Year of Science 2009 is a 12-month celebration of how science works, why science matters, and who scientists are. It is led by participants in the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS), a grassroots network composed of more than 400 participating organizations representing universities, scientific societies, science centers and museums, government agencies, advocacy groups, media, educators, businesses and industry—formed in response to recent concerns about national scientific literacy.
COPUS, which began with a grant from the National Science Foundation, has grown to be an inclusive endeavor spurring communication and collaboration in the scientific community while shining the spotlight on science throughout the year. Major sponsors include the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the University of California, Museum of Paleontology, the Geological Society of America, and the National Science Teachers Association.
Nab the Aquatic Invader! is featured as part of this month’s “Ocean and Water” theme. The web site was created by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant along with Sea Grant programs in New York, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Oregon to provide the latest information about aquatic invasive species through colorful characters and a crime-solving theme. Since its inception, the project has expanded to include species from coastal regions around the country.
“The site is clever and fun, but it’s also rich with curriculum for teachers, ideas for stewardship projects, and creative educational activities for students and other online audiences,” said Robin Goettel, IISG associate director for education.
In addition to visiting the Fun Zone, on this month on the Year of Science website you can meet scientists, including Dr. Richard Spinrad, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Research, enter a contest to name a newly-found jellyfish, and learn ways to get involved in protecting our oceans.
Upcoming Year of Science 2009 themes include “Astronomy” in July, “Weather and Climate” in August, and “Biodiversity and Conservation” in September.