New York Harbor School |Opportunities in Environmental and Maritime Training and Practical Experience

By Larry Siegel

Harbor School has 6 CTE Programs of Study which begin in the 9th grade survey course Introduction to New York Harbor.

Introduction to New York Harbor or “Harbor Class” is taken by all ninth graders at New York Harbor School and is the basis for six Career and Technical Education Programs of Study: Marine Biology Research, Aquaculture, Vessel Operations, Ocean Engineering, Marine Systems Technology, and Professional Diving.

Marine Biology Research
The Marine Biology Research Program is a three year program that will jump start high school students in core marine science topics. Students will study simple aquatic ecosystems; formulate experiments with these systems; learn the biology, chemistry, physics, and ecology behind them; and apply basic instrumentation techniques to monitor them. Students then focus on three main topics: oyster restoration, habitat characterization, and water quality monitoring.

Aquaculture teaches the theory and practice of raising aquatic plants and animals. Re-circulating aquaponic systems containing tilapia and herbs/vegetables are used to teach nutrient balance, feed ratios, fish disease identification/treatment, entrepreneurialship and filter design. Oyster hatchery, nursery, and growout techniques will be taught for the purposes of restoration.

Vessel Operations
This major prepares students for careers as licensed deck hands, as well as providing them with a stepping stone into management and operations positions aboard small passenger vessels and commercial towing units.

Ocean Engineering
Students learn about design, drafting, the physics of motion, electronics, and underwater technology as well as working well in a team, managing a project, measuring and presenting outcomes by designing, and assembling and testing submersible robots.

Marine Systems Technology
This program will teach the knowledge skills and attitudes that will prepare successful graduates to be marine systems technicians. Marine systems include electrical, fuel, hydraulics, refrigeration, propulsion and plumbing systems.

Professional/Scientific Diving
The program will take students through a series of certifications as recreational divers through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), beginning with Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver. Students will receive training in boat safety and handling, emergency marine response.

More information about the Harbor School can be found here.

About the Author: Larry Siegel has worked as a writer of corporate policies and procedures and as a technical writer. He currently works as a Pesticide Community Outreach Specialist for the Pesticide and Toxic Substances Branch in Edison, NJ