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Field School

College professors routinely collaborate with MAREX to provide students with on-site "out of the classroom" coastal environmental educational opportunities.

During the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service Field School at the Brunswick Station, students travel aboard the R/V Georgia Bulldog to estuarine sampling sites in the waters surrounding the city.

Frederica Academy students aboard the R/V Georgia Bulldog.

Frederica Academy students aboard the R/V Georgia Bulldog.

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Ecology Emphasis

Ecology students conduct water quality sampling and analyses and learn how to apply the information in both laboratory and vessel settings. Learning the ecological importance of water quality parameters such as salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll as well as their estuarine interactions are part of the day’s “outdoor” educational experience. Fish and marine species caught during the research vessel demonstration trawls are examined and their characteristics and life histories discussed.

Environmental Science Emphasis

Environmental science students travel to two sites aboard the R/V Georgia Bulldog, one located in the fish consumption advisory area near Brunswick’s LCP Superfund site, and another just outside the advisory area in St. Simons Sound. Students are taught about seafood consumption advisories that occur as a safety response to environmental contaminants such as mercury.

Course Work

During each course, students are divided into groups and given research questions to address. On their second on-site visit they conduct laboratory analyses of their collected samples. Ecology students observe water quality testing, such as chlorophyll extraction and photometric determination, as well as analysis of nutrients using an automated flow injection analyzer. Environmental science students collect hair, fish and shrimp samples and test them in the laboratory for total mercury content using a direct mercury analyzer.

For a final Field School project students create and present PowerPoint presentations to their classmates and other invited audience members and discuss their hypotheses and the results of their experimentation and research.