Shark researcher and URI assistant professor of biological sciences Brad Wetherbee’s Shark Camp exposes city kids to the ocean and marine life. Wetherbee says the sharks are the draw, but not the endgame. “When they’re here, they’re learning about sharks but they’re also learning about college.”
A pair of white minivans rolls up on the dirt lot of Wickford Shipyard. When the doors slide open, a dozen high school kids from Providence emerge, yawning and stretching as if it’s much earlier than 9 a.m. They make their way toward the URI research vessel Cap’n Bert, which will take the group to two different locations to trawl for sharks and other marine life. Some of the students have never been aboard a boat for a saltwater expedition, and they seem a bit quieter than other members of the group.