Thursday, June 23, 2011

Orca Saturdays

June is Orca Month and here at PTMSC we celebrated with two Orca Saturdays.  These events were all about sharing our orca knowledge with the public.
Young visitors got creative at the craft table!
Up until recently, the majority of our interactions with the public have focused around the articulation of the orca skeleton, Hope (learn more HERE).  Of course Hope's presence and stories were with us for our events, but it was also nice to incorporate other orca-related activities into our celebration.  Many of these activities were new to the public and our volunteers because most of them were adapted from orca curriculum developed and taught here at PTMSC.

A family worked together to build an orca family tree!

Visitors learned about hydrophones (underwater microphones) and how they are used to listen to sound underwater.

In our local waters, scientists use hydrophones to listen to orca vocalizations and have learned many of the different calls orcas make.  At our Orca Saturday events, we set up a portable hydrophone and let visitors create and listen to how a variety of objects create sound underwater.

At one point, the craft table was filled with kids, orca volunteers were immersed in conversation with visitors, and a father and daughter read an orca storybook in the corner of the room.  I stepped back, took in the moment and smiled like a proud parent.

Although our Orca Month festivities have come to an end, June isn't over yet!  I encourage you to find your own way to acknowledge, celebrate and learn about these amazing creatures.

Heather Jones

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