Roger Williams University course will equip commercial shellfish farmers

 Roger Williams University course  will equip commercial shellfish farmers

Non-credit course will teach basic shellfish farming theory and technique

BRISTOL, R.I., January 2, 2016 – The Roger Williams University Center for Economic
and Environmental Development is now enrolling students for Applied Shellfish
Farming, a non-credit course offered during the winter/spring semester that teaches
both aspiring shellfish farmers and aquaculture professionals the ins and outs of
commercially growing oysters, quahogs, scallops and mussels.

The 14-week program — led by Dale Leavitt, aquaculture extension specialist and
professor of marine biology at RWU — is designed to aid new and experienced
shellfish farmers to start or grow their shellfish farming enterprise in Rhode
Island and other areas of Southern New England.

Topics in the course include: an overview of shellfish farming, shellfish biology,
farm site selection, the permitting process and regulatory aspects of securing and
maintaining a lease, an overview of shellfish nursery and grow-out systems, risk
management strategies, other technical aspects of shellfish farming, and business
and marketing management advice. Leavitt complements the class with mentoring and
site visits, remains in contact with many participants, and advises shellfish
farmers nationwide.

The Coastal Resources Management Council considers the course an unofficial
requirement for prospective shellfish farmers. Aspects of the course are also
required for individuals wishing to apply for a Recreational Aquaculture Permit in
Rhode Island (For more information about the Recreational Aquaculture Permit,
contact Leavitt at

The course will be held at RWU’s Bristol campus on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m.
to 9 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and continuing Tuesday evenings through
April 25. This year, the course also will be offered as an on-line webinar,
available to anyone with Internet access. More details will be forthcoming on how to
sign up for the webinar. If you are interested, please contact Leavitt at

Pre-registration is preferred by contacting Cheryl Francis at (401) 254-3110 or For more details on the on-line version, please contact Leavitt at
The fee for the course is $100 per student, which includes all class materials.
Interested participants can also attend individual classes on a drop-in basis for
$10 per class.

Applied Shellfish Farming Course Schedule

Tuesday evenings; 6:30 to 9:00 PM


Discussion Topic


Introductions & Shellfish Aquaculture Overview


Shellfish Biology*


Site Selection & Monitoring


Shellfish Growout Systems I – Oysters*


Shellfish Growout Systems II – Quahogs & other Clams


Shellfish Growout Systems III – Scallops, Mussels & other species


Permitting & Regulations*


Shellfish Nursery Systems I


Shellfish Nursery Systems II


Risks to Growing Shellfish – Predators & Pests*


Shellfish Restoration


NSA annual meeting – no class


Risks to Growing Shellfish – Diseases*


Shellfish Business Management I


Shellfish Business Management II


Shellfish Hatchery Techniques

About RWU: With campuses on the coast of Bristol and in the heart of Providence,
R.I., Roger Williams University is a forward-thinking private university committed
to strengthening society through engaged teaching and learning. At RWU, small
classes, direct access to faculty and guaranteed opportunity for real-world projects
ensure that its nearly 4,000 undergraduates – along with hundreds of law students,
graduate students and adult learners – graduate with the ability to think critically
along with the practical skills that today’s employers demand. Roger Williams is
leading the way in American higher education, confronting the most pressing issues
facing students and families – increasing costs, rising debt and job readiness.