Tabor partners with Woods Hole laboratory for real-world experience

Jan 22, 2018

Building on the success of past partnerships with University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University in Aquaculture, Tabor Academy’s marine science faculty have been reaching out and making new connections in the community, bringing new opportunities with Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory to campus.

Jay Cassista, Director of Marine Science, has been in conversation with the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole, associated with the University of Chicago. The lab's directors were impressed by Cassista and Tabor’s passion for getting high school students involved in ongoing scientific research projects, and invited Cassista to be a member of their Secondary Education Advisory Board. The board will provide guidance in developing curriculum and infrastructure for robust year-round secondary education programs at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Beyond the advisory board appointment, Cassista has also been working on developing an immediate partnership with Marine Biological Lab scientists. At a recent meeting on campus, Cassista and senior leadership at Tabor discussed having a laboratory scientist come to Tabor to do demonstrations, as well as inviting Tabor students to the lab in Woods Hole to assist with research projects.

Cassista is already working on a proposal to expand the Marine Biological Laboratory's reach in the South Coast, aiding the lab's effort to map flora above the high tide marks in the area.

Tabor is planning to map out Sippican Harbor and identify plants that might be affected by a 10-centimeter rise in sea level.

Further, Elizabeth Leary, faculty and manager of Tabor’s Schaefer Wet Lab, is working with her students on the Oceans Genome Legacy (OGL), which collects samples of tissue from local specimens to be put into a gene bank for marine organisms. This project was suggested to Tabor by the Marine Biological Laboratory, which is also participating in this endeavor.