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Student Reels In Donation for a Shark Study

Thu, 01/25/2024 - 10:51
Finn O'Rourke, at left, is an East Hampton High School student working on a shark-tagging project. His science teacher is Dr. Stephanie Forsberg, right.
Hope Masi

The East Hampton Town Trustees voted on Monday to donate $2,000 to Finn O’Rourke, an East Hampton High School sophomore, toward the purchase of a satellite tag for a shark movement research project he plans to conduct this year as part of his science studies.

Finn told the trustees that he has raised $6,000, enough for three Lotek pop-up satellite tags, but seeks a fourth in order to expand the study. He will work with Greg Metzger, a marine science teacher at Southampton High School, in the effort to tag sharks — ideally, white sharks, he said.

Sharks will be caught by rod and reel and hauled onto the boat, where an incision will be made and the tag inserted. The incisions will be stitched and the sharks released, he said.

At East Hampton, Finn is studying with Stephanie Forsberg, a former town trustee. He hopes to repeat the project next year and in 2026, he told the trustees.

“Research is all about numbers,” Jim Grimes said in moving to authorize the trustees’ $2,000 donation. “The more tags he can afford to put out there, the more value there is to this work.”

He asked that Finn return to the trustees and “fill us in on what you gleaned from the project.”


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