Posts Tagged ‘bald eagle’

The Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) consists of six Federal and State of California agencies that are restoring natural resources which were harmed by past releases of DDTs and PCBs into the Southern California ocean environment. MSRP has installed educational kiosks at the SEA Lab in Redondo Beach, the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Channel Island Park Visitor Center in Ventura. FCEC chatted with MSRP’s Gabrielle Dorr about the kiosks.

FCEC: What is the MSRP kiosk exactly?

Gabrielle Dorr: The kiosks are educational tools that allow users to interact and learn about restoration of natural resources from DDT and PCB contamination. Essentially each kiosk contains software referred to as “Augmented Reality” which allows kids to experience nature in 3D. The kiosks stream short videos about our restoration projects as well. The interactive 3D imagery was developed by Total Immersion while the overall design and concept of the kiosk was created by Pavement.

The kiosks are designed to take viewers through several 3D animation scenarios allowing them to zoom into and out of an eagle’s nest for example. The videos go into more detail about specific restoration projects.

FCEC: What’s so darn cool about the MSRP kiosks?

Gabrielle Dorr: The kiosks contain cutting edge technology that has never been used in this type of setting before. It’s been used in commercial settings but never for educational purposes. First, it’s interactive, which means for the audience we are seeking to educate, kids, it’s a captivating tool.

Since the MSRP kiosks are located in aquariums and science centers it has a lot to compete with. So we worked hard to develop something that will keep the kids engaged.

The kiosks have reached over 200,000 people so far!

FCEC: So the MSRP kiosks are for kids? Why kids?

Gabrielle Dorr: Certainly the MSRP kiosks are geared toward kids, but adults can also enjoy them and learn about restoration.  Kids educate their families by acting as portals of information.  They help spread the word, especially if they get excited about it, which is our hope with the kiosk idea. Not only can they take a brochure home when they finish using the kiosk, they can also download the program on their home computer to continue the learning experience.

The bottom line is that youth are great multipliers of knowledge. Reaching them can have a great effect on the larger community in general. This is where our program overlaps directly with FCEC’s mission to educate the public about fish contamination. It is our hope that our program helps to achieve this same goal.

FCEC: Where can folks find the MSRP kiosks?

Gabrielle Dorr: One of the MSRP kiosks is located in SEA Lab at 1021 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, 90277. People can find it in the main exhibit area. Another MSRP kiosk is at the California Science Center, located at Exposition Park, 39th Street & Figueroa Street. And a third can be found at the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, 93001.

MSRP has other fun, interactive educational tools such as their Fish Webcam and Bald Eagle Webcam. Make sure to check them out on the MSRP website!

Bald eagle landing on a nest in the Channel IslandsDid you know that the DDT pollution off the coast of Southern California affects other animals, in addition to fish and the humans who consume the contaminated fish?  Bald eagles nesting on the Channel Islands have been heavily affected.  In the middle of the 20th century, bald eagles began to lay thin-shelled eggs that did not successfully hatch.  The bird disappeared from the islands by the early 1960s.

FCEC’s partner, Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) has focused on bringing America’s national bird back to the Channel Islands.  MSRP celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year and the program’s staff has a lot to share about the success of their Bald Eagle restoration project–an effort which has existed even before MSRP’s official establishment.

Biologists began efforts to reintroduce the bald eagle to the Channel Islands in 1980, starting with Catalina Island.  Bald eagles were then reintroduced to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Northern Channel Islands, in 2002, following a study conducted by MSRP.  By 2006, the program had its first successful breeding on the Northern Channel Islands.  Today, Bald Eagles on the islands are breeding without the help of humans and their chicks are growing up healthy enough to leave their nests.

To celebrate the program’s success and its ten-year anniversary, MSRP has released a short film that chronicles the bald eagle’s recovery, titled “Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands”.  Watch this amazing and educational film, and let us know which part you particularly liked by leaving a comment below.