On Monday of this week (March 23, 2015), Mrs. Sarah Schlussel, a Montverde Academy Upper-school Biology teacher, along with former MVA Upper-school Biology Chair Phil Prescott (now MVA’s US Religious and Bible Studies teacher), accompanied several members of Mrs. Schlussel’s biology class on a science field trip to Sarasota, Florida, to attend the Mote Marine Laboratory. Once on location at the research site, MVA US Biology students measured, and recorded data related to their tagging and collecting genetic samples of sharks!

According its website, the various learning-research locations of Mote consists of “…scientists, explorers and stewards of the ocean. Driven by research, education and excitement we work to create a better environment for ourselves and our children… Originally focused on sharks, our research has expanded to include studies of human cancer using marine models, the effects of man-made and natural toxins on humans and on the environment, the health of wild fisheries, developing sustainable and successful fish restocking techniques and food production technologies and the development of ocean technology to help us better understand the health of the environment. Our research programs also focus on understanding the population dynamics of manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs and on conservation and restoration efforts related to these species and ecosystems. The ocean is our passion. And science is our catalyst to help our oceans heal, thrive and continue to be havens of sustainable life, life-improving science and life-giving solutions.”

The following links will direct you to Mote’s site-specific research locations:

Mrs. Schlussel was pleased with what her class was able to accomplish in their day of research taking part in the off-campus science field trip at the Sarasota-Base Campus of Mote.  Yesterday,  Mrs. Schlussel informed Montverde Communications, “ I took 7 of the 9 AP Biology students with me, Phil Prescott went along. We went to Mote Marine Lab and boarded a research vessel. We dropped 8 bait lines and waited. We retrieved them and over the course of the day caught and tagged 5 sharks. We caught a great hammerhead, a bull shark, two blacktip sharks and one spinner shark. The students participated in every aspect of the research from setting the bait lines, to reeling in the sharks, to measuring and recording data, to tagging and collecting genetic samples. After the trip we were able to tour the research facility and the aquarium before heading home. For a day, the students were marine biologists!”