Thursday, April 19, 2018
Education

USF expedition to Antarctica in jeopardy because of government shutdown

TAMPA — A group of University of South Florida scientists expecting to trek to Antarctica this month remain in limbo after the government shutdown halted funding for the research.

As part of the massive closing of the federal government that began Oct. 1 and lasted 16 days, the National Science Foundation shuttered its three research stations on the Earth's southernmost continent.

And while the government is now reopened, it's unclear if the compromise in Washington came in time to save USF's October trip and a second trip planned for January. Researchers typically operate in Antarctica from around October until February, the Antarctic summer.

"I am sad for the students who might miss out on such a unique and life-changing experience," said Amelia Shevenell, an assistant professor of geological oceanography who was to help lead the expedition.

"I am also sad for the technicians who give their all to make our science successful," said Shevenell, who has been to Antarctica seven times. "Without them, we cannot do anything, and they will lose their seasonal jobs, which is quite a blow to their financial security."

The two trips, which were organized in conjunction with the U.S. government and other universities, had been in the works for five and 10 years, respectively.

A first group of researchers was expected to depart from Chile on Oct. 27 on a three-week field study.

A second group was to leave at the end of January and return in mid March. The group's mission: to better understand how ocean temperatures are affecting the melting of Antarctic glaciers.

Tasha Snow, a USF graduate student who was to participate in both trips, said she can only sit, wait and hope.

"It would be devastating to have an entire season of research and learning planned, then have it canceled because of issues within our government," Snow said.

Snow said the research is critical so that scientists can better understand how climate change is affecting Antarctica and how it may eventually influence other parts of the world.

"Most of these places had never been observed before or had any shipboard measurements taken from them before" Snow said.

"The loss of these cruises and potentially the entire Antarctic research season would waste a lot of money and time, and keep us from the discoveries that could improve our understanding of what is happening in Antarctica — information that the public needs in order to be best prepared for future changes."

Faizan Bangash is a reporter for the News International in Lahore, Pakistan, and part of the International Center For Journalist's U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism program.

Comments
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Published: 04/19/18
Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

LARGO — Starting soon, Pinellas County public schools could be using a nationwide violence prevention program founded by families of those killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012.The nonprofit group Sandy Hook Promise, with ...
Published: 04/19/18

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teacher aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer p...
Published: 04/18/18
After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

TAMPA — Sam Sharf’s parents thought he had the best position on the Plant High School football team. As back-up quarterback, he could impress the girls but rarely played enough to get hurt.Now a junior, Sharf is off the team so he can focus his energ...
Published: 04/18/18

Gannon University’s Ruskin growth includes $21 million addition

RUSKIN — Gannon University is experiencing some serious growing pains and as a result, SouthShore is going to see a big change in the landscape. When it opened its doors in 2015 as a satellite campus for its home school in Erie, Pa., Gannon occupied ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Enrollment growth anticipated for Pasco County charter schools, with two more to open in the fall

Most of Pasco County’s more established charter schools expect to see their student population remain stable in 2018-19.Even so, enrollment in the county’s charter schools is expected to grow by about 1,100 children — or nearly 25 percent — in the fa...
Published: 04/17/18
Sunlake High sophomore wins summer scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design

Sunlake High sophomore wins summer scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design

LAND O’ LAKES — As a child, Taylor Young started doodling with crayons as a hobby. Now at age 16, this Sunlake High School sophomore has received a full scholarship, valued at $6,000, to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design Summer Pre-Colleg...
Published: 04/16/18
Manatee County high school student calls for ‘bracott’

Manatee County high school student calls for ‘bracott’

A Florida high school student who said she was told to cover up her nipples after not wearing a bra to school is planning a protest in response. Lizzy Martinez’ "bracott" will take place today at Braden River High in Manatee County, according to Twit...
Published: 04/16/18

School news for April 20

School Calendar• April 27: Progress reports• May 17-20: High school graduations.• May 25: Last day of school for students.Theatre/Art/MusicCenter for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. (727) 774-7382.• J .W. Mitchell Hi...
Published: 04/16/18
Hernando district fires all teachers at Moton Elementary, regardless of rating

Hernando district fires all teachers at Moton Elementary, regardless of rating

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County School District leaders vowed last year in their turnaround plan for struggling Moton Elementary to remove all under-performing teachers if the school earned lower than a C grade from the state in 2018.But last week — mo...
Published: 04/14/18
Updated: 04/18/18