June 28, 2011

High school students can experience 'Fish U'

by John Schumacher

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A new summer camp at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Touch of Nature Environmental Center will explore the unique world of fisheries and aquatic sciences.

Fish U, set for Aug. 1-5, is a weeklong day camp for high school students and incoming Southern Illinois University Carbondale freshmen. Campers will explore Little Grassy Lake and the surrounding area as they participate in a variety of activities.

The tentative schedule for the week and a few of the daily activities include:

  • Monday, Aug. 1: Team building, boat and water safety and plankton collecting.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 2: Fisheries management, fish diets and river lessons.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 3: Aquaculture, establishing maximum growth and nutrition.
  • Thursday, Aug. 4: American Fisheries Society and Saluki Bassers meet and greet, exploring a possible education in fisheries and aquatic sciences through the Department of Zoology and a tour of SIUC.
  • Friday, Aug. 5: Fishing tournament, fish fry and awards.

James E. Garvey, professor of zoology and director of the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center, said SIUC fisheries and aquatic sciences are well respected in the collegiate community. Fish U is an opportunity for high school students to experience the program firsthand.

“Touch of Nature is extremely rich with aquatic resources,” Garvey said. “Our goal is to inform students about these valuable resources and what this specific environment can offer to them.”

Garvey noted that many of the students in the department are graduate students. He suggested that if more students become aware of the quality of education that they can receive in the department and University through this camp, many might be interested in joining the department as undergraduate students.

“Fish U is going to be a perfect complement to already successful programs such as Eco U,” Garvey said, referring to the experiential nature camp for youths held at Touch of Nature. “It will provide students with an excellent opportunity for education and appreciation for fisheries and aquatic sciences.”

There are still openings for Fish U, but the deadline to register is July 8. The cost is $125 per camper. Garvey is also in the process of seeking external funding for scholarship opportunities.

To sign up for “Fish U” or for additional information about the camp, call 618/201-1787 or visit www.fisheries.siuc.edu.