Fun projects require fun people! Here is the creative team behind the
Beachcomber’s Companion© cards and this website:
Tracey is the former Communicator for the Sea Grant Program at the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, where she was involved with marine science
outreach and education for a variety of audiences. As co-author of Beachcomber’s
Companion©, Crago spent a lot of time at the beach (tough
assignment), collecting marine invertebrates, identifying them, and
learning their common and scientific names. She also researched obscure
and cool facts about each critter and now drives friends and family
crazy with marine invertebrate trivia.
Michael DiSpezio as a science educator is like describing a tornado
as “windy.” Actually, describing DiSpezio as a tornado would
be more accurate. A self-proclaimed "renaissance educator,"
DiSpezio has been involved in all aspects of science education. After
earning his master’s in biology from Boston University, he worked
as a research assistant to Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi at the
Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, before leaving to teach
in the classroom for several years. Later, he began developing educational
materials, curricula, books, and workshops, and has written for the
PBS series Scientific American Frontiers, Discover magazine,
The Weather Channel, and Discovery Channel. He served as curriculum
architect for the JASON Academy and, in 2005, hosted 30 live broadcasts
of the JASON Expedition for an audience of 1.7 million viewers.
Most recently, DiSpezio co-authored Sea Grant’s popular Beachcomber’s
Companion© cards and provided content for this website. For
that, he is working with his son Tony, a website developer specializing
in Flash animation.
Q: What does the Beachcomber’s Companion© have in
common with exercising?
A: An illustrator.
Morgan had just published a children’s book she illustrated with
scientist/author Nathalie Ward and was taking a signed copy to her aerobics
teacher. As fate would have it, fellow aerobicizer Michael DiSpezio
(see above) took a look and asked her to create the marine invertebrate
illustrations for the Beachcomber’s Companion© project.
Illustrating more than 100 marine organisms was challenging, says Morgan,
who found herself on some “interesting” field trips. Through
local contacts—Woods Hole is a marine science town, after all—Morgan
received sea scallops from one acquaintance, a microscope and worm collecting
field trip from a neighbor, and a few visits to a local marine resources
facility, courtesy of another neighbor.
In addition to her illustration work, Morgan’s pottery—whimsically
adorned with pigs and fish and mermaids—has earned her a loyal
following throughout New England and especially in Woods Hole, where
she exhibits and teaches classes from her home-based studio, Flying
Pig Pottery (www.flyingpigpottery.biz/).
Flanders + Associates, Inc.
Flanders + Associates, Boston, is the graphic design firm that created
the ‘look and feel’ of the Beachcomber’s Companion©.
They dove into uncharted waters with this first-of-its-kind kit, working
hand-in-sand with WHOI staff to design and develop a playful field guide
that beachcombers of all ages can use to explore seashore creatures
and organisms. Have fun learning, thanks to Flanders + Associates' smart
The Blue Ocean, an interactive design and communications
company, adapted the
catchy look of the printed Beachcomber’s Companion©
cards into a complementary
design for the beachcomberscompanion.net website. They also created
e-Postcards and developed the application that
allows you to mail your favorite
marine critter to all of your friends. www.theblueocean.com
Flash Animation, Go Virtual Beachcombing:
is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design where he pursues
his passion and talent in developing online interactions. Tony first
entered the field as a flash animator and page designer for online graduate
level science courses of the JASON Academy, a professional development
offering funded by the US. Department of Education. He continues to
work for the JASON Foundation for Education as a developer of objects
that are used to populate the landscape of Blackboard, the Foundation’s
online course delivery platform. For the new Beachcomber’s
Companion© web site, Tony created the flash-based section
of the site, Go Virtual Beachcombing,
that incorporates video and animation into a complete online learning