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Roger Williams University to Offer Practical Shellfish Farming Course

Non-credit course will teach shellfish farming basics to local residents


The Roger Williams University Center for Economic and Environmental Development today announced it is presently enrolling students to its non-credit course in Practical Shellfish Farming for the winter 2012 semester. This course will provide interested individuals the technical information needed to confidently undertake a small shellfish farming enterprise in Rhode Island and nearby areas of Southern New England. All aspects of shellfish farming, from the broodstock to the market, will be covered over the 12-week course. Students will learn the basic principles of hatchery, nursery and grow-out operations; as well as risk management, siting and permitting, and business management.

Associate Professor and Aquaculture Extension Specialist, Dr. Dale Leavitt, will instruct the course which will be held on the Bristol, R.I. campus of Roger Williams University. The course will consist of a minimum of 12 classes, which will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The class will commence on Jan. 11, 2011 and run through April 18, 2011, weather permitting. The fee for the entire 12-week course, including all handout materials, is $120 per student. Students may attend classes on a drop-in basis at a rate of $10 per evening session. Pre-registration is preferred by contacting Cheryl Francis at (401) 254-3110 or, or Dale Leavitt at

Session topics and dates are as follows:

Date                Discussion Topics        

11 Jan              Introductions and Shellfish Aquaculture Overview

18 Jan              Shellfish Biology

25 Jan              Shellfish Growout Systems I – Oysters

  1 Feb              Shellfish Growout Systems II – Quahogs and Other Clams

  8 Feb              Shellfish Growout Systems III – Scallops and Mussels

15 Feb              Shellfish Nursery Systems I

22 Feb              Shellfish Nursery Systems II

29 Feb              Site Selection, Permitting and Regulations

  7 Mar              Risks to Growing Shellfish I - Predators

14 Mar              Spring Break – No Class

21 Mar              Risks to Growing Shellfish II - Diseases

28 Mar              National Shellfisheries Association Meeting – No Class

  4 Apr              Shellfish Business Management

11 Apr              Shellfish Hatchery Techniques I (optional)

18 Apr              Shellfish Hatchery Techniques II (optional)