• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

Know Your Park Dr Steve Ross to Speak on Deep Ocean Habitats Presentations to be held on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands

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Date: January 2, 2008
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111

Continuing the second season of the Know Your Park community education program series, the National Park Service Outer Banks Group will host two presentations on Revealing the Deep – Exploring North Carolina’s Deep Ocean Habitats by marine biologist Dr. Steve Ross.

Dr. Ross will speak at the Ocracoke Community Center in Ocracoke on Tuesday, January 29 at 7 p.m. and at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, NC on Wednesday, January 30 at 7 p.m.

"Scientists are discovering a rich and diverse marine world off our coast. We are pleased that Dr. Ross will be sharing his knowledge with the community as part of our Know Your Park program series," stated Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray. "I hope that local students as well as adults will take advantage of this opportunity."

Dr. Ross is a native of North Carolina and has spent most of his career involved in the marine sciences of this area. He earned a BS degree in Zoology from Duke University, a Master's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. from NC State University. He was the Research Coordinator for the NC Coastal Reserve Program for 13 years. He is currently a member of the research faculty at UNC-Wilmington (UNCW) and is also on an appointment to the US Geological Survey. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at NC State University and UNCW. His area of specialization is ichthyology (fishes), particularly in areas of ecology and life history (age, growth, feeding, and reproduction) studies. He has conducted numerous, diverse projects in estuaries and offshore waters and has served as chief scientist on many such ocean-related projects, including several using submersibles. The current work of Dr. Ross and his team involves assessment of the fish communities of several unique deep-water habitats off the southeastern US. In particular, they are looking at energy flow (trophodynamics) and relationships of animals to various habitats, including coral banks, canyon systems, and rocky areas. One ultimate goal of such studies is to provide information for these poorly known areas that will facilitate management and protection of productive habitats.

The Know Your Park community education program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring National Park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. "These presentations offer local residents an opportunity to both learn more about, and better enjoy, their National Parks" stated Murray.

Additional Know Your Park programs scheduled for this season include: William McLellan, an associate research professor at UNCW, on North Carolina whales in late Feb. in Ocracoke and Buxton; Dr. Charles Ewen, professor of anthropology and director of the Archaeology Laboratories at East Carolina University on the search for the Lost Colony in mid-March; and a panel presentation on the Wright brothers’ 1908 success in France this coming May.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Sea Whip, though it looks like a plant, is actually whole colony of animals.

A piece of sea whip that washes up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is not a plant, but the skeleton of a whole colony of animals. A tiny animal lived in each hole on the yellow, orange or purple stems. It had a mouth, a stomach and eight tentacles to catch food.