Group Title: Straight from the VINE : the environmental & cultural education newsletter for the Virgin Islands community
Title: Straight from the VINE : the environmental & cultural education newsletter for the Virgin Islands community. Volume 1. Issue 1.
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 Material Information
Title: Straight from the VINE : the environmental & cultural education newsletter for the Virgin Islands community. Volume 1. Issue 1.
Series Title: Straight from the VINE : the environmental & cultural education newsletter for the Virgin Islands community
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Island Network of Environmental Educators
Publisher: Virgin Island Network of Environmental Educators
Publication Date: 2005
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States Virgin Islands
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300656
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Volume 1
Issue 1


VINE Grows, C

Seeing a need to improve
environmental and cultural
education opportunities
throughout the U.S. Virgin
Islands, the Virgin Islands
Network of Environmental
Educators (VINE) was form
in August 2004 by educate
wanting to share informati
and community contacts.
VINE members work to-
gether to offer environment
education programs and
provide resources for teach
ers and the community. Th
network links K-20 educator
natural and cultural resour
organizations and stake-
holders to promote enviror
mental and cultural educa-
tion throughout the USVI.

VINE currently has partner
with 24 agencies through

Juanita Ga

The 4th-6th grade student
Juanita Gardine Elementar
got a sneak preview of the
new video highlighting the
East End Marine Park on St
Croix during a three-week I
series of class activities dev
to marine environments. T
video blends science and r
agement issues with vibrant
images of Crucian culture,
rational activities, and the
island's natural beauty botl
above and below the sea.

What determines the sex of a baby sea turtle?
Read this month's "Straight from the Vine" to find out!

offerss Educational Outreach Across USVI

the U.S. Virgin Islands and is N
actively developing new pro-
grams and materials for use 0 Anti-Litter &
on a number of issues, in- Beautification, St. Croix
cluding the impacts of water 0 coral World
pollution, the role of man- 0 Island Resources
ed groves in the marine environ- Foundation
rs meant, the life cycle of the 0 The National Park Service
Sment, the life cycle of the V Islands NP
Virgin Islands NP
on leatherback sea turtle, eneri. 0 The Nature Conservancy
conservation, the cultural
history of the Virgin Islands, VINs Dee Osinski talks about VINE USDA Natural Resources
history e though the o of VE m tCoenservation Service
ptal and preventing sol erosion, programs at t T wo rsho St. Croix Environmental
to name just a few. Association
educational outreach programs 0 st. croix Landmarks
e On October 18, 2004, VINE both on St. Croix and throughout Society
e made a presentation at the the USVI. O University of the Virgin
Quality Education Standards Islands Cooperative
in Teaching (EST) teacher For a directory of VINE members Extension service
professional development and programs, contact: 0 University of the virgin
Islands Globe Program
workshop at Education Comn- Dee Osinski 0 US Fish & Wildlife
plex on St. Croix. Seventy- St. Croix Anti-Litter & Beautification V Department of
two public school teachers (340) 773-4489 Agriculture
ed attended the presentation, O VI Department of
ut indicating the need for such Planning & Natural
0 VI Environmental
irdine Students See The Sea Resource Station
ts at video tells the island's rich O VI Marine Advisory Service
y history through the eyes of 0 v Resource conservation
& Development, Inc.
fishermen, scientists, commu- est Indies Marine Animal
nity leaders, and children. Research & conservation
.Service, Inc.



Teachers interested in the
video or the park can con-

Susan Curtis
(340) 773-1082

Dr William Coles of DPNRgives stu-
dents from Juanita Gardines "Kids
Against Pollution" EcoClub a hands-
on learning experience during their
"Water WaterEverywhere"Science

Upcoming Events

0 April 22: Earth Day

0 November 28-30: Non-
point Source Pollution
Conference, St. John

Leatherbacks Make Return to St. Croix, See Turtles Nesting Up Close

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is
pleased to announce that they will, once
again, offer school, youth, and commu-
nity groups the opportunity to visit Sandy
Point National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)
during the 2005 leatherback sea turtle
nesting season.
Since 1981, the United States Virgin Is-
lands Division of Fish and Wildlife (DPNR)
has run a comprehensive study of the
biology of the leatherback sea turtles
nesting on the beaches of Sandy Point
NWR. Education has been an important
component of the study since its incep-

Sandy Point NWR, as an important nest-
ing site for these endangered turtles,
provides unique educational opportuni-
ties for the St. Croix community. Every
nesting season, hundreds of local stu-
dents and adults visit Sandy Point to wit-
ness both leatherback nesting and hatch-
ling emergence. The program, started in
1997 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
plays an important role in the conserva-
tion of the leatherback sea turtle.

Throughout the history of the Leather-
back Research Project, there has been a
steady increase in the number of turtles
nesting each season. The combination of
increases in both public awareness and
nesting turtles created a need for a visitor
program which would allow community
members to see turtles while ensuring
the protection of this globally endan-
gered species.
The Sandy Point Sea Turtle Education
Program makes the community an inte-

gral part of the protection of
sea turtles and their habitats. In ,. .
doing so, it fosters a conserva-
tion ethic which extends to all
aspects of the natural commu-
nity. An educated and con-
cerned public is our greatest
ally when it comes to the pres- '.
ervation of sites such as Sandy .-
Point. The visitor program I:
shows visitors a world they I '.
may never have seen before. I
This is especially true of our
local, young people since St.
Croix has no zoos or natural
history museums. For many of Baby/eat
these children, this is their first
opportunity to interact with a wild ani-

Since 1997, thousands of schoolchildren
and local adults have visited Sandy Point
to see leatherback sea turtles nesting.
Beginning on I March, we will be accept-
ing reservations from school, youth, and
community groups for trips in April, May,
June, and July. Weekend nights are lim-
ited to school and youth groups and res-
ervations are only accepted for groups of
15 to 30 people at a time.
For more information, please contact:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(340) 773-4554.

After I March, call (340) 690-9452
for reservation information.


eerbacks hatch each spring from Sandy Point NWR.

Did you kno w that nest

temperature determines the

sex of baby sea turtles?

During the middle third of the
incubation period for sea turtle eggs,
warmer nest temperatures (above
29C or 82"F) tend to have more
females. Above 33"C (91 IF), nests are
almost exclusively females. Nest
temperatures are determined by
strength of sun, air temperatures, and
shade sources. Since sea turtles nest
above the high tide line, water
temperatures don't have an effect.

St. Croix Students Become Ocean Scientists for A Day

Students and science teachers from high
schools on St. Croix toured the National
Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) research ship Nancy Foster on
January 31, 2005.

This is the second year of the ship's on-
going scientific research mission, explor-
ing the seafloor around the U.S. Virgin
Islands. Students were able to learn
about the equipment and advanced
technologies needed for the mission.
Scientists explained how they would map
the seafloor using a Remotely-Operated
Vehicle (ROV), which takes still and video
footage underwater.

The crew of the Nancy Foster gave a tour
of the ship, showing students where the
scientists work, eat, sleep, and relax while
on a mission. After the tour, the students
were given advice on how to become an
ocean scientist by setting high goals and
working hard in school. The scientists
shared stories of how their firstjobs set
them along the road to becoming ocean
scientists. Students got a first-hand look at
how school and experience are invaluable
tools for reaching their goals and profes-
sional aspirations. Everyone involved ex-
pressed having a great time meeting to-
day's and tomorrow's ocean scientists.

Students take a stop during their tour of the
Nancy Foster fora quick pose on the gangway to
the research vessel

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