Marine center visits Bellingham to teach about native plants and animals

Western Today staff
Friday, September 23, 2011 - 10:13am

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Sea stars wait in tanks outside of the Bellingham Public Library as part of the Shannon Point Marine Center’s touch-tank booth Sept. 22, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University Communications intern
Sea stars wait in tanks outside of the Bellingham Public Library as part of the Shannon Point Marine Center’s touch-tank booth Sept. 22, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University Communications intern

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Kennen Barbo, 2, touches a Blood sea star at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011.
Kennen Barbo, 2, touches a Blood sea star at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011.

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Bellingham residents and passers-by stop to look at the touch tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011.
Bellingham residents and passers-by stop to look at the touch tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011.

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Three-year-old Wesley Allen (right) and his mother Camilla Allen react as a scallop opens and closes in Shannon Point Marine Center Public Education Specialist Denise Crowe’s hands.
Three-year-old Wesley Allen (right) and his mother Camilla Allen react as a scallop opens and closes in Shannon Point Marine Center Public Education Specialist Denise Crowe’s hands.

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Bellingham residents and passers-by stop to look at the touch tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
Bellingham residents and passers-by stop to look at the touch tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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A crab waits in a tank at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
A crab waits in a tank at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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Three year old Wesley Allen of Bellingham inspects a scallop at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
Three year old Wesley Allen of Bellingham inspects a scallop at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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Sea stars wait in tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
Sea stars wait in tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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Gene McKeen, Manager of Academic and Support Services for the Shannon Point Marine Center holds a crab at the marine center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
Gene McKeen, Manager of Academic and Support Services for the Shannon Point Marine Center holds a crab at the marine center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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A spiny sea urchin and crab sit in touch-tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
A spiny sea urchin and crab sit in touch-tanks at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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Denise Crow, Marine Science Public Education Specialist for the Shannon Point Marine Center holds a sea star at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.
Denise Crow, Marine Science Public Education Specialist for the Shannon Point Marine Center holds a sea star at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library September 22, 2011.

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Kennen Barbo, 2, touches a Blood sea star at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011.
Kennen Barbo, 2, touches a Blood sea star at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011.

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Brittany O’Brien (left) and her 3-year-old daughter Kennedy react after touching the rubbery spines of a sea cucumber at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University Communic
Brittany O’Brien (left) and her 3-year-old daughter Kennedy react after touching the rubbery spines of a sea cucumber at the Shannon Point Marine Center’s booth outside of Bellingham Public Library Sept. 22, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University Communic

The Mobile Ocean Science Information System from Western Washington University's Shannon Point Marine Center visited the Bellingham Public Library Thursday to teach community members about animals and plants native to the marine waters of the Pacific Northwest.

The system, developed through donations from the Borman Family Foundation, is an integral part of the marine center's Marine Science Public Education Initiative that seeks to provide a broad public audience, including K-12 students, with knowledge about local marine environments and about the research that Western's marine center is conducting. The public education initiative has been active in Skagit County since early 2010, but with support from the WWU Foundation has extended its reach into Whatcom County this year.

This is part of a university-wide initiative called Coastal Resources and Environments of Washington that seeks to coordinate facilities and faculty expertise from throughout the university to address marine environmental issues of interest to the citizens of the state of Washington. CREW will include undergraduate and graduate instruction, research and public education and include not only the natural sciences, but also policy and economic aspects of the marine coastal resource.

The Shannon Point Marine Center’s mission is to support and promote marine science academic programs at WWU, develop new information about local marine environments, train the next generation of marine scientists and provide public education events.

Photos by Rhys Logan | University Communications intern

Photo:

Sea stars wait in tanks outside of the Bellingham Public Library as part of the Shannon Point Marine Center’s touch-tank booth Sept. 22, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University Communications intern