Maui Tour Operators Invited to Free Ocean Awareness Training

October 5, 2011, 2:49 PM HST · Updated October 6, 5:51 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Humpback whale. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Local environmental organizations on Maui in partnership with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) are joining forces to offer a free Ocean Awareness Training class series to the community and commercial marine tour operators.

The free training provides marine tour operators and community volunteers with up-to-date knowledge and interpretive skills to properly educate visitors about Hawaii’s unique marine environment.

The three-week series of lectures and workshops begins on Tuesday, October 11 in West Maui at the Lahaina Civic Center.

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With the humpback whale season approaching, fall classes will focus on humpback whales and other marine mammals found locally in the main Hawaiian islands.

Humpback whale disentaglement effort. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Key instructor dates and times include:

  • Humpback Whales on Oct. 11, 6 to 8 p.m. with Ed Lyman, Marine Mammal Response Manager for HIHWNMS
  • Monk Seal Count Volunteer Training on Oct. 13, from 6 to 7 p.m. with Nicole Davis, Maui Marine Mammal Response Program Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries
  • Dolphins on Oct. 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. with Dr. Daniela Maldini, Chief Scientist for Pacific Whale Foundation
  • Coral Reef Ecology on Oct. 18 from 7 to 8 p.m. with Donna Brown, UH-MC Marine Option Program Coordinator, along with John Mitchell, Education Coordinator for Digital Bus.
  • Blue Whales and Sperm Whales on Oct. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. with Dr. Sarah Mesnick, Science Liaison for NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

There will also be a volunteer networking potluck on October 29 at the Kahekili Beach Park, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Bonus community action opportunities include the following:

  • Thursday, October 13th, 6 – 8 p.m.: 10th Semi-Annual Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Count Training, with a longer presentation on Hawaiian monk seals especially for OAT attendees.
  • Thursday, October 27th, 6 – 8 p.m.: Water Quality Monitoring Community Workshop.
  • Tuesday, November 1st, 6 – 8 p.m.: Herbivore Enhancement Area volunteer survey training.
  • Wednesday November 2nd, 6 – 8 p.m.: Outreach Volunteer Training.

For online registration and and further details, visit: http://www.oceanawarehawaii.org/.

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