Friday, June 14, 2013

Underwater films and jellyfish!

We are continuing to celebrate oceans this month on Saipan with a few more activities that you should know about...

First, there is a great new series of underwater videos showing for FREE on youtube. Check out Craig Musburger's fantastic footage in his series of UnderH2O shorts here: Craig is the videographer who filmed our very own Laolao Bay documentary that was debuted at First Friday Films last November. 

We'd also like to pass along a message from APASEEM about a "The Science of the Sting" -- a talk about field ecology and the venoms of box jellyfish that will be held at American Memorial Park next Wednesday, June 19th from 6:30-7:30pm (see more information below).

We hope you can make it to the event!

The Science of the Sting

Field Ecology and Venoms of Box Jellyfish

Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? Are there highly poisonous box jellyfish in our local waters? If they are attracted to lights, can some jellyfish see? Are they present even in the daytime? Want to find out more about these fascinating marine animals?

This coming Wednesday the Asia Pacific Academy of Sciences, Science Education, and Environmental Management (APASEEM) will host a public presentation at the American Memorial Park auditorium by a visiting scientist currently conducting box jellyfish research in our local waters. Time: 6:30 to 7:30/8pm. Date, Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Cubozoans or box jellyfish are the most specialized class in the Cnidaria phylum, a phylum (group) that also includes sea anemones and corals. Dr. Angel Yanagihara, a research professor at the University of Hawaii, has been characterizing the field ecology, reproductive biology and venom biochemistry of multiple box jellyfish species in Hawaiian waters since 1997.

Reports of box jellyfish in the Caribbean waters off Bonaire, Netherlands (former Dutch Antilles) recently led her to conduct field research there and she brought some film footage to share. As part of a global phylogeography effort she is currently investigating local box jellyfish species in the waters off Saipan. Dr. Yanagihara will present an overview of her research. Interested members of the public are invited, and, as at all APASEEM meetings, questions from everyone is strongly encouraged.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Celebrate oceans, surfing and clean water this Friday

FFF has another exciting NEW film for you this coming Friday, June 7th at 6:30pm at American Memorial Park. We will be showing Keepers of the Coast in celebration of World Oceans Day (June 8) and International Surfing Day (June 21).

Every year beaches are closed due to pollution. Millions of dollars in tourism and related industries can be lost from beach closings, in addition to the devastating impact that polluted beaches can have on subsistence fishing, income, health and recreation. Surfers all over the world are realizing the importance in monitoring and preventing pollution on the beaches. When our coastline is polluted, surfers take it on the skin, in their eyes and ears, and even in their guts.

Since the making of this film in 1996, surfers have been organizing world-wide: testing water quality, funding research on wetland restoration, and educating the public in schools and communities. This film takes us back to the 1990s to show us what the beaches looked like then and what ocean enthusiasts decided to do about it. To bring us back to the present, Clarissa Bearden from the DEQ Water Quality branch will speak before the film about the CNMI’s beach monitoring program.

First Friday Films is a partnership between American Memorial Park, the Division of Environmental Quality, Coastal Resources Management and the Humanities Council with support from other organizations. This particular film is sponsored by DEQ. As always, our film events are free and open to the public. This event will run about 60 minutes. 

This June marks three years of First Friday Films providing free monthly documentaries to the public to keep you entertained and educated on issues related to our environment. A big THANK YOU to our viewers for supporting the program and coming back month after month. :)