MLML Open House 2013

Welcome to the recap of my lab’s annual Open House featuring pictures from various labs and the awesome puppet shows from the past couple years!

Open House

Open House is one weekend each  year where we open our labs to the public to discuss current research projects, teach marine science topics and raise money for student body/student scholarships.  We have 9 different marine science disciplines including: phycology (algae/seaweeds), invertebrate zoology, vertebrates (birds, turtles and mammals), ichthyology (fish, bony & cartilaginous) to oceanography (physical, biological, chemical and geological), all under one roof! Here are some pics from various popular labs/activities (but there’s so much more!):

 Fish Printing & Touch Tanks

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Vertebrate Ecology: Walk through a humpback whale inside!


Opportunity Drawing (100s of items): Fundraiser

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And of course the Puppet Show!

The 2013 show is an updated version of the 2010 show about the deep sea! Normally we do something new each year (ALOT more work), but why not bring back something that worked well? I updated the 2010 show by writing 2 new songs and choreographing a tasteful version of the “Single Ladies” dance to “Chemoautotrophy”. Kids, parents and peers alike always love our cleverness and thoroughly enjoy the show we put on each year! Definitely need to give a shoutout to my puppetshow teams for helping these shows come to fruition!!  Finally, this year a journalist actually watched the show (rather than passively mentioning it) and had great things to say! Below the video are some comments from the journalist and parents that posted to our lab’s Facebook page 🙂

Serious research aside, the lab’s biggest draw on Open House weekend is its musical puppet show, performed three times daily, in which the graduate students strut their stuff.  This year’s performance was titled “Deep Sea Adventure”, and included a Muppet-like underwater grouch who had younger audience members falling out of their seats. The show’s finale was not to be missed. “Vogueing” in a Madonna-inspired chorus line, the cast belted out its answer to the question of how deep-sea creatures have evolved to survive far below the ocean’s surface. “I have adapted”, they crooned, “Baby, I was born this way”.  -Julia Reynolds quoted from the Monterey Herald

So fun! Best puppet show ever! My kids want to sing those songs. Please post words – or better yet- make CDs!! -parent

Had a great time. Look forward to volunteering with your awesome projects. My kids loved the activities and my two and half year old daughter can say bioluminescence because of the skit. -parent

This weekend I heard my 4 year old  singing a song in the back seat on a long drive. What was she singing? ‘Chemo-autotrophy, chemo-autotrophy…’ over and over and over and over. It was so funny.  Just wanted to tell you all what a great job you did and how you are educating our youth!  Thanks for all of your hard work at Open House, it was a great success. PS I did not ask her to define it, but instead reveled in her new vocabulary. -parent/faculty member sent via email

My favorite part of Open House is the puppet show because it is SO much fun (albeit a little stressful at times)!  I love the challenge of taking popular songs and finding sciency words to put to the beat (as well as try to keep with original song verse flow). Usually the songs are the inspiration for the show and I  create a story line to flow around them 🙂  While I still have a few months before I graduate, this was my last Open House and therefore my last year as part of the puppet show.  It will be the thing I miss the most when I leave…

If you are interested in last year’s show about “Plankton of the Sea” watch below!  For some reason we couldn’t find the 2011 show I was in….but anyway the 2012 show is my baby; I wrote the script, the songs, and made my costume skirt. And yes, we did get lots of positive feedback about this show as well 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the shows!


7 thoughts on “MLML Open House 2013

  1. Sooooooooo much fun! Great job, Nicole, it looks like you guys had a packed open house. I know you put so much hard work into this event so you’re probably super excited to take a rest! I’ll have to come back and watch the videos but I have no doubt that they’re super cute!

  2. This sounds like it was a blast! You must be very proud of the puppet show and all the positive feedback received – Great job Nicole!

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