Modeling Change: A LabVenture Experience for Adults

Announcements | Dec 31, 2019

Over the last decade, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's LabVenture program has provided hands-on science learning to over 150,000 Maine middle schoolers. During that time, these students’ parents and other adults have always asked, “When can I do LabVenture?!”

This concept map shows the relationships between several important components of ecosystem modeling. Different colored circles with white text read things like "Lobster Population" and "Ocean Temperature" are connected by white dotted lines.

This year, for the first time we rolled out a LabVenture experience specifically developed for the public.

Modeling Change is a 90-minute exploration of past and future ecosystem change in the Gulf of Maine. Participants looked forward and back at the impacts of ocean warming in our bioregion through the lens of two key species: lobsters and black sea bass. 

In addition to the state-of-the-art technology in our Cohen Center for Interactive Learning, the event also included a facilitated discussion with our program staff.

Starting in 2019 and continuing into the new year, we hosted 12 sessions of Modeling Change — serving over 350 total attendees. 

Ecosystem modeling is a way for us to understand the relationships between species and their environment, and help us to project what the Gulf of Maine will look like in the future. Guests experienced the power of this approach first-hand.

This experience was made possible with funding from Jane's Trust Foundation.

Simply put, an ecosystem model is a mathematical representation of natural system. We talk a lot about models, modeling, and modelers when we describe our work — and we’re often met with blank (but friendly!) stares. So, if you’ve ever wondered what an ecosystem model is, how it works, or why they’re so important, Dr. Kathy Mills is here to help.

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