PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Two things that make Brown University a great place to study, according to students? The school’s people and sense of community. And the Ocean State it calls home. What better way to get to know both than a day on the water on Narragansett Bay?
That’s the thinking behind the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences’ annual Save the Bay tour for incoming graduate students. Each year during move-in and orientation week, the department organizes a trip to the nonprofit Save the Bay’s center in Providence where the group, made up of a majority of new students, boards a vessel with faculty members, staff and other graduate students for a ride on the bay. On the water, students get to know each other, learn about an important area and natural resource in Rhode Island, and have a chance to connect with faculty and staff from the department.
“It’s a good setting for this,” said a smiling Kaiyuan Wang, an incoming Brown graduate student from the eastern coast of China. “We are stuck on a boat. There’s a limited amount of space. There’s a limited amount of people. Given enough time, you will communicate with each other.”
This year, the group met up on a late-August afternoon and were off, jumping aboard the Alletta Morris, a 45-foot-research vessel. Students chatted throughout the day, talking over the roar of the engine and crash of the current. They also connected with DEEPS faculty like Steven Clemens and Baylor Fox-Kemper, who not only attended but pointed out relevant geographic areas and areas of interest on the bay. Crew from Save the Bay and faculty members from Brown also led discussions on how Narragansett Bay has changed throughout the years and how it’s being monitored.