New York Harbor NSF STEM Project Design Week, Part 1Dylan Taillie ·
On June 17th and 18th, Judy O’Neil, Simon Costanzo, Suzi Spitzer and I traveled north to New York City to attend a series of meetings and events leading up to the inaugural Billion Oyster Project Symposium. This very productive trip will be split into two blog posts, one for the first two days of events, talks, and meetings, and another for the official Billion Oyster Project Science, Technology,Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium on Friday, June 19th.
We left the Eastern Shore of Maryland at 5am on Wednesday morning, a bit bleary eyed yet thoroughly prepared to take on the Big Apple. We caught the Ferry from Paulus Hook in Jersey City (where we were staying) to Manhattan, where we had our first meeting at 10am.
During our first meeting at Pace University School of Education we heard progress updates from many of our partners on the project. These partners include Dr. Lauren Birney (Pace University), Mr. Sam Janis (Billion Oyster Project), Dr. Robert Newton (Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), Dr. Meghan Groome (New York Academy of Sciences), Ms. Gaylen Moore (Moore Program Evaluation Services), Dr. Lisa Kohne (SmartStart Educational Evaluations), and Mr. Peter Malinowski (New York Harbor School). We also discussed the curriculum for Middle School teachers, the restoration based science model and the drafting of a Field Guide for Middle School students and teachers.
Next we headed over to Battery Park to meet with Kate Boicourt of the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program and Jim Lodge of the Hudson River Foundation about the possibility of collaborating on work for the World Harbor Project (WHP). The WHP is a global, multi-disciplinary, collaborative project working to develop more resilient urban ports through information sharing, networking, and research.
Later that evening Sam Janis hosted a ‘Soiree’ at his apartment in Brooklyn during which we couldn’t help but brainstorm more ideas for the project, although it was meant to be a relaxing occasion.
On Thursday we started off our day with another meeting at Pace University’s School of Education during which IAN team members Tracey Saxby and Adrian Jones unveiled the digital monitoring platform application that students, teachers, and citizen-scientists will be using to collect and record field data. This meeting was a great opportunity for everyone to review the new app and to collaborate on solutions to make sure it is easy, accessible, accurate, and fun.
Next on our agenda Thursday was a meeting with Bernice Malione, Assistant Director of Environmental Compliance for the Port Authority of NY & NJ. We wanted to touch base with Bernice about the World Harbor Project because shipping, economic indicators, and green engineering will all be included in analysis of NY-Harbor when contributing to the WHP.
Thursday concluded with a 'collaboratory' celebration event at Pace University, at which food, wine, and oysters were served. There were several presentations including teachers telling success stories of integrating STEM, an introduction to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) and even a video of a student who became engaged in class by bravely eating different species of insects (we learned a new word: entomophagy) in front of her classmates.
Our first two days in New York were very active, productive, and fun. While re-learning to navigate NYC and bouncing back and forth from meeting to event to meeting we still managed to see some of the sights, pictured below.
About the author
Dylan is a Science Communicator with IAN. He has experience in various areas of visual information, science communication and technical analyses. Strengths in data management, environmental assessment and stakeholder engagement. He has worked with IAN in various positions since 2016 and enjoys fishing and hiking.