URI senior charts wild life at Common Fence Point

KINGSTON, R.I.– October 23, 1998 — “In 1956, five acres of salt marsh in Common Fence Point, a section of Portsmouth, R.I., were filled in by the Army Corps of Engineers as part of a dredging project in Mount Hope Bay,” says Carol Lynn Trocki from Middletown, R.I. Trocki, who is a senior studying Environmental Science and Management and Secondary Science Education at the University of Rhode Island, has been helping to chart the progress made by the indigenous water fowl and vegetation since efforts to restore the marsh began in 1996. “Already, big changes are occurring on the marsh and new plants are coming in,” she says. After surveying birds at both high and low tides, Trocki compares her findings to similar statistics at a healthy reference marsh. She is also tracking the emerging plant life. While the dependence on nature’s timetable forces her to keep irregular hours, she says that her work is too much like a hobby to be onerous. “I love watching birds,” she says, “and it is wonderful to be doing something educational that I enjoy as well.” Trocki is involved in this project as a fellow for URI’s Partnership for the Coastal Environment, an eight-month program that incorporates students into the research and outreach work of the professors and research staff of the university. She is working with Frank Golet of West Kingston, R.I., a professor from the Department of Natural Resources Science in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. The Coastal Fellowship Program combines a structured, prestigious undergraduate learning experience with the resources and talents of the public and private sectors. While gaining the skills as well as the contacts that will ensure their success, students build the confidence needed to perform on the job before they enter the job market. Fellows also received a stipend for their work over the summer. “This Fellowship provided me the opportunity to learn in the field during the summer while simultaneously fulfilling the necessary role of ‘summer job’,” says Trocki, who has spent her previous summers watching children instead of wildlife. x-x-x For More Information: Jhodi Redlich (401) 874-2116