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The BOP-CCERS October 2016 Newsletter Is Out!

By Heather Flanagan
October 5, 2016

The latest newsletter for the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science is out!  Learn more about the project at here, read all our BOP-CCERS blog posts, and click here to subscribe!

Sign up for a professional development, check out new lesson plans, and share your data on the BOP Digital Platform!

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Greetings Billion Oyster Project Schools and Citizen Scientists!

Happy summer and congratulations to all!  This is an exciting time in both the lifecycle of the program and our grant-funded research.  It’s early fall and now is the time to conduct Oyster Restoration Station monitoring expeditions with your students and fellow team members.  Water temperatures are at their yearly highs and oyster growth rates are spiking, in some cases as much as a centimeter per week. The biodiversity of the harbor is also exploding.  In the last month alone I have personally observed thousands of mature menhaden (bunker fish) swimming up the Bronx River, two-foot long striped bass flashing their bellies along the shores of the Battery, and baby sea horses clinging to the sides of the mobile trap.  Now is the time to get out and gather these data, develop your yearlong research questions, and help guide students toward their inquiry-based projects.

The CCERS grant world has been equally prolific over these past few months.  As we head into our third full year of the grant cycle, we are arriving at a moment of results and reckonings.  The curriculum team, led by Annie Lederberg and Ann Fraioli, has been hard at work, pushing out several new lessons every week. BOP lessons are meant to inspire students and teachers to apply the principles of inquiry in the classroom and practice authentic restoration science in the field.  To support this cutting edge curriculum, BOP is now offering a range of new professional development workshops in both pedagogy and hands-on STEM content knowledge.  All BOP PDs will now be available to all participating teachers, not just fellows!  Applications for the third cohort of the BOP-CCERS fellowship will be available starting October 15th.

And lastly, we wanted to share a huge thank you to the team at Fearless Solutions for working so tirelessly over the past four months to build the digital infrastructure on which this entire initiative resides. For all of you reading this newsletter please be sure to log-on, register your ORS, launch expeditions, interact with curriculum and sign up for events. Your feedback is essential to the continued success of the project and the platform. Thanks and tell us what you think!

-Sam Janis, BOP-CCERS Program Manager

Why Do Oysters Live in Snot?  Honoring Students’ Questions in an Inquiry-Based Classroom

Students are naturally curious, and when presented with an Oyster Restoration Station full of slimy, unfamiliar things, they can’t help but ask questions!  But how do you get from those questions to something more formal, like the original research projects the students must present at the culmination of the BOP-CCERS program, the BOP Symposium?  This is the focus of a series of BOP-CCERS professional developments designed to give teachers strategies for creating an inquiry-based classroom that connects moments of fascination in the field to genuine research practices.  At “Intro to the Symposium,” BOP’s Curriculum Team looked at how teachers can involve their students in “getting from a zillion questions to a smaller set of questions, with ideas about how to pursue answers to them.”  Read about it here.

When Do You Teach a Kid to Use a Ruler, and When Do You Give Them a Task that Requires Using a Ruler?  Practicing Inquiry in the Field

At left, BOP Education Outreach Coordinator Robina Taliaferrow role plays as a student using a sling psychrometer with Dayna Navaro (Soundview Academy), center, playing teacher. Also playing students are Jeffrey Bradshaw, right, of M.S. 88, and Clarissa Lynn of Central Park II.

At Field Training #3, we looked at how BOP teachers can structure a safe and productive environment for student-driven questioning and exploring in the field, and what behaviors the teacher might exhibit.  This post contains practical strategies to prepare students for field expeditions and guides teachers to reflect, “Given what you think is so precious about the field, how can you use BOP to make that happen?”  Learn more here.

Can Habitat Restoration Improve Water Quality in Urban Estuaries?  September Colloquium

Clarissa Lynn, left, looks on as Aniline Amoguis, right, of The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, collects oyster biodeposits in the hands-on portion of the BOP-CCERS September Colloquium.

Brush up on the nitrogen cycle and learn about the potential role oyster reefs and other three dimensional habitats can play in combatting “dead zones” in our waterways.  Check it out in our September Colloquium recap here.

Upcoming Events

New Resources

Check out the handouts from our “Intro to the Symposium” professional development:


How to Secure Your Oyster Restoration Station

From Field Training #3, watch “How to Secure Your Oyster Restoration Station” on YouTube.

Send us your photos!

Whether it’s pictures of your students at your ORS, your classroom oyster tank, or student work, we’d love to feature it in the newsletter and on the BOP-CCERS Tumblr!  This month’s photos come from Rachelle Travis of Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.  She and her students visited the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Reef last week to help the BOP reefs team collect data on our 375,000 oysters living under the Manhattan Bridge!  She also sent us photos of her awesome BOP station in her classroom.  Thanks, Rachelle!  

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1440869. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.