Albright Wins State Educator’s Award

Tabor Academy is proud to announce that Jennifer Albright, science faculty, has won a prestigious Secretary’s Award in Energy and Environmental Education Excellence (First Honors) given by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Albright received the award in person at The Massachusetts State House on May 8, 2017. The Award in Energy and Environmental Education Excellence is given annually to a Massachusetts educator.

Dr. Michael Rice, Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the University of Rhode Island, nominated Ms. Albright for the award due to “her work using aquaculture and shellfish aquaculture in the classroom as a means to teach science.”

Working with Roger Williams University, Albright and her aquaculture class began growing oysters from larvae, rather than simply purchasing baby oysters for grow out. The goal was to dramatically scale up production in order to build an oyster reef at Tabor. Planted in the harbor in larger numbers, oysters will help to improve water quality, provide habitat for other species, and provide preferable substrate for the natural propagation of oysters.

With careful planning and collaboration with Karin Tammi, the former shellfish hatchery manager at Roger Williams, Albright’s aquaculture class has worked the past two spring semesters to successfully “set” oyster larvae and create spat on shell (oyster larvae that have cemented themselves to whole shell called “cultch”).

The aquaculture class also experimented with tiny single seed oysters (larvae that have set on “micro cultch,” ground up shell). Tammi helped Albright design and build the setting system the students used, which was a scaled down version that the hatchery at Roger Williams utilizes.

When notified by the Office of Public Affairs last week that Albright would receive the prestigious award, Dr. Rice offered his “sincerest congratulations to Ms. Albright and to Tabor Academy for sponsoring and supporting such an innovative marine science education program appropriate for the Southeastern Massachusetts Region.”

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