Time traveling through our coastal history using seashells: A STEAM approach

Time Travel Postcards

Dates: July 16 - 20, 2023, In-person, multiday (FULL)

Cost: Free (a refundable registration fee is required to hold your spot), a stipend is provided for the adoption of the curriculum in the classroom.

Empty shells preserved in sand and mud on the seafloor offer a lens into past environments, allowing scientists to “time travel” to coastal environments long before the Industrial Revolution. Join us this year to explore the environmental history of Alabama’s coastal waters.

In this multiday workshop, hosted in partnership with Dr. Paul Harnik of Colgate University and Ms. Nancy Raia of the Eastern Shore Art Center, we’ll learn about molluscs, such as clams and oysters, and how their shells are dated using radiocarbon methods. We’ll investigate human interactions with coastal ecosystems and the history and ecological impacts of dead zones in the Gulf and collect samples of living and historical molluscan communities aboard DISL’s research vessel.

We’ll explore a variety of artistic techniques to make our own Postcards from the Past, and lastly, discuss how your students can participate in the Postcards from the Past STEAM outreach program.

This workshop is open to educators across the US. Housing and meals at DISL are provided during the workshop (dinner Sunday through lunch Thursday). Field and hands-on activities will take place during the day while evenings will be spent exploring art techniques and creating our Postcards.

Please email DHPWorkshops@disl.edu or call (251) 861-2141 x7515 with any questions.

Funding is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation (to Dr. P. Harnik).