News and Highlights
UM's Center for Latin American Studies puts Upward Bound students face to face with sharks in Miami's Biscayne BayAugust 18, 2011
The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) has worked closely with the Miami Science Museum and UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) to create a Latin American and Caribbean Module for Upward Bound’s Integrated Marine Program and College Training (IMPACT) initiative.
During the month of August CLAS was instrumental in bringing two groups of Upward Bound students to the University of Miami’s research station at Broad Key to assist UM researchers in the field and learn firsthand about the marine ecosystems of South Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The Upward Bound Students, low income, first-generation college bound students preparing for degrees in science, math, and technology related fields, come from a variety of Miami Dade County Public Schools and are part of the Miami Science Museum’s Upward Bound Math & Science Center. With the expertise of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, the students were able to participate in cutting edge field research and learn about the interconnectedness of the Caribbean Basin.
Among the various field experiences, Upward Bound students were able to work with Drs. Neil Hammerschlag and Evan D’Alessandro to catch lemon, nurse, and hammerhead sharks for scientific research. Students were able to assist in measuring the sharks, taking blood and fin samples, biopsies, reflexology tests, and tagging so the scientists could track the sharks in their underwater routes and better understand their behavioral ecology. Students also explored the terrestrial and marine environments via hiking, kayaking, boating, and snorkeling in order to observe various species in their native habitats. During these excursions, the Upward Bound students were paired with RSMAS graduate and undergraduate students to help them with their research and learn hands-on about ocean conservation through science.
The field excursions, one of CLAS' new community outreach programs, focused on the interconnectedness of marine ecosystems and how they span many countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The field experiences were partially supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant. The Department of Education has designated the Miami Consortium for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a collaboration between UM’s CLAS and FIU’s Latin American and Caribbean Center, a National Resource Center. Designation as a National Resource Center demonstrates the Miami Consortium's role as one of the nation's major centers for teaching and training in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
UM’s Center for Latin American Studies: http://www.as.miami.edu/clas/
UM’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program: http://rjd.miami.edu/
Miami Science Museum Youth Programs: http://www.miamisci.org/www/education_youth.php