The Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE) is a research consortium of 19 U.S. and international partners focused on effects of oil spills on marine environments. The C-IMAGE consortium is currently in their second installment of funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) in response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout of 2010.
Education and outreach team leaders are Co-I T. Greely (USF) and Co-I L. Hotaling (USF), though all C-IMAGE investigators will have the opportunity to participate. The USF CMS office of Education and Outreach has a 20-year history in K-12 and graduate education and has five E&O programs, including the Oceanography Camp for Girls (OCG), Teachers Oceanography Workshops (In-TOW), OCEANS Teaching Fellowships, Spoonbill Ocean Sciences Bowl, and graduate courses for scientists and teachers on how to teach and communicate the ocean sciences to multiple audiences.
Reaching beyond the scientific and engineering communities, a robust education and outreach effort is planned to share C-IMAGE research with the general public. The multi-faceted education and outreach plan includes formal, informal and citizen science education programs. The formal K-12 education program will highlight professional development (PD) for teachers involving:
- Eastern GOM ecosystem science, e.g. modeling and living resources;
- water quality sensor development and deployment (senseit.org); and
- GLOBE environmental science protocols and data visualization.
The formal graduate education program will provide PD for marine science graduate students about teaching and communicating GOM ecosystem sciences in K-12, informal and public forums. The informal science education (ISE) program will include partnerships with aquaria and science centers to highlight data from C-IMAGE research in exhibits in their facilities, and a partnership with WUSF Public Radio to create a series of radio segments/podcasts, which explain in narrative format the research conducted through C-IMAGE. The citizen science programming will draw inspiration from The GLOBE Program where students and concerned citizens can contribute to scientific research in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Citizen science will also include engaging the public via public lectures, podcasts, radio series and science cafes.