UNE Interns Assist BSSC Seaweed Farming Program

Dana Morse takes interns Jenni Andrade and Abbi Charvat, and BSSC’s Pauline Dion on Damariscotta River sea farming tour.

Earlier this year BSSC welcomed its first interns in the Exploring the Science of Seaweed Farming in-school program as teaching assistants. University of New England (UNE) seniors Jenni Andrade and Abbi Charvat are Marine Affairs majors. This internship gives Jenni the opportunity to further explore her interest in Education, and Abbi in Business Administration.

During their five-month program at BSSC Jenni and Abbi are expanding on the existing curriculum with new teaching materials and experiential learning activities to be presented to teachers and students in the seaweed farming program. Sixteen schools are participating in the 2023-24 program in 8 Maine school districts from Aroostook to York counties.

Jenni and Abbi meet weekly with Pauline Dion who leads the seaweed farming in-school program, Principal Waterfront Instructor RC Chance, and Science Instructor Emma Dullaert. The team is producing “learn with me videos” at the BSSC campus demonstrating how to set-up and maintain the in-classroom seaweed farming equipment. These videos provide a long-awaited resource for teachers and students.

Visits to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the Darling Marine Center further support the goals of the internship. Jenni and Abbi also took a chilly boat ride to Clark Cove to check on BSSC seaweed lines and got a better understanding of the sea farming on the Damariscotta River with a tour of the mussel and oyster farms. The interns will participate in the April/May seaweed harvest and assist students with final reports.

The internship helps BSSC shape the future of the Exploring the Science of Seaweed Farming in-school program that brings a better understanding of aquaculture, related career paths, and the impact of the industry on Maine’s economy. We are honored that Jenni and Abbi chose BSSC to fulfill this experiential aspect of their education and wish them the very best as they pursue their careers. Special thanks to UNE for their vote of confidence and further strengthening our partnership for future internship opportunities.