RWU offers spring shellfish farming class


The Roger Williams University Center for Economic and Environmental Development is presently enrolling students to its non-credit course in Practical Shellfish Farming for the spring 2014 semester. This course will provide interested individuals the technical information needed to confidently undertake a small shellfish farming enterprise in Rhode Island and nearby areas of southern New England.

All aspects of shellfish farming, from the broodstock to the market, will be covered over the twelve-week course. Students will learn the basic principles of hatchery, nursery and grow-out operations; as well as risk management, siting and permitting, and business management.

Associate Professor and Aquaculture Extension Specialist, Dr. Dale Leavitt, will teach the course, which will be held on the Roger Williams University Bristol campus.

The course will consist of a minimum of 12 classes, which will be held on Tuesdays from 6 - 8:30 p.m. Classes start on Tuesday, Jan. 28 and will run through April 29, weather permitting.

Cost is $125 per student, including all handout materials.

Students may attend classes on a drop-in basis for $10 per evening session.

Pre-registration is preferred. Contact Cheryl Francis, 401-254-3110 or email,, or Dale Leavitt at

Session topics and dates are as follows:

  • Jan. 28 Introductions and Shellfish Aquaculture Overview
  • Feb. 4 Shellfish Biology
  • Feb. 11 Site Selection & Monitoring
  • Feb. 18 Shellfish Growout Systems I – Oysters
  • Feb. 25 No class
  • Mar. 4 Shellfish Growout Systems II – Quahogs & other Clams
  • Mar. 11 Shellfish Growout Systems III – Scallops & Mussels
  • Mar. 18 Shellfish Nursery Systems I
  • Mar. 25 Shellfish Nursery Systems II
  • Apr. 1 No class
  • Apr. 8 Risks to Growing Shellfish I – Predators & Pests
  • Apr. 15 Risks to Growing Shellfish II – Diseases
  • Apr. 22 Permitting/Regulations
  • Apr. 29 Shellfish Business Management
  • May 6 Shellfish Hatchery Techniques (optional)


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