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The South Atlantic Ocean exhibition: an All-Atlantic outreach collaboration in Brazil

The " South Atlantic Ocean" booth, with UFSC students. ©UFSC

Between the 9th and 11th November 2022, the All-Atlantic sister projects AtlantECO, Aquavitae, Mission Atlantic, iAtlantic and TRIATLAS joined forces during the “19th UFSC’s Research, Education, Outreach and Innovation Week (SEPEX)", at Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Brazil. They co-designed and delivered material for a booth called “The South Atlantic Ocean''. The booth was managed by undergraduate and postgraduate students from Oceanography, Biological Sciences and Ecology backgrounds.

The exhibition was organised by the AtlantECO Team, and welcomed students from junior to high schools and universities, UFSC’s students and workers, most of them accompanied by friends and families. SEPEX is the most important Science and Outreach Fair of the region. All sister projects were involved in organising the exhibition, providing material for the experiments, living creatures, microscopes, skeletons and a plastic station. Visitors were able to learn a lot about the South Atlantic through the different material showcased.

  • In an aquarium two shrimps grown in the UFSC aquaculture farm were swimming in oxygenated waters, catching the public's attention.

  • Plankton samples were observable thanks to the use of a Curiosity Microscope and a Stereoscope Microscope. Everyone was able to see copepods, polychaete larvae, diatoms, dinoflagellates, ciliates for themselves.

  • An experiment showing the impact of the heat waves in the ocean was displayed in two glass boxes, one showing the impact of the heat wave (stratified water column) and the other showing a healthy ocean (homogenous water column).

  • The deep ocean was represented by deep water corals and the giant isopod Bathynomus giganteus skeletons

  • Macro- and microplastics were displayed together with educational messages about plastic pollution and its impact on the ocean.

  • Finally, interactive modules representing the impacts of plastics and bycatch fishing on the ocean fauna drew a lot of attention especially from the children.

All the projects involved are funded under the Blue Growth call of the Horizon 2020 Programme, from the European Commission and contribute to the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance . Their common objective is to support sustainable growth in the Atlantic Ocean, which remains the most unknown ocean of the world, despite its benefits and impacts on the global climate, and the many services it provides for our society.

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