Deadline March 15 for Oceanography Camp for Girls

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2008) – Teresa Greely is concerned about cultivating the next generation of scientists.

Without creating a new crop of scientists in the current generation of school children, the country’s economic future could be pretty bleak, she said.

“Enrollment in science and technology studies is waning,” she added. “Other challenges impacting the science and technology workforce are the impending retirement of large numbers of the existing employees and retaining science teaching professionals.” 

To turn around a decades-long decline in interest in science, especially among teenage girls, Greely serves as co-director with Angela Lodge for the University of South Florida’s Oceanography Camp for Girls. The annual program provides local girls a chance to see what oceanography and other geosciences have to offer by engaging them in real life marine science activities organized by the USF College of Marine Science.

“Our goal is to advance ocean science literacy and encourage science careers,” said Greely, who is also the College of Marine Science’s coordinator of education and outreach. “It’s all about promoting positive outlooks about science, self, and the environment.

”The three-week camp begins June 23 and runs through July 11. Participants will be treated to a very hands-on experience as they accompany ocean scientists on field trips to ocean settings, take part in conservation activities and set sail on three-day research cruises.

Of course, it’s not all work. The camp includes other activities you would expect in a summer camp, like teambuilding exercises, swimming and singing songs, Greely said.

Partly because of the OCG and similar programs, Greely said she sees positive trends for science students in future.

“Our results have been very encouraging from camp reunions with the girls and from tracking their progress,” Greely said. “Close to 20 percent of the girls out of 600 were going on to continue their science education. In fact, it’s really exciting that two of our alum campers are now graduate students in the college.

”The camp is free and open to any Pinellas County girl who is going from eighth into ninth grade. Applications are due by March 15 and enrollment is limited to 30 students.

For more information or to apply for the camp, go to the website at,or call (727)553-3921.