One of Summer Term’s most popular courses has been Innovation Lab @Ross’s Marine Science. The class focuses on the study of marine life, with the added benefit of using the rich shoreline of Long Island’s East End as a living classroom. “One of the best things about this course is that we spend as much time outside of class as we do in class, using the local resources to learn about marine life,” said instructor Hameer Deo.
In the classroom, Hameer taught students the functional differences between the bodies of land and marine animals by guiding them through dissections of amphibians and mammals. Their studies helped the students understand why frogs have webbed feet and slimy skin, among other anatomical characteristics. The students also took research field trips to locations like Sagg Swamp Nature Preserve, Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, and several local beaches, where they observed dolphins, blue whales, and orcas.
For the final project of the term, each student built a website to raise awareness about endangered marine species. The websites detailed the lives and habitats of each animal, the threats to the species’ survival, and how the public could help to assist in their recovery.