The Lettered Olive: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Education News
[ February 4, 2022]
Although it lays claim as the shortest month, February stands tall when it comes to recognizing important cultures and causes such as Black History Month and American Heart Month. Additionally, smack in the middle of February is Valentine's Day, a time to celebrate loved ones with (not so heart-healthy) candies and chocolates or flower bouquets. Although it shares the name of a common flower found in bouquets, this issue's featured species does not smell nearly as sweet, and you won't find it among arrangements of roses and baby's breath. The banded tulip snail (Cinctura lilium) is a marine gastropod that is commonly found along the South Carolina coastline and is identified by a purple-brown, spiral-shaped shell with distinctive lined markings. As with all marine snails, the banded tulip snail is a member of Phylum Mollusca and is characterized by a soft body surrounded by a hard shell that continually grows during its lifetime. For additional protection, the banded tulip snail has an operculum, a semi-hard extension of the animal's foot, which serves as a trapdoor enclosing the snail completely inside its shell. This defensive mechanism helps to protect the animal from predation from animals such as horse conchs and stingrays, and also from desiccation, or drying out, during times of exposure to the sunlight and heat (e.g., low tide). The banded tulip snail scavenges for food and also preys on other gastropods and bivalves by using a radula, or toothed, tongue-like appendage, to drill a hole into its prey and dine on the animal inside the shell. So, while you may not give your loved one a bouquet of banded tulip snails for Valentine's Day, check out these sweet opportunities from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and our partners!
(photo: E. Bell)
Celebrating Black History Month
Highlighted below are a few of the S.C. educational resources available for use by K -12 teachers and students:

  • South Carolina State Library: Black History Month Teacher Resources website has a wealth of information including lesson plans, teacher guides, African American History Database, Historical Black Newspaper Collection, and much more.

  • Coastal Heritage Magazine: The Consortium's award-winning, quarterly magazine, has several past issues dedicated to black history in S.C., including topics such as: Charleston's jazz age, the transatlantic slave trade, Gullah-Geechee culture, and the Reformation Era. Additionally, each issue has an online educational supplement, Curriculum Connection, that is aligned to K - 12 state science standards. Visit the Consortium's Coastal Heritage webpage to search for past issues by topic. All issues are available for free download.
Educator Professional Development
Virtual Environmental Quarantrivia:
Cupid Comes to Carolina!
February 8, 2022 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Registration Deadline: (Today!) February 4, 2022

Want to put your heart on the line for big prizes? Well, court your team or go solo for the next Virtual Environmental Quarantrivia event, "Cupid Comes to Carolina!" From mating displays to not-so-sweet smelling pheromones, you'll pit your knowledge about nature's rules of attraction with others across the state. Questions are all South Carolina focused and will be made available to any participating team member after the event. This free, educational event is sponsored by Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina, and the South Carolina Marine Educators Association. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required by February 4. Questions can be sent to E.V. Bell, Hannah Giddens, or Courtney Gerstenmaier-Felton.
Educator Science Café: All Hands on Deck
March 27, 2022 from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
U.S.S. Yorktown
Deadline to Register: March 11, 2022
Join Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium for a "brunch and learn" educator science café aboard the USS Yorktown and surrounding Shem Creek! This two-part, free event will showcase ways in which to incorporate English Language Arts (ELA) to address the new S.C. State Science Standards -- all while enjoying brunch provided by Callie's Hot Little Biscuits!

Part 1: USS Yorktown (11:30 am - 1:00 pm): Using the the ship and surrounding coastal ecosystems as a foundation, educators will be invited to rotate through three learning stations designed to showcase how nature journaling (writing and drawing) and literacy can be incorporated into the virtual and/or in-person classroom.

Part 2: Shem Creek (1:00 pm - 2:30 pm): This optional part of the café will provide an opportunity to practice skills learned during Part 1 using the beautiful backdrop of Shem Creek.

