Hands-On Learning: The World Is Their Oyster
To understand the practical applications of what they’re learning, we get UB students to roll up their sleeves. And their pants.
Last summer, Elka Porter, assistant professor in the Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies, worked with undergraduate students to study the effects of sediment-water interactions on organisms like oysters and clams in the Chesapeake Bay. But they didn’t do it in a classroom.
Through the UB Foundation’s Fund for Excellence Grant, Porter and her students studied the effects of certain events related to climate change—like major storms—on how oysters and clams interact with sediment and water flow using one-of-a-kind, enormous water tanks at the Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Lab field station in St. Leonard, Maryland. The grant will also enable Porter to update the computer operating system and hardware that help these tanks run.
And the grant’s reach has extended far beyond the field station: One of Porter’s former students has since been hired by Blue Water Baltimore, where she is involved in water-quality monitoring in the city’s streams and in the estuary. So what goes around, comes around.
Thank you for giving our students a chance to be involved in scientific research experiences … and for offering them the opportunity to get their hands dirty.