Brilliant Labs Magazine: Digital Hope

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Page 54

Along the shores of South West Nova Scotia Brilliant Labs summer camps were looking a little different this year. With indoor limitations put in place camp organizers took to the beaches, where the learning opportunities became limitless! These shoreline campers consisted of different groups over several areas to keep numbers within the recommended guidelines. Campers were given the opportunity to take part in workshops on biodiversity and classified the many mollusks and gastropods (seashells) that they were able to observe using their handy (waterproof and wipe able) shell identification chart. Groups learned that thousands of mollusks have yet to be discovered, and that beachcombers just like them have been the ones to find new species. What couldn't be identified was uploaded onto iNaturalist.org, a platform that connects amateur naturalists with other naturalists and specialists to help identify and discuss observations. These observations help to build scientific repositories and create a larger snapshot of the biodiversity around us. Shark week was a hit with campers too! They studied the various species of sharks that live off the Atlantic coast, from the deepwater catshark, black dogfish, and of course great whites! All were tracked using Ocearch.org an online data-centric platform used to help scientists learn more about these incredible animals. Campers could see the locations of great whites all over the world. Many of which end up cruising along the Atlantic coastline. For example, at the time of this article a 12 foot great white named Hal decided to explore the islands off Lunenburg after a lengthy swim from the coast of Florida. While the shores off Lunenburg may be too close for some, campers decided to take it a step further and recreate their favourite resident shark on land using any material they could find on at the beach. 54

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