Tangier Island sign

ISCI 310: Stewardship of Public Waterways

Instructors

Dr. Mark Fink, chair of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Dr. Melissa Rhoten, professor of chemistry

From every angle

This interdisciplinary Brock Experiences course examines resource-management issues surrounding the Chesapeake Bay watershed. “Students are talking to various stakeholders to view these issues through multiple lenses and from multiple perspectives,” said Rhoten, adding that the course fulfills a Civitae core curriculum requirement.

Convincing evidence

In one of three required field excursions, students in October visited Tangier Island, Virginia, and Smith Island, Maryland, both of which were experiencing flooding from a Nor’easter and a full moon. “We were wading and biking in the water, just like the residents, and were witnessing evidence of climate change,” said Fink. A November trip is planned to the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, a nonprofit named for Joan Brock ’64 and her late husband, Macon Brock.

Taste test

In a tour of an oyster facility—part of their study of the Bay’s critical aquatic species, which include blue crabs and menhaden— students were given the opportunity to try raw oysters, which drew mixed reviews.

Story time

Students are working in small groups to capture their experiences both in images and through creative writing, said Rhoten. The result will be displayed at the research showcase on Nov. 21.

Suggested Reading

Chesapeake Bay Blues, Howard R. Ernst.

2018 State of the Bay Report, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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