For most Americans, NOAA means weather, but this critically important federal agency is so much more, and the local office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants to show you exactly what else they do to impact our lives and our communities.
Pascagoula is home to NOAA’s Mississippi Laboratory of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center where dozens of scientists and technicians work to understand, protect, and promote the fisheries resources of the Gulf of Mexico.
On Saturday, March 21st, the laboratory will hold an Open House as part of this year’s celebration of NOAA’s 50th Anniversary nationwide. This is the public’s opportunity to see exactly what this facility is all about.
Brandi Noble grew up in Gautier and is now a Research Fisheries Biologist for the lab and is looking forward to this opportunity to share NOAA’s story, especially what she and her colleagues do every day. “I don’t think that people get to see a lot of the good work that we do here at the lab and how this work connects to the Gulf and how it impacts local fishermen and local communities.”
The open house is a way to bring the community closer to the local branch of NOAA that works across six major areas of research about the fisheries of the Gulf. A number of hands-on activities are planned for this event that illustrates the work that these people do to better understand our natural resources.
Kids are encouraged to participate in the Passport to Science scavenger hunt, where they can learn about key aspects of the science conducted by NOAA and earn a price. A limited number of kids can dissect a shark or make fish prints on free t-shirts. The first 200 local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will have a chance to earn a NOAA Fun Patch.
Scheduled tours of the Research Vessel Pisces will also be available (pre-registration required) and weather permitting, visitors can watch the launch of a weather balloon.
Details about this exciting opportunity, including a link to schedule a ship tour, can be found online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/event/noaa-fisheries-pascagoula-mississippi-laboratories-offers-open-house
So, mark your calendars for Saturday, March 21st from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and come out and see what “our” NOAA Lab does to better understand our natural world.