The best thing about my fellowship, is the connections I made will all of my mentors. I was blessed to have MANY mentors and not just one.
At Dr. Watanabe’s research facility, on Harbor Island, I had to opportunity to learn all about the black sea bass. I worked with Dr. Watanbe, Mr. Chapel and Dr. Alam. I learned about everything from spawning of fish to taking the fish to market. I learned about their brood stock holding systems, larviculture, and the nutrition of fish and for fish. I observed different research studies at his facility including high-density vs. low-density tanks, fish nutritional needs, and even how to care for the fish by cleaning the massive tanks.
At Dr. Wilbur’s research facility, I learned all about the oyster. UNCW’s Shellfish Research Hatchery is an 11,000-square-foot facility on the CREST campus that studies oysters and other North Carolina shellfish species. Everyone there is working on the life cycles and spawning habits of the environmentally and commercially important shellfish species. Research projects include studies on water flow, types of algae, the impact of predators and how to grow the very best NC oyster. This research is vital to knowing more about shellfish and helping to rebuild their population on Eastern U.S. shores.
For the Turf part of my project, I went to Mr. Tinga’s nursery and Mr. Garner’s NCSU research station in Castle Hayne. I learned about the research involving the NC blueberry, a personal favorite of mine, and the Muscadine grape, not a personal favorite yet, but I’m trying. I made cuttings and learned about many of the ornamental species of plants in Eastern NC. I learned about many of the research studies going on at NC State in Plant Biology Department.
I also got to spend time with Michele Reedy from NC Farm Bureau at an Ag in the Classroom workshop in Bakersville, NC.
The whole time, Melissa Hight, of New Hanover Farm Bureau was supporting me every step of the way. I know I can go to her at any time for help with any agriculture related.
Again, meeting these people was invaluable to me as a teacher. My partnership will continue with all of them in the future.