By JOHN KLINE
For the first time in its nearly 40-year history, the marine biology program of Goshen High School is joining forces with the marine biology department of Goshen College.
Having already left for the sunny Florida Keys this past Thursday, Goshen High School’s annual marine biology trip is currently several days under way.
Some big changes are in store for the team this year, however, not the least of which is the recently approved deal between Goshen High School and Goshen College allowing the high school students to use the college’s marine biology facility at Layton, fla. for their lectures and lab work.
In addition to the upgraded digs, the partnership between the two educational institutions also has some sentimental value for Carl Weaver, founder and longtime leader of the Goshen High School marine biology program. Weaver will be returning this year to the Florida resort where he first got his start all those years ago.
“I started this program in 1974, and we were able to stay at the Lime Tree Bay Resort that year because of the kindness and help of my two college professors, Frank Bishop and Jonathan Roth, the leaders of the Goshen College marine biology program at that time,” Weaver said. “It happened to be the same place Goshen College was using for their program, so they made the call and told those people to give us a chance, and that’s how I got my start down there.”
Weaver credits the influences of Bishop and Roth as the primary factor behind his choice to lead a marine biology program of his own.
“Those are the two people that really helped me launch my career at Goshen High School,” Weaver said. “I’m deeply indebted to them and to the college for this entire effort, starting from our beginning year up to this collaboration effort.”
After his first year leading the program, Weaver said the location of the high school biology trip — while always in Florida — tended to vary from year to year, resulting in a weakening of the ties between the high school and college programs.
However, as fate would have it, Weaver credits the kindness and help of another two Goshen College professors for this year’s newly reformed partnership.
“This return was made possible with the help of college professors Ryan Sensenig, director of the environmental science program, and Duane Kauffmann, who is actually retired from Goshen College but is still working with their marine biology program,” Weaver said. “Duane I think was the driving force behind this. He went with us on the trip last year, and while we were there I started talking about finding a different location for this year’s trip, and we began talking about a collaboration between Goshen College and the high school.
“After that discussion, I started talking with Goshen College officials and Ryan Sensenig, who leads the college marine biology program, and it just seemed like the pieces fit and the time was right, and we worked out an agreement,” he said.
As part of the agreement, the high school team will be allowed to dock and store their pontoon boat at the Goshen College facility with the understanding that the college marine biology team will be allowed access to the boat during their annual trip in May.
“For their part, the high school group will also be helping to renovate some of the facility for us, installing new cabinets, things like that, so this really is a partnership that will continue to strengthen both of our programs,” said Sensenig of the newly-minted agreement. “We’re really trying to emphasize that the marine station is a great place to do collaborative work, not just at the college level, but the high school level as well.
“So you could say we’re really, really excited about this partnership,” he said.
Weaver is in full agreement.
“I’m just very grateful for the possibility of working again with Goshen college, and personnel from Goshen College like Ryan and Duane,” Weaver said. “I think it’s a win-win situation for both Goshen College and the high school, and our hope is that a number of the students who go with us on these trips will consider Goshen College as a viable option for their continued education.”
Goshen College, Goshen High School create partnership in Florida Keys.
By JOHN KLINE
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