Categorized | Environment

Parker School students study sharks at Pelekane Bay

Parker junior Sarah Willey, marine science teacher Susan Rickards, and sophomore Thomas Long, keep a lookout for blacktip reef sharks. (Photo courtesy of Parker School)


Parker School marine science students traveled Oct. 2 to Pelekane Bay to observe blacktip reef sharks.

The field trip provided the students with an opportunity to do research in conjunction with Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium (HMMC), a non-profit organization based in Kawaihae.

HMMC conducts marine research and education, seeking to provide high quality information to the local community as well as state and federal marine resource agencies.

Parker School’s marine science teacher, Susan Rickards, also a founder of HMMC, and two volunteers, took the students down to the bay off Puu Kohola Heiau, where blacktip reef sharks are commonly sighted.

Though just one shark was spotted that morning, the students benefited greatly from the overall experience.

“This involvement in ongoing field research is a way to provide the students in my class an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in scientific methodology, while fulfilling some of their community service credit,” Rickards said.

“Experiential learning, which makes topics accessible and stimulating,” Rickards said, “can be summed up in the following Chinese proverb by Xun Zi: ‘Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.’”

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Parker high school students Thomas Long, Sarah Willey, and marine science teacher Susan Rickards track and record blacktip reef shark movements. (Photo courtesy of Parker School)

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