Rocky Intertidal v.2.0

The Process.

Last year, DSN compatriot and Captain of the rag-tag crew over at Southern Fried Science, dropped a science outreach bomb. Dr. A.D. Thaler struck some ecological/technological brilliance in the form of the Scanning the Sea project. In a word, I was inspired and wanted to do my part in pushing this magical ocean outreach toolbox forward and to the masses. Over the past year, and with Andrew’s much appreciated mentorship, my team and I have been working diligently to compile the next piece in the 3D puzzle.

I am stoked to unveil the Rocky Intertidal segment to the #ScanningtheSea library in the form of “3D Cabrillo.” Working at a National Park revealed the perfect opportunity to preserve the resources in this way and make them available for the public.

3D Cabrillo is a multifaceted educational resource and experience available to educators both near and far. In local collaboration with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the La Jolla Library, we utilized the #ScanningtheSea methodology to create biomodels of many of the prominent organisms found in our Rocky Intertidal Zone. Free downloadable versions of these models are available to the public on the park’s website at the 3D Cabrillo Biomodel Library. These models can be produced on any 3D printer. Our hope is that this will increase accessibility of ocean resources throughout our community and beyond.

In conjunction with the biomodel library, we developed an interactive Student Resource Manual. This takes students through a step-by-step guide on how to create and render 3D models. The 3D Cabrillo Student Resource Manual was specifically developed to connect students to the ocean ecosystems, while simultaneously teaching 3D printing techniques. We look forward to implementing this program with local schools during their upcoming Spring semester and putting their work on display for thousands of visitors to see and learn from.

Using the new tools available to us, we seek to reach the public in different and exciting ways. Our goal is that this initiative will highlight the public’s important role in awareness and stewardship of our ocean resources. By connecting nature and technology, we look to foster excitement in the next generation of environmental stewards.

A special thanks to Andrew D. Thaler for inspiring this project and his ongoing commitment to ocean science education. Onward Captain.

Alex Warneke (97 Posts)

Alex currently resides as a Science Communicator for the National Park Service, where she inspires thousands a year to love the watery world. Alex earned her Masters degree in chemical ecology from San Diego State University investigating the effects of heavy metal pollutants on the chemical communication between organisms. In her “free time,” Alex enjoys convincing the public that Ecology is indeed sexy. With that goal, she is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the general public using the outlets of film and social media. When she is not busy busting a move or filming her next rap video, she can normally be found frolicking through the California kelp forest.


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