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January 6, 2012

Technology Clinic Applies Interdisciplinary Approach to Local Fish Farming

Members of Tech Clinic from left are: Yen Joe Tan '14, Aaditya Khanal '12, Holden Ranz '12, Stacey Goldberg '12, Garrett Rice '12, Rachel Lewitt '13.

Members of Tech Clinic from left are: Yen Joe Tan ’14, Aaditya Khanal ’12, Holden Ranz ’12, Stacey Goldberg ’12, Garrett Rice ’12, Rachel Lewitt ’13.

A Technology Clinic class is using the wide-ranging expertise of its members to make a fish-farming operation more economically and environmentally efficient.

“The goal of Technology Clinic is to use the resources and background of five or six different students to help solve real-world problems. Currently, we are working with David Due in Roseto, Pa., to help make his fish farming venture more efficient,” says Stacey Goldberg ’12 (Melville, N.Y.), an economics major.

The class is made up of Aaditya Khanal ’12 (Kathmandu, Nepal), a chemical engineering major; Rachel Lewitt ’13 (Berwyn, Pa.), a psychology major; Holden Ranz ’12, (Shelburne, Vt.), a chemical engineering major; Garrett Rice ’12 (Mercersburg, Pa.), an American studies major; and Yen Joe Tan ’14 (Penang, Malaysia). The faculty adviser is Dan Bauer, visiting professor of anthropology and sociology.

The students are looking into several areas of research to enhance the productivity of Due’s pond and potential pools such as aeration, temperature control, waste management, marketing and sales, and potential for growth and expansion.  Due has owned the pond for 33 years but has only looked into fish farming seriously as a source of revenue for the past few years.

“There are many marketing aspects of the project that have potential for creating new jobs, such as sales and promotion, and we are also looking into using abandoned warehouse space for indoor fish raising, which would be a useful economic activity,” says Goldberg. “While all of our research and progress is made together as a group, we definitely play on each other’s strengths to get the best final product.”

Rice says the most powerful aspect of Tech Clinic is its interdisciplinary nature as students come from all four of the College’s academic divisions: engineering, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

“The group members, because they have developed different skills during their time at Lafayette, are able to bring different things to the table,” says Rice. “The project itself encompasses different areas in which students with individual specialties can take the lead.”

For Goldberg, this project is helping her work toward her ideal career, which would combine economics, the arts, and communications.

“I know what I’ve done in Tech Clinic will help with these goals,” she says. “I am excited to continue our research next semester and to work more closely with Mr. Due and his pond to hopefully put some of our plans in to action.”

Rice, who will attend law school next year, believes the skills learned in Tech Clinic will help students no matter what their career goals are.

“Being in Tech Clinic provides me with an opportunity to be a part of the real world while earning academic credit,” he says. “Although I don’t know exactly where my career will take me, I do know that the teamwork, collaboration, and problem-solving skills that Tech Clinic has taught me will be invaluable in whatever I end up doing.”

posted in Academic News, Cross-Train Your Brain, Engineering, Initiatives, News and Features, Students, Top News

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations on a very forward-thinking project (Hi Rachel!). Fish ponds have a great deal to solve some of the world’s problems; however, keep in mind the perspective of fish (as found in Rupert Brooke’s poem Heaven:

    ….And in that Heaven of all their wish,
    There shall be no more land, say fish.

    says Peter LeWitt
    January 22, 2012 at 8:54 am
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