November 17, 2008
08-192

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Natalie Quinn Student Intern

Chemistry Students Experience Hands on Learning

Valdosta - More than 50 chemistry students recently visited Gulf Specimen Marine Lab with Dr. Tom Manning for a six-hour hands-on assignment about cancer drugs from the sea.

The marine lab, located in Panacea, Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, supplies universities, companies and government labs with organisms from the ocean.

“Students can learn lots about chemistry just by visiting the seashore, if they know what they are looking at,” Manning said.
grad student, Irene Gung, said Manning explained to the students that marine animals such as sea urchins, octopi and crabs are important towards new research for the cure for cancer. For instance, a recently discovered protein in Jellyfish is now used in medical practices, which earned the most recent Noble Prize in chemistry.

Gung and the other students were given several assignments on the trip that included documenting information about the sea animals, observing the creatures in their natural environment and reading related articles.

“The trip was great, and it's exactly what I wish more classes were like,” Gung said, adding that the variety of special backgrounds the 52 students possessed gave the trip a special element. “I love how it's hands-on, something new, and educational at the same time.”

Visit www.gulfspecimen.org for more information about the marine lab.

Learn more about Manning and his research at http://www.valdosta.edu/news/visionaries/manning.php and http://www.valdosta.edu/news/media/2008/11/DRAFT_Sp06VSUAN.pdf .