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News Briefs


The Chesapeake Bay Trust has awarded a $5,000 grant to Virginia Wesleyan College to help cover costs associated with an inquiry-based biology course that will be offered this summer to rising seniors from the Science and Medicine Academy at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake. Titled "Diversity of Life,” the course will take place on campus July 25-August 5 and will feature a comprehensive survey of the life of Earth—from bacteria and unicellular algae through fungi, plants and animals. It is also scheduled to include hands-on sessions with the College’s scanning electron microscope, a trip to the Virginia Zoological Park, and excursions aboard the Ocean Explorer, Virginia Wesleyan’s research vessel owned in partnership with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. The course will be co-taught by VWC Professor of Biology Vic Townsend, Associate Professor of Biology Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, and Batten Associate Professor of Education Hilve Firek. “This generous funding enables us to attract bright students, regardless of their financial situations,” says Firek, adding that the lessons will extend beyond the course period. “We will continue working with students after they return to school to create awareness of issues pertaining to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed areas.” The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers through environmental education, community outreach, and local watershed restoration. Since its inception in 1985, the Trust has awarded $70 million in grants and engaged hundreds of thousands of citizen stewards in projects that have a measurable impact on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. More