school teachers in both states to provide a Next Generation Science Standards-connected curriculum, complete with resources, materials and field trips to their hospital and visitor centers in Sausalito, as well as their hospital for endangered monk seals, Ke Kai Ola, and the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hawai‘i, to see wild marine mammals. These two programs serve over 5,000 students and their surrounding communities.
About The Marine Mammal Center
Located on the site of a former Cold War missile base, The Marine Mammal Center is a global leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation, and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The Center’s teaching hospital and training programs operate globally, with its headquarters in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, part of the National Park Service. Expert teams from the Center travel around the world to work with emerging first responders and has itself rescued more than 23,000 marine mammals from 600 miles of its authorized rescue area of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The Center’s mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. Find out more at www.marinemammalcenter.org/
Editor's Note: The Marine Mammal Center's CEO and education staff are available for phone and Skype interviews.