Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summary of Summer!

Phew! Now that we are into August, summer is drawing to a close for TNACI. While we have tried to keep the blog updated, between conferences, summer camps, and meetings, we have not always been the most current. So it's time to catch you up!

Lake Sturgeon
 In May, Kathlina and our new group of interns (Jessica, Stephen, Louise, and Josh) picked up 2,000 baby sturgeon from Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery. This is the second year we have raised Lake Sturgeon in a recirculating system and they have done well. We anticipate releasing these fish in a month or two. 
Kathlina and Louise measuring fish.
Our baby river giant!
Serve and Protect: Supporting Sustainable Seafood
Part of our delicious meal at Greenlife Grocery!
Ashford continues Serve and Protect outreach for both high school students and restaurant partners. We have co-hosted sustainable seafood dinners with three of our partner restaurants (Greenlife Grocery, Broad Street Grille, and Bluewater Grille). These have been very successful and we enjoyed amazing food at each event. We have seafood dinners every month, and you can register online to attend. We are also very excited that Alton Brown is coming back this year for the Tennessee Aquarium’s annual fundraiser. There is a lunch event in addition to the dinner, so come one down on your lunch break and enjoy a presentation from Alton Brown. 

Outreach and Education
Both Bernie and I taught at universities this summer. I got to spend a few weeks at the
Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS) in Virginia teaching a field-intensive class on biology and conservation of fishes. While the class was a ton of fun, we had an interesting time, as the station was one of the many locations affected by the derecho storm that caused millions to lose power in that portion of the country. Bernie taught an Aquatic Biodiversity class at the University of Alabama. This was a short course for teachers that included some field work. 

Some of my MLBS students in the New River drainage
One of the most exciting things that happened at TNACI this summer was kicking off our new residential summer camp, the
Conservation Leadership in Action Week. In July, twenty high school students joined TNACI staff for a week at Baylor School to learn more about environmental leadership. These passionate students came from fifteen different schools in ten different towns in three different states. They spent the week learning about local conservation work and designing their own project to tackle a problem in their community. We kept these kids (and ourselves!) busy. They sampled the Hiwassee River with Bernie, Evan, and Dave, worked on a local organic farm, made cheese with Kathlina, cooked dinner with Greenlife Grocery, toured our sewage treatment plant, and snorkeled the Conasauga River. There were some impressive conservation projects at the end of this week, and we can’t wait to see these students take these projects to their homes and schools and start making a difference. I'm very grateful to have received support for this camp by being selected as an Audubon and Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow and from Tennessee American Water.
CLAW campers before we paddle the Hiwassee River!
Whew, now that the big updates are out of the way, we'll try to get back to more regular postings!

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