As part of their orientation, a group of incoming Tabor Academy students recently spent time at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) where Kate Tremblay, graduate student and research assistant, introduced the students to data streams from various ocean technology and highlighted career opportunities.
After the SSV Tabor Boy leaves its mooring at Tabor Academy, an independent college preparatory school located in Marion, MA, the orientation features several local stops, including a visit to SMAST for its third consecutive year. Incoming students spend part of their day at SMAST once weekly over a six-week period. “I look forward to hosting the incoming students from Tabor Academy each year,” said Tremblay. “I think it’s important to provide insight and access to the research taking place here at SMAST as it plays a role in everyone's life on the Massachusetts South Coast.”
As part of the experience, students learn about the capabilities of the Ocean Observation Lab’s ocean robot, a Slocum glider named “Blue,” which yo-yo’s underwater gathering valuable data that oceanographers and researchers use to map and track changes in the ocean.
Course instruction also includes a video demonstration of the deployment of a Slocum glider in the test tank at the SMAST facilities, a brief overview of glider sensor’s and their data, as well as a visit to the shellfish lab with Sue Boehler, a bacteriologist for the state Division of Marine Fisheries. In the lab, students learn about procedures for testing the quality of Massachusetts seawater and perform an analysis that involves examining shellfish for E. coli bacteria.
“This is a unique experience that provides students with a better idea of available local opportunities and opens their eyes to some career options in marine science,” said Amanda Sabol, education coordinator aboard SSV Tabor Boy. “I've had the pleasure to share some knowledge with a wide range of age groups, and I extend an invitation to other schools who wish to tour our facilities and gain some understanding on how we gather data from the ocean and the different ways we assess it,” said Tremblay.