North Carolina Sea Grant
Scotch Bonnet

Scotch Bonnet

September 28, 2009 | Terri Kirby Hathaway

Welcome to the first online-only issue of the Scotch Bonnet – now only available online and as a portable document file (.pdf) if you’re like me and want to keep a hard copy! As you may know, the Spring 2009 issue was the last to be mailed to subscribers. If you’re interested in keeping up with Scotch Bonnet, drop an e-mail to We’ll add your e-mail address to our database and you’ll receive notice when each new issue is available online.

Fall is my favorite time at the coast.  There is so much going on, and the autumn environment is always just perfect for me — a little twinge of cool in the air, the sound of sea oats blowing in the stiff breeze, deserted beaches (okay, almost deserted), waves crashing on the shore, etc.  Just writing about fall beachcombing is getting me eager for a walk on the beach.  I think I’m going to leave work right now and go beachcombing!

Keep reading for some fall opportunities and ideas for educators.  There is a lot going on in North Carolina!

Take A Child Outside Week – September 24-30

Take a Child Outside logoJoin the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the third annual “Take A Child Outside” week.  This international event encourages people to help reconnect children with nature.  Parents, teachers and other caregivers are asked to make a pledge to take a child outside, and then to post a description of what they did or where they went on the Web site (  In addition they can find hundreds of partnering organizations offering unique opportunities from across the United States and in four foreign countries.

This event was created in response to the fact that today’s generation of children does not spend significant time outdoors exploring the natural world.  As adults, people who have a strong connection to a special place in the environment are more likely to support conservation efforts.  Children who feel alienated from the environment can experience increased feelings of stress, have trouble paying attention and have a sense of being disconnected from the world.  Studies also link the lack of time outside to increased childhood obesity and increased attention-deficit disorder behaviors.

For more information about the week or becoming a partner, please contact Liz Baird at

MAMEA Conference Set for October 2-4

Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association logoCome on and join marine educators from North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Washington D.C. and Maryland for an exciting professional development opportunity at the Virden Center, University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies, in Lewes, Del. October 2-4!

“New Inspiration in Marine Education” will offer a variety of educational experiences for marine educators from the MAMEA region.  On Friday, October 2, enjoy field trips including kayaking, a tour of the research labs and a wetlands hike.  Gary Kreamer from “Green Eggs & Sand” will be the featured speaker for Friday evening. He will talk about Delaware’s unique aquatic habitats.

Saturday, October 3, features presentations on the latest marine and aquatic research and how we can include this new and exciting information in our classrooms and education programs; as well as presentations by educators on lessons, activities and resources.  And you don’t want to miss the fun-filled marine auction and accompanying party!

You can choose to stay and take advantage of the free University of Delaware’s Coast Day with exhibits, seafood cooking demonstrations, boat tours, a boat show and much more on Sunday, October 4.  Visit for details about this annual event.

NC Outdoor Classroom Symposium – October 22-24

NC Outdoor Classroom Symposium logoThe Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program, the N.C. Botanical Garden, the Environmental Education Fund, the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University invite you to attend the North Carolina Outdoor Classroom Symposium on October 22-24 at the N.C. Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.

The symposium will focus on techniques for creating, maintaining and using outdoor classrooms and strategies for integrating outdoor learning into the curriculum.  It will feature sessions on how to create specific types of school gardens and natural areas, how to start farm-to-school programs and how to design and use your school grounds to enhance learning across the curriculum. Pre-symposium workshops will be offered on Thursday. Mobile workshops on Saturday will give participants the opportunity to visit school and community gardens.  Other highlights will include a Friday evening reception, educational exhibits and many opportunities for networking and learning!

Sessions will be appropriate for educators who already have an outdoor classroom and for those who are just beginning to develop their schoolyard areas for outdoor environmental learning. Teachers can earn CEU credits, and all participants can earn credit towards their N.C. Environmental Education Certification.This will be a great opportunity for classroom teachers, teacher assistants, school administrators, parent volunteers, non-formal educators and those involved in the design of outdoor learning and play areas from across the state!

Visit the Web site for a brief agenda and to find out about registration.

Other Interesting Educational Opportunities for Educators

If you enjoy walking the beach, finding neat things, picking them up and appreciating them, then I have got some wonderful events for you this fall!  Sea-beans, sea glass and beachcombing in general are featured in three unique learning opportunities.  I’ll be reporting on at least two of these in upcoming issues of Scotch Bonnet.  Maybe I’ll see some of you there!

Photography Exhibit at NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

NC Aquarium logoThe N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher invites you to view the peaceful moments in life with its new Spadefish gallery art exhibit.  ”Photography by Matt Lettrich” will be on display September through November.  The exhibit showcases breathtaking photographs of coastal landscapes with unique lighting and remarkable perspectives.

