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Marine Biology Trip to Chincoteague

Rebecca Woolfrey
Marine biology students deepened their understanding of coastal ecology during a four-day trip with their teacher at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia.  
This trip to Chincoteague has become a much-anticipated annual pilgrimage for the Science Department chair Dr. Nancy Burke and her seven students. While learning about the intertidal zone, dune ecology, and maritime forest ecology, the group motored through the bay on a boat excursion, gathered specimens, identified organisms in a lab setting, and got muddy! Mild weather allowed the young scientists to connect with the natural seaside surroundings. Miranda, Hannah, Camila, Karen, Mary Beth, Paola, and Kimen will undoubtedly remember this experience.  

 According to their Programs Brochure, CBFS’s mission is to provide outstanding multi-disciplinary educational and research opportunities that celebrate the rich natural, cultural, economic, and technological resources of themed-Atlantic Coast region through field-based and hands-on learning. To accomplish its mission, CBFS collaborates closely with community partners such as NASA, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, and other public and private partners. 

Prior to the excursion, Dr. Burke’s Marine Biology students completed a shark dissection lab. This intricate process allowed them to learn about fish and shark anatomy. Sharks are cartilaginous fish, named so because they have skeletons of flexible cartilage instead of rigid bone. The students identified the sharks’ organs and other features of the shark’s body.  

Marine Biology is a year-long science elective open to students in grades 9 through 12. Visit the Science department’s web page to learn more about the core courses and elective courses available through Grier’s Science Department.  

Photos courtesy of Dr. Nancy Burke
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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308; Birmingham, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177