Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

ASCC Marine Science and UH Sea Grant Conduct Field Course

Monday, April 1, 2012

ASCC Marine Science and UH Sea Grant Conduct Field Course for Underwater Surveying

By Ephraim Temple, UH Sea Grant

Students don’t often cheer when a teacher walks into class, particularly on a test day. However, this is exactly what happened in one Marine Science class at the American Samoa Community College during the first class meeting after spring break. Eight students had given up their spring break to participate in the Quantitative Underwater Ecological Surveying Techniques course held from March 12-17 in Faga’alu, and could only express their excitement over QUEST with applause.

One of their instructors, Kelley Anderson Tagarino, stated, “QUEST went better than I could have imagined. Students all reported that it was their best collegiate learning experience, and my class cheered as I walked in to give them their post-QUEST species identification exam, which to me says more than words!” Charles Miller, a student at QUEST, said, “I assure you that I learned more this past week than in some of my classes over a whole semester. Because of you guys I am looking forward to studying environmental studies.”

The course known as QUEST is modeled after the successful course of the same name offered by the University of Hawaii at Hilo. The American Samoa QUEST has students using snorkels and masks rather than SCUBA gear as UH does. Though the gear is different, the methods and science learned are the same. Students spend a week studying methods for counting fish, algae, corals, and other invertebrates such as snails, crabs, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. After studying each method, they work in two groups to practice the use of these methods in the water while collecting data to answer the research question each group comes up with. These data are then analyzed and presented by each group at the end of the week. The intense workload leads students to push themselves to learn many new techniques in a short period of time. Instead of staying up late partying over spring break, students stayed up late analyzing data – and enjoyed it!

QUEST partners from the National Park of American Samoa, Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, Department of Commerce, Coral Reef Advisory Group, Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service assisted in teaching the methods, and in conducting in-water practice sessions. Several local businesses and agencies donated time, materials, and services to make QUEST possible. These included the Office of the Governor, Department of Parks and Recreation, Ace American Industries, Samoa Springs, Friendly Car Rental, and the Federal Aviation Administration. On behalf of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program and ASCC, the QUEST instructors sincerely thank these sponsors for making QUEST possible. The impact it is having on students is incalculable but already evident in their response.

The QUEST course will continue to be offered every year, with the next course taking place either during the upcoming Christmas Break or Spring Break 2013. Those interested in participating as students or sponsors can contact Ephraim Temple at 731-8169 or P.O. Box 2609 for more information.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Kakī: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Released In Mackenzie Basin

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population. More>>

ALSO:

IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland