Chincoteague Bay Field Station is honored to be surrounded by such supportive and innovative partners. Last week the NASA Wallops Flight Facility's AFGE Union joined us for lunch and presented CBFS with a generous contribution to our Kids to Camp Scholarship as well as our first designated funds for an Undergraduate Research Scholarship. It's more than just being next door neighbors, though, that inspired this gesture. Ben Robbins, Vice President of the local AFGE says, "we understand the value of educational investment at the earliest opportunity, as well as independent research. In addition to representing these [NASA] employees, our mission also includes advocating the interests of the families and communities of these employees. We are actually part of a bigger movement that strives daily to make our communities better for all people. The funding of the CBFS’ worthy causes is one example of that. With our support, the students we are helping now may become researchers and learners for NASA or other Federal agencies one day."
Notifications about our 2017 Kids to Camp Scholarships will be in inboxes very soon! Keep an eye out for an official announcement regarding the new Undergraduate Research Scholarships availability.
Spring has officially sprung, and along with the exciting seasonal changes we can see on the refuge and around Chincoteague Island, there is a whole lot happening right here at Chincoteague Bay Field Station. These tides of change have swept in an awesome and energetic class of team leaders and educators. It would be my pleasure to introduce them to the CBFS online community! And with that I would like to present the newest addition to our coordinator team - DRUM ROLL PLEASE - EMILY FOY.
Emily is our brand new School Programs and Summer Camp coordinator. She arrived at the Field Station in a time of tumultuous change - the start of SPRING - and is hard at work getting the CBFS ready for the first wave of school groups of 2017! In the spirit of getting to know our newest coordinator a little better, I wanted to ask her a few VERY IMPORTANT questions.
Alina Spera: So Emily, I’m going to start off with my most important question: What is your favorite kind of mollusk?
Emily Foy: OK that is hard! I love any kind of invertebrates, but my favorite has to be nudibranchs. They’re sea slugs that have figured out a way to eat animals with toxins and then use that to become toxic themselves. And on top of that they are so many different colors and shapes!
EF: I’m from Lawrenceville Georgia, a big suburb of Atlanta. The last place I worked was for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as an educator for their outreach department. We taught students about coastal resources and what the DNR scientists are doing to aid in the protection of those resources. I was able to work with a lot of different researchers, my favorite was a shark biologist who took me on sampling trips all the time!
AS: That sounds awesome, hopefully you can get to know some of the University researchers that come to do projects at the field station this season! So what is your favorite part about CBFS so far?
EF: I’ve enjoyed getting to know all the coordinators, educators, and other staff! We are all passionate about education and conservation so it’s easy to get along with everyone! I have also enjoyed seeing the ways CBFS uses their unique resources to teach about environmental science and conservation.
AS: Do you have any guilty pleasure TV shows?
EF: YES! I love Friends!
AS: Which Friends character do you identify with the most?
EF: Hm. I would probably say Ross. He’s a big science nerd like me and he’s very sensitive. You know what haha I would definitely be Ross!
AS: You’ve taught at several environmental education organizations in the past. Why do you like hands-on, feet-wet education?
EF: Hands-on education takes it to another level. When students can interact directly with what they are learning about, actually touching and feeling it, they can develop a deeper connection with the natural world and the phenomenon that control it. When students are more excited, they will be more engaged and learn more. I also love EE because I can see the students falling in love with the environments they are learning about.
AS: After a long day of inspiring young scientists, what is your favorite snack?
EF: I LOVE SOUR CREAM AND ONION PRINGLES. I don’t always buy them, but when I do it is such a treat!
AS: Yeah and the can is just so convenient! Who is your environmental science or nature idol?
EF: I love Rachel Carson! She is a modern leader in interpretation and is really good at connecting people to nature.She inspires me to help people make those connections! There is a really good quote by her that I love:
AS: *tears welling in eyes* Wow that’s lovely! Do you have any good knock knock jokes?
EF: Oh boy I am NOT funny.
AS: Oh. Alright. Well here’s an easy one! What are you most excited about for the season?
EF: OOH! First I am excited for things to warm up and for everything at the refuge to come back to life! I am also excited to continue to learn about the school and summer camp programs and make changes to them that will help students get even more out of their visits to CBFS. I want to help the current education staff get to be the best educators and role models they can! My last job really focused on local resource management so I want to see how we are working with the local community to get people involved in caring for our local environment.
I also CANNOT wait for summer camp!! I hope we can give our campers a community where they can feel comfortable to build a greater love and understanding of environmental science!
I also look forward to making a lot of tie-dye camp shirts!
We are so excited to have Emily aboard!
Everything you need to know about CBFS's educational programs, visiting Chincoteague Island, and more!