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Building Coral Trees in the Bahamas

Posted by Jay Cassista on Dec 30, 2019 1:15:27 PM

Tabor students are in the Bahamas at the Gerace Research Center in San Salvador for the last week of the year working on the coral nursery they began last spring. In March 2019, we constructed two coral trees: pvc pipes connected to look like branches of a tree where we hung coral fragments of Elkhorn and Staghorn coral we found on the seafloor while snorkeling. It is our hope that the fragments will remain alive and grow large enough so that we can attach them to the seafloor and grow out, restoring areas of damaged reef in the Bahamas. We will maintain and multiply our coral trees over two weeks each year, in December and in March, and hope to "plant" our first new reef restoration in a year or two. Unfortunately, strong storms are our enemy in this effort as we discovered one of our two trees from 2019 destroyed when we arrived.  Read on to learn about the efforts of the December team who arrived for a week of field research on December 28.



We have successfully arrived in Nassau at the comfortable hour of 11:30 PM. Our students immediately jumped into the hotel pool for a refreshing dip. We will begin early tomorrow with breakfast and then off to San Salvador Island.


We arrived in San Salvador a little late due to delays.  We are learning that 'island time' is 'island time'.  We went for a dip in the aquamarine tropical waters, had a nice dinner, and spent the evening setting up our lab, going over the mission goals, and playing mad gab for a while.

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Topics: Marine Science, School by the Sea, International Learning, REEF

Building a Coral Reef Nursery

Posted by Jay Cassista, Director of Marine Science on Mar 11, 2019 2:58:09 PM

Two groups of students will spend their March break in San Salvador, Bahamas, snorkeling and enjoying the warm waters and sunshine, and working very hard! They are creating Tabor Academy’s first coral reef nursery. This year’s REEF trip will catalog the species of coral in the area, do some genetic testing to find disease-resistant species, and then take fragments from these healthy corals to grow in our nursery on PVC “trees” anchored to the seabed. When we return next year, we will hope to “plant” these more mature corals in the seabed, rebuilding an area of damaged reef.

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Topics: Marine Science, Tabor Academy, Science Education, REEF

Marine Science Works to Lessen Effects of Ocean Acidification

Posted by Elizabeth Leary on Apr 18, 2017 2:07:45 PM

We hear frequently about the critical state of the world’s oceans and marine life in peril. Yet too often, we are left feeling helpless - not knowing what we can do to make a difference. This week, Dave Bill and I delivered an Ocean Stewardship lesson to Nautical Science classes and to the Beijing, China exchange students from RDFZ School about ocean acidification.  As the oceans absorb rising levels of carbon dioxide from the air, in turn, the excess carbon dioxide lowers the pH of the water. This absorption of CO2 changes the water chemistry and affects shelled animals and reef building corals negatively.

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Topics: Marine Science

REEF: An Experience as Unique as our School by the Sea

Posted by Abigail Park '18 on Dec 14, 2016 10:36:22 AM

The School by the Sea is a nickname used to proudly state the unique opportunities and experiences that Tabor’s location offers. One of the defining factors that compelled me to apply to Tabor was the hands-on pedagogy that places the concept of understanding over the task of memorization in all classes, but I was most impressed by the courses taught in the Marine and Nautical Science Center. The curriculum of these courses takes full advantage of Tabor’s defining feature by basing labs and lectures off of ecosystems and organisms that can be found right outside the classroom.

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Topics: Marine Science, REEF

Scouting for the Environment

Posted by Jackson Hawkins '17 on Oct 27, 2016 5:07:39 PM

I have been involved in Scouting since first grade, when I first joined as a Tiger Cub. While I have learned countless things through my experience that are integral parts of my personality, the most important thing that Scouting has taught me is a love of the environment. It only makes sense, then, that my Eagle Scout project was based heavily on an environmental focus in my hometown of Jamestown, RI – installing a water collection system on a greenhouse at a local farm, helping to conserve a vital resource on an island community. This project qualified me for not only the rank of Eagle Scout, but also for the Hornaday Conservation Award – a decoration for achievement in environmental stewardship and protection. The quest for these two recognitions has been a large part of my adolescence, and I hope to help those younger than me to find the same passion.

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Topics: Marine Science, Tabor Academy, Science Education

Science at Work

Posted by ksaltonstall on Mar 11, 2015 4:04:58 PM

We are so excited to share the news of two exciting scientists coming to visit Tabor this spring for our new Science at Work Lecture Series. They are: Chris Linder, Oceanographer and Expedition Multimedia Specialist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (March 30); and Jennifer Francis PhD, Research Professor, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University (April 23).

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Topics: Marine Science, Tabor Academy, Academics

Probing Questions for Sippican Harbor

Posted by ksaltonstall on Oct 23, 2014 12:58:55 PM

This summer, Tabor marine science faculty members Jennifer Albright and Kimberly Ulmer, set out to foster some new relationships and learn from local scientists about how to ensure the success of our fledgling oyster farm, as well as ways to integrate the farm into two new marine science courses at Tabor in physical and chemical oceanography.

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Topics: Marine Science, Tabor Academy, Academics, Faculty News, Science Education

Coming to Fruition

Posted by ksaltonstall on May 22, 2014 9:35:38 AM

We have been on quite a roll here at Tabor this past month as the year draws to a close next week. School ends on May 31, but the seniors graduate on Tuesday and they have been so busy getting in all their "lasts." The last games, concerts, tournaments, dance recital, madrigals concert, music recitals and, of course, Senior Projects really show off the talents our students have developed over their years at Tabor.

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Topics: Marine Science, Tabor Academy, Student Life