Ocean Studies (and Eastern Maine Skippers)
Our Ocean Studies class is for students who are interested in marine-related careers and who benefit from a hands-on approach to learning. The class includes participation in the Eastern Maine Skippers Program as well as additional opportunities for field-based research and interaction with marine scientists, fisheries-related businesses, and policy experts.Through the Skippers Program, students learn seamanship skills including navigation, knot tying, and boat handling; engage in scientific research processes through actual research projects; explore the business world through creating business plans; and practice public speaking so they can speak for themselves at fishing venues like Department of Marine Resources hearings. One of the many goals of this endeavor is to sustain the local fishing economy and way of life while responding to changes in the economy, climate, regulations, and technology. Travel to all-day meetings with the other schools is required, as is attendance at the Fishermen’s Forum. The program is organized by the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.Students from GSA and eight other area high schools participate in the Eastern Maine Skippers Program. Year-end public presentations of their projects are made at multiple venues. This year, students from GSA joined students from MDI and Ellsworth at Faith Community Fellowship in Trenton to make presentations on this topic: "How can technology contribute to a safe, healthy, and sustainable fishing industry?" GSA presented on remotely operated vehicles and one the Good Idea award!Those interested in more focused research on the ocean environment and the organisms within it should consider the Marine Ecology Research Honors class.