My apologies as I was supposed to post this yesterday but with all of our Labor Day activities I forgot to publish it.
I thought I would take a break from the wave tank activities I am working on at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and write about a different but equally exciting part of my academic life. I am finally back on track with my PhD since returning from maternity leave. Hurray!
It is set, I will conduct my research in my home country – Brazil! The plan is to write my proposal in the Fall and collect data next Summer. I have been reading all the relevant literature available for Brazilian museum research and the likes. I have a Brazilian museologist as a co-adviser, who specializes in family studies and who will help us establish a partnership among our group and their research’s group at the “Museum da Vida”, which means Museum of Life in portuguese (http://www.museudavida.fiocruz.br). Within the Brazilian context, the largest percentage of museum visitors are composed of school/academic groups and a great number of Brazilian museums are cultural/historical museums. However, I have decided to do research on a Brazilian FCL environment focused on marine education. As of now I have a couple of options but I will likely do research at the “Centro do Peixe-Boi” (Manatee Center) located on a Northeast island called Itamaraca in my home state of Pernambuco.
I still have not completely decided the aspects I will be looking at but quite possibly will involve the atypical groups of visitors composed of families that come to the beach and conveniently visit the center as it sits in such a prime location. It is an argument that such visitors may not even see the center as a museum, so it would be great to investigate their perceptions and how they compare it to other more “clearly” defined museums. My Fall semester will be filled with excitment as Shawn and I decide the focus of our research, which will also depends on logistics and partners we can acquire there to facilitate my research. Therefore, Shawn and I are planning a trip to Brazil soon to establish a partnership between our group and my co-adviser’s research group. We will have the chance to talk about the research we do at Hatfield to the Brazilian museum researchers, present my proposal and start networking.
I am really excited to dive into this and start contribute to a field yet to be further developed in Brazil. I am quite confident our proposal will be well received among the local marine educator community and will open the doors to many more that maybe “YOU” can be involved with. I will post more details about the project as we go…