Media Advisory: Providence, Central Falls students to tag sharks, July 9-11, during URI Shark Camp

WHO: URI Biological Sciences Professor Bradley Wetherbee and students from The Met School, Paul Cuffee High School, and Central High School in Providence, as well as from Central Falls High School.

WHAT: The University of Rhode Island’s second annual Summer Shark Camp. Students will board the URI research vessel Cap’n Bert and spend six hours exploring Narragansett Bay and trawling for marine life. Led by Wetherbee, students will tag sharks and then release them back into the ocean, all while learning about their biology. The students will learn about the different species of sharks that live in Rhode Island and the features that set sharks apart from other ocean life. Michelle Fontes-Barros, assistant director of Diversity Recruitment and Retention for the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, said that the camp is about more than just learning about sharks. In urban communities, students are only exposed to some aspects of science. She sees this summer camp as one way to introduce students to the opportunities available to them.

WHEN: The camp runs from July 8 to 12, but the best days for reporters and photographers to cover the event is when the students go out on the boat on Tuesday, July 9, Wednesday, July 10, and Thursday, July 11. Each trip runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and space is limited, so arrangements must be made in advance if reporters or photographers plan to go aboard. Media should plan to arrive at the boat by 8:45 a.m. The students may also be interviewed after the boat returns to the marina.

WHERE: The boat departs from Wickford Shipyard, 125 Steamboat Ave., North Kingstown, at the dock closest to the bay, and will cruise and trawl around the southern portion of Narragansett Bay.

HOW: To go out on the boat with the students or to make other coverage arrangements, contact Todd McLeish at 401-874-2116 or 401-602-0896 or Dave Lavallee at 401-874-5862 or dlavallee@uri.edu.