Fisheries in Focus

Improving Distance Education in STEM University Courses Using Case-Based Learning Videos

An M.S. Non-Thesis Project by Bethany Gaffey

The Fisheries in Focus project centered on developing case-based learning videos for university and high school instructors to use in their aquaculture courses. Four video segments, less than ten minutes each, cover two aquaculture facilities in Florida, highlighting how and why behind each facility as they produce fish for food, aquarium trade, and sport.

Fisheries in Focus illuminates the intricacies of federal and state commitments to research, teaching, and extension for aquaculture in Florida. The videos and related materials are housed on The Streaming Science Project, a college student-driven science communication platform, and are free of charge for instructors to use as appropriate with their target learners.  

Our #1 aquaculture commodity in the state of Florida is ornamental fish, so pretty little fish that go into aquariums, and most people don’t realize that most of those fish are grown in ponds which look exactly like this.”

– Eric Cassiano

Part I: Ponds & Greenhouses #3-5

The food, that feeds the food, that feeds the fish.”

– Eric Cassiano

Part II: Greenhouses #1-2, