Winter Workshops for Coastal Naturalists

Winter Workshops for Coastal Naturalists

 SCDNR shellfish biologist Ben Stone (right) identifies a fish caught by attendees of a recent "Intertidal Zones" workshop during drop-net sampling. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR) 

SCDNR shellfish biologist Ben Stone (right) identifies a fish caught by attendees of a recent "Intertidal Zones" workshop during drop-net sampling. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR) 

As temperatures drop and life outdoors slows down, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is offering a new professional development workshop series designed for ecotour operators and other working naturalists.

Dolphins, crabs, shrimp, and shorebirds will all be surveyed in the series' remaining workshops, which are led by experts from SCDNR and federal partners and aim to give attendees a crash course in the current research on and threats facing these marine animals in South Carolina. 

Jessica Tipton puts on numerous trainings each month as the Coastal Training Coordinator for the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, but this is the first time she's organized a series specifically for this audience. It grew out of a need Tipton saw to strengthen the natural partnership between SCDNR’s scientists and the area’s diverse group of working naturalists.

“Ecotour groups and other naturalists are really on the front lines of environmental education, introducing residents and visitors to our amazing coastal landscapes every day,” Tipton said. “We wanted to better to connect them to our biologists and resources – so they can come to us when they have questions, talk to us about what they’re seeing on the ground, and share the latest marine science with the people they serve.”

 Biologist Michael Hodges (right) talks to workshop attendees dissecting a bag of oyster shells. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR)

Biologist Michael Hodges (right) talks to workshop attendees dissecting a bag of oyster shells. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR)

The workshop series is ideal for employees of ecotour companies, environmental nonprofits, or local municipalities who could benefit from an introduction to or refresher on the topics listed below. Each workshop lasts half a day or less, and some with hands-on field components may require specific clothing or footwear. Register for any of the upcoming workshops below by clicking their titles:

Marine Mammals (Charleston, SC) January 9, 2018
Marine Mammals (Bluffton, SC) January 10, 2018
Marine Arthropods (Charleston, SC) January 30, 2018
Shorebirds and Wading Birds (Charleston, SC) February 8, 2018

Here’s what someone from a recent workshop had to say about the experience: “Great content, format, speakers. [It was] appropriate to a broad spectrum of skill and knowledge level, and a great refresher course for those previously educated.”

Each workshop has limited space, so register soon if you’re interested!

Have questions? Learn more here or contact Jessica Tipton at tiptonj@dnr.sc.gov.

 SCDNR scientist Peter Kingsley-Smith (center) tells recent workshop attendees about the different living shoreline materials his group is studying. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR)

SCDNR scientist Peter Kingsley-Smith (center) tells recent workshop attendees about the different living shoreline materials his group is studying. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR)

Ask a Marine Biologist: Close Encounters of the Molluskan Kind

Ask a Marine Biologist: Close Encounters of the Molluskan Kind

The Shoes Make the Scientist: The Best Footwear for Coastal Fieldwork

The Shoes Make the Scientist: The Best Footwear for Coastal Fieldwork