Original Articles

HAB outreach using multimedia: integrating ocean research and education


Abstract

This paper highlights a few of the education and outreach products on harmful algal blooms (HABs) that have been developed at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, a non-profit organisation dedicated to marine biological research and education. The 'Toxic & Harmful Algal Blooms' web page (www.bigelow.org/hab) provides information about blooms, where they occur in US waters, foodweb effects, how toxins affect humans, and causative species. The 'Special topics' section features freshwater blooms, ocean colour, detection methods and research on South African HABs. This online resource is augmented by educational activities (www.bigelow.org/edhab) that allow teachers to use the topic of HABs as a vehicle to investigate the role that algae play in our environment. The multimedia CD-ROM, 'Phytopia: Discovery of the Marine Ecosystem', is a data-rich resource with tutorials, interactive tools, high-quality graphics and movie clips designed for users of various skill and interest levels. 'Phytopia' enables those without appropriate equipment or data to investigate the microscopic marine ecosystem. Since its release in May 2003, over 6 100 copies have been requested from users in 61 countries for formal and informal education and research.

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