July 6, 2013 3:47:02 PM
Lexie Swaim of Columbus traveled to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) on Dauphin Island, Ala., to participate in DISL's month-long residential high school marine science course. Swaim lived on campus and participated in over 150 hours of supervised academic activities.
During the intensive program, students were introduced to the field of marine science through a variety of disciplines. Many aspects of the class were highly academic, including lectures, group and individual projects and presentations. Topics studied included plankton, oceanography, salt marsh ecology, marine botany, and marine vertebrates and invertebrates.
In addition to classroom coursework, the group used the surrounding ecosystem on the barrier island for hands-on field experiences. Activities included beach profiling, reef fishing and trawling aboard the DISL's 65-foot research vessel, the R/V Alabama Discovery, to observe and identify local species. The group also took a trip to the New Orleans Aquarium and went snorkeling in the seagrass beds of Panama City, Fla.