Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Friday Fun at NOAA

Last Friday (July 26th) was the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute open house, and man was it fun! The lab hosted tours, an interactive touch tank, NOAA partners in research and management, and had yummy refreshments courtesy of the Ted Stevens Foundation. I was on aquarium duty, so I got to meet people right as they came in and answer any questions they had about the fish, crabs, and other animals in the facility's aquaria. If you didn't have a chance to make it out, don't worry: I took notes!

The TSMRI (that's our little acronym for this lab... scientists and their abbreviations, amirite?) entrance has these lovely metal "walls" that line the sidewalk leading to the front doors. They make me smile with their shiny rockfish and herring, but what really catches my eye is the little metal Dungeness crab.

see it?

oh, why thank you, welcome crab!

What can I say, I love metal dungies! Even nerdy Lord-of-the-Rings-referencing ones. Moving in to the building you are greeted with our largest aquarium (there are three more around the back). It holds several species of rockfish, some sculpins, sablefish, dolly vardin, kelp greenlings, and a lingcod.

lots of things to ooh and aah over

It also currently holds some snazzy red king crabs (Paralithodes camtschaticus) and some cheeky Dungeness crabs (Metacarcinus magister)!

Hi, gorgeous!

SFOS student Jennifer Stoutamore took time to say "Hi"
to her fellow king crabs on her way to the UAF table

this Dungy was photobombed by a greenling

Aside from the aquarium and the great tours through the lab, the touch tank was a huge crowd pleaser! It was stocked with sea stars, sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, lyre crabs, Tanner crabs, urchins... the list goes on and on!

holding a hermit crab - outreach in action

a Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) showing off
his perfect M-shaped mouth and bright red eyes

Check out KTOO's coverage of the event here to see more photos and hear the open house in action. Thanks for stopping by!

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