Summer Enrichment in Hawaii
Posted 08/17/2016 01:33PM
Lovett's endowed summer study and travel funds allow faculty to take advantage of professional development opportunities that might not be feasible during the school year. Dr. Jennifer Reynolds, Upper School marine biology and biology teacher, participated in the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was joined by 2,500 other scientists, managers, policy makers, and educators from around the world. Upon her return, she offered this reflection:
"The conference brought me into the center of global research on coral reefs and reef ecosystems. I took part in plenary talks, lunch discussions, and oral sessions. The plenary talks included the president of the Republic of Palau speaking about how his island nation is in real danger from global warming and rising oceans. The president of the Society for Reef Studies shared ways in which assisted evolution may help to replace reefs that are dying from high ocean temperatures around the world. I attended smaller sessions on topics such as reef fish population dynamics, conservation and climate change of small island nations, coastal pollution, and management of reef ecosystems. I was invigorated to expand my classroom teaching to add new topics and to develop topics that I already teach. I just wish I could have figured out a way to be in more than one place at a time!
Throughout this conference, I was able to not only hear about and discuss cutting edge scientific research, but I also had opportunities to rekindle old and build new relationships with faculty at universities and other institutions. Some of the conversations during meals and walking into sessions were the most valuable. Establishing valuable networks with local scientists will help my students plug into relevant global research on coral reefs using our wet lab at Lovett.
The background setting of Hawaii amazed me each day and provided numerous experiences will help me enhance my classroom teaching. I was lucky enough to see many of the resident green sea turtles and even manta rays in their native habitats. I visited Kane’ohe Bay, a case study in my textbook about how development destroyed the ecosystem of the bay, and decades later after rehabilitation, the bay has healthy life in it once again. On the island of Hawaii, I visited a large mariculture facility discussed in Four Fish where scientists are raising a fish they hope will compete with tuna in restaurants and ultimately grocery stores.
Thank you to Lovett for allowing me such an amazing opportunity!"