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Sea Grant Launches ‘Lessons in Mariculture’

soft-shell crab recirculating aquaculture system, by Melissa D. Smith, from Lesson 5: Aquaculture Production Methods and Policy.

As a way to introduce marine aquaculture, or “mariculture,” to students, North Carolina Sea Grant is offering Lessons in Mariculture, an online suite of free lesson plans for high school science classrooms, as well as courses in career and technical education.

“The range of information presented in these lesson plans makes them well suited for ninth-grade biology, Advanced Placement environmental science and even agricultural education, among other courses,” North Carolina Sea Grant coastal economist Jane Harrison, who led the project, said in a statement.

Lessons in Mariculture include an array of resources and materials including videos, worksheets, hands-on activities, discussion questions, interviews with mariculture producers, classroom presentations and more. The team worked with teachers to design the online tool, which is inline with state standards.

“I especially like the lessons that require the students to put themselves in the mindset of an aquaculture producer,” Harrison continued. “For example, if they were to grow oysters in coastal waters, what are the required water quality conditions?”

The lesson planning team included high school science teacher Amy Sauls, Sea Grant marine education specialist Terri Kirby Hathaway, Sea Grant science writer Julie Leibach, former Sea Grant marine aquaculture specialist Chuck Weirich, science illustrator Melissa Smith, graphic designer Kathy McKee, and other teachers

“We really appreciate the team of middle school and high school teachers that helped develop and field-test the lessons,” Hathaway said in the release. “We’re looking for more teachers to pilot the lessons in their classrooms and help us improve these activities.”

Hathaway will be sharing Lessons in Mariculture at the SciREN Triangle Networking Event 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.