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Rising Tide Project designed to increase local scientific awareness

July 29, 2002

A group of Coastal Carolina University marine science professors, science students and local high school science teachers are working together on the Rising Tide Project, a unique collaborative effort designed to raise scientific awareness at the local level.

Developed by Coastal's Department of Marine Science with support from the National Science Foundation and the Waccamaw Math and Science Hub, the project features seven teacher/student teams, consisting of one local high school teacher and a Coastal undergraduate science major who work with a Coastal professor on a locally relevant marine or coastal zone related project. Using the methodology and data from their experience, the teams will design discovery- and inquiry-based classroom activities for high school students that emphasize hypothesis testing, data manipulation and interpretation. Activities will be designed in a Web-based format, tested and assessed in the classroom and then incorporated into the South Carolina Aquarium's statewide aquatic curriculum, which is accessible through its Web site.

"This is a great opportunity for our students, who get hands-on experience while working with the high school teachers," said Rob Young, principal investigator of the project and an associate professor of marine science at Coastal. "We hope that this will develop into a successful long-term program in Horry and Georgetown counties because it provides high school teachers the opportunity to take what they learn in the field and incorporate it into their classroom activities."

Each team member will earn four credit hours for completing the 120-hour research project.

The Rising Tide projects and participants include: - Sharks in Winyah Bay (two teams) - Dan Abel, assistant professor of marine science, marine science major Mario Travaline of Lowellville, Ohio, and Sean Stemmler of Georgetown High School; and Abel, biology major Katie Koontz of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Melanie Hughes of Andrews High School;

- Sea Breezes and Local Weather - Craig Gilman, associate professor of marine science, marine science major Heather Anderson of Moon Township, Pa., and Greg French of Socastee High School;

- Rainfall, Throughfall and the Effects of Acid Rain on Major Ions and Iron - Jane Guentzel, assistant professor of marine science, marine science major Heather Young of Sidney Center, N.Y., and Rebecca Ward of Socastee High School;

- Water Quality Monitoring in Coastal Rivers and Waterways - Susan Libes, professor of marine science, marine science major Jeremy Saeger of Chesapeake, Va., and Thomas Boling of Conway High School;

- Coastal Beach Erosion - Eric Wright, associate professor of marine science, marine science major Rachel Peterson of Conway and Donald Poland of North Myrtle Beach High School; and

- The Ecological Role of Bottlenose Dolphins in North Inlet and Winyah Bay - Rob Young, associate professor of marine science, marine science major Steven Brantley of Chesapeake, Va., and Shannon Stone of Socastee High School.

For more information on the Rising Tide Project, contact Rob Young at 349-2277.