After taking a darkroom studio photography course in high school, Lettrich became entranced by photography.  The class credit quickly morphed into a passionate hobby.  Lettrich enjoys engaging in outdoor activities and snapping shots of subjects that enhance his experience.  His camera always accompanies him in case the perfect shot arises ¾ such as waves crashing underneath a pier or a fisherman lifting a cast net out of the water at sunset.  Lettrich currently attends the University of North Carolina Wilmington as a graduate student in the marine science program.

The Spadefish gallery at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher showcases local artists throughout the year.  Artwork that coincides with the Aquarium’s mission of “Inspiring Appreciation and Conservation of North Carolina’s Aquatic Environment” is located on the second floor, near the auditorium.

North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching

The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) provides a collegial and engaging environment for teachers — a place to learn, think, debate, and explore.  NCCAT’s instructional programs are relevant to all subjects taught in North Carolina’s classrooms.  Please consider joining NCCAT for one of the STEM seminars listed below at no expense to you or your school.  Invite your colleagues to apply today, too.  NCCAT covers all program costs, including seminar expenses, meals, lodging and pay for the substitute teacher.  We encourage you and your colleagues to apply for a professional development seminar today by calling Teacher Services at 800/922-0482.

Here is just a sampling of opportunities available with NCCAT.  To view a PDF of all fall seminars, visit .

What’s New at the NC Maritime Museum

The N.C. Maritime Museum’s education department underwent several personnel changes this year.  Jeannie Kraus and JoAnne Powell announced their retirements in December 2008 and June 2009, respectively.  Jeannie and JoAnne have each given more than 30 years of service to the museum and have shaped the education department into what it is today.  Patrons who miss their expertise and humor should check upcoming calendars for special appearances in field programs starting this fall.

The department would like to welcome Laurie Streble as Associate Museum Curator.  Laurie came to the museum in July 2009 and will be coordinating public programs for the museum.  She previously worked as Outreach Coordinator at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Allegheny College.

The annual museum Calendar of Events can now be found as a pullout section of the museum’s newsletter, the Waterline.  Pick up a copy of the Waterline today for the latest public programs and special events at the museum.

This fall visitors can enjoy a variety of activities including nature trips to Rachel Carson Reserve and Shackleford Banks, a taste of local marine delicacies at the new Maritime Seafood Dinner Series, and tricks and treats at Fright Night at the museum.  Free museum lectures will feature the latest on modern piracy, the archaeology of the Queen Anne’s Revenge and an investigation of storms in the Graveyard of the Atlantic.  For more details and information, visit

Manatees Sighted in Carteret County

Some Carteret County residents were treated to a unique sight in early September –  three manatees exploring in Peletier Creek near Morehead City!  Go to for details!

Sands Teach

Bridge logoAn earlier online discussion on Scuttlebutt focused on using sand in teaching has generated an exchange of great Web sites that can help you incorporate sand as a teaching tool in your classrooms.  Check out some of these resources and don’t forget to check out the links from the Bridge, (search for “sand.”)

If you’re not a member of the Scuttlebutt discussion list, join up!  You never know what is going to be announced, discussed or revealed!  Go to the Bridge Web site, click on “Communicate” and follow the link to the Scuttlebutt E-mail List.

Curriculum/Activity Guides Still Available

COSEE SouthEast’s The Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris:  Southeast and Gulf of Mexico is a regional introduction to three main categories of marine debris:  litter; derelict or abandoned boats; and lost or abandoned commercial and recreational fishing gear.  This publication is available for free download on the COSEE SouthEast Web site (  and is also available in hard copy, while supplies last.

North Carolina Big Sweep’s publication Undercurrents:  A Big Sweep Middle School Teacher’s Guide includes litter awareness lessons that are correlated with state learning objectives for eigth grade science and math, as well as for healthful living, language arts and information skills.  Undercurrents is available free to North Carolina educators while supplies last.

The Coastal Processes and Conflicts curriculum includes extensive background information for teachers, as well as student lessons that are relevant in any setting — not just the island environment.  It is appropriate for middle and high school students.  The curriculum can be downloaded for free from  Or you can order a hard copy ($10 includes postage), which comes with a CD containing color copies of figures used in the student activities.

Each of these education resources is available from Terri Kirby Hathaway, North Carolina Sea Grant,

Need to contact me?

If you ever have information to share with other marine educators, please don’t hesitate to send it my way for inclusion in a future issue of the Scotch Bonnet.  Let me know what you’re hearing from the sea!

My contact information is: North Carolina Sea Grant, PO Box 699, Manteo, NC 27954; phone: 252/475-3663; fax: 252/475-3545; e-mail:

Best Fishes!

Terri Kirby Hathaway signature

Marine Education Specialist
NC Sea Grant

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