In July of 2012, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) along with its sister aquarium, Taiwan’s National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium (NMMBA), were awarded the 2012 Museums Connect grant. This highly competitive grant program, provided by the American Alliance of Museums is designed to strengthen connections and cultural understanding between people in the United States and abroad through innovative year-long projects facilitated by museums.
Coral Reef Ambassadors aims to connect youth in both countries to increase interest in coral reef science and develop cross-cultural research and conservation skills. This program will connect 30 middle school students from San Diego and Pingtung, Taiwan, with coral scientists, community stakeholders and aquarium staff in both cities.
Jill Harris, a PhD student in the Smith Lab participated in the second Community Conversation of Coral Reef Ambassadors, speaking to middle school students from San Diego and Taiwan through a Google+ Hangout. These students become pen pals and participate in these presentations to learn more about coral reefs.
Check out the cross-cultural learning!