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students prepare food
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Students prepare food for the animals as Aquarium staff member MaryAnne Alliegro (in back) answers questions. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Shelley Dawicki
cleaning display taks
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Cleaning the display tanks is a routine task for staff and volunteers. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Shelley Dawicki,
biologist explaining monkfish biology
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NEFSC fishery biologist Anne Richards (front left) explains monkfish biology prior to a dissection. Monkfish, also known as goosefish, are found from the Grand Banks to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Shelley Dawicki

April 11, 2016
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Upper Cape Tech Students Put Science Interest Into Practice

Feeding the harbor seals, preparing fish food, cleaning tanks and dissecting a monkfish were all part of the activities March 22-25 for some local high school students interested in pursuing careers in marine sciences.

Twelve juniors in the Upper Cape Tech’s environmental science and technology shop class, taught by Kathleen Gausman, spent their mornings at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA) learning about animal husbandry. Fish identification was also put into practice as the facility currently houses 95 species of marine life found in Northeast U.S. waters. 

During the monkfish dissection with researcher Anne Richards, students viewed some slides and video and then had a chance to inspect the specimen, a small male.  A closer look at the internal organs enabled them to see what makes monkfish similar, and different, from many other species

Through interactive presentations and lectures, the students heard from scientific staff members about marine mammal and stock assessment research at the Woods Hole Laboratory, and visited the MBL’s Marine Resources Center and library. The program, an annual event organized by WHSA curator George Liles with Aquarium staff, is one of several offered during the school year to high school groups at specialized educational organizations.

Many of the students hope to find a job after graduation in Woods Hole or at a marine science facility.  One expressed interest in becoming a game warden or a fisheries biologist and was anxious to go to sea to experience both lab and at-sea research.

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, also known as Upper Cape Tech (UCT), is a public vocational-technical high school located in Bourne, Mass., that serves students from Wareham, Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth and Marion and offers 13 vocational areas of study.

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