Area high schoolers get their feet wet learning aquaculture

Matthew Davis readies an oyster cage for the water. Photo by Gabriel Zakaib

by Jackie Nunnery

Getting a summer job is a common occurrence for many high schoolers, but for those in the “Promoting Careers in Aquaculture” program, it has been an opportunity to explore possibilities in Virginia’s growing shellfish aquaculture industry. This new program, a partnership between Virginia Tech and Rappahannock Community College (RCC), offers high school juniors and seniors experience in the science of growing and harvesting oysters.

The program started in February when 14 students—eight from the Northern Neck and six from the Middle Peninsula—first took a short online course on growing oysters. Once June rolled around, students completed a week-long session on campus before being assigned to an industry partner for 80 hours of learning during a paid internship. According to Hutt Williams with RCC, partners….

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