Session supplies, educational resources, and brunch provided. Space is limited and registration is required by March 11, 2022. Questions can be sent to E.V. Bell or Hannah Giddens.
All Booked Up: Coastal Reading Club
Next Read: Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island
Deadline to Register: March 4, 2022

Calling all educators -- this is not just your average book club! The All Booked Up Coastal Reading Club provides an opportunity for educators to read and discuss influential fiction and nonfiction books related to S.C., the southeastern region, the coast, or nature in general! Book selections are determined by members of the club.

Our next book selection is Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island by Will Harlan. Interested? Visit the All Booked Up Coastal Reading Club webpage to learn more about the club, sign up, and learn more about the latest book selection. New members receive their first book for free, but you must sign up by March 4, 2022. Questions can be emailed to E.V. Bell.
Project Learning Tree: Explore your Environment
Professional Development Workshops
March 25, 2022 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM (in-person)
March 29, 2022 from 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (virtual)
Hobcaw Barony, Georgetown, S.C.

Hobcaw Barony, one of South Carolina Project Learning Tree’s Environmental Education Centers, is hosting two professional development trainings in PLT's new flagship curriculum, Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide. Included in this curriculum are 50 hands-on, multidisciplinary activities designed to connect children to nature and increase young people’s awareness and knowledge about their environment. Activities include detailed step-by-step instructions, academic correlations, time and material requirements, and student worksheets with green career connections. This supplementary curriculum is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Renewal credits provided and a copy of the activity guide will be provided. Register here for the March 25th in-person training; register here for the March 29th virtual training. Questions can be sent to Beth Foley.
Environmental Education Association of South Carolina's Annual Conference
"Educating Outside the Box"
June 8 - 11, 2022
Aiken, S.C.
Registration is now open for the 2022 Environmental Education Association of South Carolina (EEASC) Annual Conference! During this fun-filled educational time, you'll enjoy plenary sessions, workshops, and field trips to places like the Ruth Patrick Science Center and the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve. Learn more about this exciting conference and register by visiting the EEASC Conference webpage.

Interested in presenting on an environmental education program, resource, or opportunity? Submit a session proposal by filling out this form.
Student Opportunities
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Coastal Conservation Summer Internship

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources' Marine Resources Division and Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve are hosting a coastal conservation summer internship program! The goal of this program is to create and promote conservation-based career paths for underserved students from the Lowcountry. Up to five interns will be selected and hosted at the Fort Johnson campus and will learn about a variety of natural resource conservation areas, including: biological research and monitoring, communication, fisheries management, wildlife and land management, and environmental education and outreach. The internship will be a full-time paid position with housing options available. More details can be found on our application form.
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
Your Parks, Your Classroom

Your Parks, Your Classroom is a free, virtual program series for K-12 students and teachers. These programs introduce students to the nature and history found in the Charleston County Parks while addressing S.C. learning standards. Programs occur at 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM via Zoom on Wednesdays this winter. For more information or to register your students visit Your Parks, Your Classroom | Charleston County Parks and Recreation (
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Education Resources
Latest Edition of Coastal Heritage Magazine and Curricululm Connection Now Available!

The newest edition of Coastal Heritage Magazine, Jewel of the Marsh: The Remarkable Diamondback Terrapin, is now available for free download. In this issue, readers will learn about this year-round salt marsh reptile, including their ecology, threats to their populations, and ongoing conservation efforts. Educators can also access the online educational supplement, Curriculum Connection, which provides lessons and resources related to the issue and aligned to S.C. state science standards.
Enviroscape Loaner Program

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium offers use of their Wetlands Enviroscape Model free-of-charge to any S.C. K-12, nonformal, and homeschool educator. The Wetlands Enviroscape Model provides a hands-on demonstration about how watersheds can be affected by development, pollution, and other human-made and natural impacts. Included as part of the demonstration are ways in which potential pollution impacts can be mitigated (e.g., riparian buffers and salt marshes). To find out more information on requesting to borrow the Enviroscape, please visit the Enviroscape Loaner Program page to fill out the request form. Questions can be sent to Emmi Palenbaum.
New! S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Career Website

Do you know someone who is considering a career in the ocean sciences? Check out the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium's brand-new website designed to provide information on a variety of different types of career paths within the field of ocean sciences. Don't want to be a scientist? No problem! This website has relevant information for both science and non-science fields-of-study.
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