All (Student) Hands on Deck

Biology students were able to get a close up look at various forms of aquatic life. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)
Professor Charles Yarish and a member of the crew discuss various forms of marine life with the students. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)

When non-science majors think about completing general education requirements, the idea of taking a laboratory science course where they’ll be required to memorize tongue-twisting terms and become familiar with the tools commonly found on the lab bench may be daunting.  At the Stamford campus, ecology and evolutionary biology professor Charles Yarish has a way of engaging his non-science students in activities that are both challenging and fun, and that serve to make the study of  marine biology ‘real’.  On a morning cruise in the Norwalk River aboard the RV Oceanic, Yarish’s students got a chance to learn first-hand about various forms of marine life.

Rod Wilson, biology lab coordinator and laboratory instructor at the Stamford Campus, was aboard the RV Oceanic ready to help identify various forms of marine life. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)
The Norwalk River enters Long Island Sound at Veteran's Park in South Norwalk, 40 miles northeast of Manhattan. At the river's mouth is a tidal estuary and marine life is abundant.








One of the jobs for 'all hands on deck' was pulling in the drag net that was used to obtain samples of various types of fish. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)






Students got 'up close and personal' with various forms of aquatic life. And yes, there was a quiz. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)











Horseshoe crabs are arthropods that live primarily in and around shallow ocean waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms. Unlike mammals, horseshoe crabs do not have hemoglobin in their blood, but instead use hemocyanin to carry oxygen. Because of the copper present in hemocyanin, their blood is blue. This fellow was quickly returned to the river once his part in 'show and tell' was completed. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)