Science in Seconds: Meet Gabby Barbarite, Ph.D.

Science in Seconds: Meet Gabby Barbarite, Ph.D.

FAU Faculty Shares Science with the Public

Gabby Barbarite, Ph.D, director of outreach and engagement at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, helps the community learn about FAU’s marine science research through exhibitions at the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center, tours, lecture series, citizen science activities, after-school programs and more.

Most recently, she received a $399,963 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) South Florida Initiative Program to support a new Indian River Lagoon field trip program aboard the “Discovery,” FAU Harbor Branch’s state-of-the-art tour boat.

Over the course of three years, the project will host 125 field trips, which will educate as many as 3,125 socially disadvantaged middle and high school students about Florida’s natural resources and the importance of conserving them. The Discovery will depart directly from the FAU Harbor Branch campus in Fort Pierce, which is located along the Indian River Lagoon.

Students will have the chance to conduct a zooplankton tow, then use portable microscopes to see what they collected, learn about water quality by measuring salinity, temperature, pH, turbidity and nutrients, and also have the opportunity to visit one of FAU Harbor Branch’s Indian River Lagoon Observatory Network of Environmental Sensors stations, where weather and water parameters are monitored in real-time and streamed to an open-access website

For non-students, the public can take tours that depart every Friday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. from FAU Harbor Branch, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Fort Pierce. Explorers of all ages can join the 90-minute excursions. An expert guide leads participants through an immersive educational experience as marine scientists on a floating laboratory with state-of-the-art tools.

Barbarite said she enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion with others, so that they too discover the important role that science plays in daily lives and work together to conserve the planet. "Nature is very intricate, and scientists investigate these intricacies at a deeper level," she said. "Researchers at FAU study so many things, from a single, tiny cell to a complex coral reef, and make amazing discoveries every day."

For more information on FAU Harbor Branch public outreach events and lectures, click here.

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