The focus of the Information Centre is to promote understanding of the IMA’s research, appreciation for the marine and coastal environment, and to collect and make available to IMA researchers and the general public, information on all aspects of marine science.
These goals are achieved through Education and Public Awareness programmes and a specialised library which serves both IMA staff and the public.
Education and Public Awareness
Public education and awareness activities target Primary and Secondary school students, environmental youth groups, and the general public.
School and Community Outreach
This activity, initiated in 2006, is carried out annually during the second term of the school year. Primary and Secondary schools and community groups in both urban and rural communities such as Icacos, Matelot, Fishing Pond, and Blanchisseuse in Trinidad, and Castara, and Speyside in Tobago have been visited since this programme began. Presentations are given on topics such as Marine Mammals, Coral Reefs, and Mangrove Swamps, to inform on the benefit of these animals and ecosystems to life on Earth. Educational material including posters, brochures and bookmarks that help reinforce the topics, are donated to the schools.
On request, the IMA makes presentations and distributes brochures at Career Guidance workshops at schools and community centres, to guide students interested in pursuing careers in marine science.
Sea & Me Project
The Sea & Me Project was initiated in 2003 as part of IMA’s celebrations of its 25th Year of Operations. In reaching out to the neighbouring community of Carenage, the Standard Five classes of the Carenage Boys’ and Carenage Girls’ Government Primary Schools were selected, and a programme of marine conservation is taught to the post-SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment) class during the third term of school. The goal of the project is to provide students with an appreciation and better understanding of how the marine environment affects them, and how, in turn, they affect it.
The programme runs for approximately eight weeks from April to June, and incorporates multimedia presentations, posters, field trips and craft projects into the learning experience. The students are introduced to the concept of oceanography, animal and plant life, mangrove and coral reef ecosystems, the tides and marine pollution, among others. Two additional schools, the Point Cumana R.C. School and the Point Cumana Government School, were added to the project in 2004.
In response to teachers’ requests for the educational material presented in the project, a Teachers’ Manual and CD is currently being prepared. Lesson plans for each topic featured in the project will be detailed to allow use with the PowerPoint presentation. This Manual will be available by the end of 2010.
Press Article Series
The Press Article Series (at present published in the Trinidad Express newspapers) provides the print media with articles on IMA research, as well as articles of public interest in marine and environmental fields.
The IMA regularly participates in three annual exhibitions - SciTechKnowFest, World Environment Day, and the Tobago Science Exposition. The exhibitions usually target students, although there are adult visitors to these events. The work of the IMA is featured and global issues such as sea level rise and biodiversity loss are also covered. The IMA also participates in school and community exhibitions on request.
The Information Centre facilitates the dissemination of marine and environmental information through the distribution of information brochures and the sale of the Journal, Caribbean Marine Studies, technical manuals, the annual Tidal Calendar, and other titles.
A selection of these is listed below:
- Harmful Marine Creatures
- Harmful Marine Fish
- Beach Safety
- Marine Pollution
- Coral Reefs - Rainforests of the Sea
- Reducing my Carbon Footprint
- The LBS Protocol
- In to the Blue
- DVD – Three one-minute Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
- One Hundred Million Tourists
- Old People Used to Say…
- So Much to Love…
Set of Biodiversity Posters of Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean Marine Studies
- Construction of an Artisanal Fishing Boat from Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
- Wetlands of Trinidad and Tobago
- Manuals - Tilapia Farming, Cascadura Farming and Fish Farm Ponds
- Biodiversity Advisory Council
- International Coastal Clean-up
- Regional Activity Centre: Land-based Sources of Marine Pollution Protocol
About The Library
The Institute of Marine Affairs’ Library was established in 1984. The library currently forms part of IMA’s Information Centre (IC). Its function is to support as well as provide current and historical information on marine affairs and related topics to the Institute’s staff. However, members of the public are allowed to use the library for reference purposes.
The Library currently has over 17,000 items in its collection. These include books, journals, reports, articles, reprints, CDs, DVDs, posters, maps, clippings, bulletins, serials and other miscellaneous pieces of information in a variety of formats. The Library is also a depository for all International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) documents inclusive of manuals, guides, technical series reports, workshop reports and annual reports. The collection dates back to 1976.
Reports are made up of Technical reports, Research reports, Annual reports, Environmental Incidents reports, those completed for private/paid clients and reports of research cruises that pass through Trinidad and Tobago’s waters. The Information Files within the library contain past and current newspaper clippings, leaflets and pamphlets on information relating to the marine environment.
The electronic collection consists of e-journals and many other online documents.
1. Science Direct
2. Springer Link
3. Inter Science
Access to these databases is available only at the Institute of Marine Affairs.
Only staff at the Institute is allowed to borrow items.
For a small fee, photocopies of certain materials can be made.
The library is a member of SAIL, the Southeast Affiliate of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC).
Hours of Operation
The library is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is closed on weekends and designated public holidays.
Marine Education Centre
This Centre can accommodate 40 students at a time and is used to give presentations on selected topics on marine conservation or those related to specific subject areas on the school curriculum. Topics include Wetlands, Coastal Erosion and Landforms, and Marine Pollution, and are usually related to IMA’s work in these disciplines. Posters and brochures complement the featured topic. A nominal fee is charged for this facility and bookings are requested up to two weeks in advance.
To visit the Marine Education Centre, please contact:
Telephone: (868) 634/4291/4 Ext 2406
Fax: (868) 634-2479
Information Centre Office
Phone: (868) 634-4291/4 ext. 2406
Fax: (868) 634-2479
Lorraine Barrow - Librarian
Phone: (868) 634-4291/4 ext. 2403 and or 2407