Two Florida Keys Community College graduates and one student presented at the World Aquaculture Society’s “Aquaculture America 2018” conference in Las Vegas last week.  The students exhibited their research and internship experiences while in the Marine Environmental Technology (MET) Associate in Science degree and the Tropical Ornamental Mariculture Technician (TOMT) Certificate programs at FKCC.

“I was beaming with pride as I watched our undergraduate students sharing the stage with Doctoral and Masters students, as well as with renown marine ornamental researchers from places such as the University of Florida and Hawaii Pacific University,” said FKCC marine science professor Dr. Michelle Walsh.

The FKCC presentations were part of the “Marine and Freshwater Ornamentals” session.  Kyle Hirt presented “Frostbite Clownfish: Breeding and Development”; Laura Cannella presented “The Spawning and Rearing of The Blue Neon Goby in a Low Density System on a Small Budget”; and Breanna Soucy presented “Tropical Ornamental Mariculture Technician Program at Florida Keys Community College: A Case Study From Campus to Career.”  Dr. Michelle Walsh, FKCC Professor and MET Department Chair, and Travis Knorr, FKCC Science Laboratory Technician, also presented at the conference.

Cannella and Hirt were both awarded “Yellow Book” undergraduate student travel grants from the United States Aquaculture Society (USAS) to support their attendance at the conference.  Only two of these awards are available to students throughout the U.S. and FKCC students earned both of them.  In addition, Cannella and Soucy won the student hotel room lottery for free accommodation provided by the USAS.