Summer activities at Skidaway

Things are fairly busy around the Skidaway Institute campus this summer.

The most obvious activity is the construction on our new laboratory building. The state general assembly approved $5 million in bonds for its construction in the 2006 session. We actually held a ceremonial groundbreaking last December, but the bull dozers didn’t show up until mid-June. It’s nice to see them moving earth.

Long-time faculty member Jack Blanton hung up his mud-boots last month. Jack has been a researcher here for 31 years. He has a reputation as one of the outstanding physical oceanographers anywhere. He is also a heck of a nice guy. Take a look at this picture (right). Only at a research lab would you use liquid nitrogen to fix desert. Here Jay Brandes is using liquid nitrogen to make soft-serve ice cream at Jack’s retirement lunch. That’s Jack looking over Jay’s shoulder on the right of the picture.

For the second year in a row Joe Dirnberger of Kennesaw State University brought a group of students to our campus for an intensive two-week course in biological oceanography. The Skidaway experience included an overnight cruise on the R/V Savannah and came after several weeks of less-intensive class work on the Kennesaw campus.

We also had a group of University System of Georgia presidents on campus for a short cruise and low country boil. These were the presidents from the “comprehensive sector” of the system. They were having their summer retreat here in Savannah the next day. The weather cooperated, and Dee and Norman produced their usual outstanding meal. It was great to expose some of the presidents to Skidaway Institute and the work we do here. Several I spoke with really had no clue what goes on here or how their students could benefit from it. Hopefully, some good will come if it.

(l-r) Presidents Dan Papp (Kennesaw State), Beheruz Sethna (West Georgia), Lisa Rossbacher (Southern Poly) and Bruce Grube (Georgia Southern) share a laugh before dinneer.

Last, but not least, our foundation newsletter, Skidaway Campus Notes, hit mailboxes this past weekend. It covers the activities of Skidaway Institute, but also the other organizations on campus. You can read it on-line at the Skidaway Institute Web site.


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One Response to “Summer activities at Skidaway”

  1. John Ellis Says:

    Dear Skidaway,

    I came to your research facility for an unforgettable three or four days 35 years ago with a group of 5th grade gifted students from Athens.

    My own children are roughly this age and we live in Brooklyn New York but are still committed to Georgia and the beauty and knowledge it offers.

    I would like my kids to attend some kind of summer program this coming summer. I would like the program to expose them to wildlife, the ocean and science and memorable and perhaps log-lasting relationships.

    These kids are ages: 10,8,6 and 4. I am an architect and my wife, a Ph.D. in molecular biology who bosses were recently awarded the Nobel prize for AIDS/HIV research so a scientific bent to your program would be ideal.

    We usually spend at least one vacation at Woods Hole in Cape Cod but since my roots are in Georgia I would prefer a program closer to my parents in Georgia.

    Please let me know your suggestions either through your own programs or somewhere else.

    John Ellis
    tel: 917-319-5995

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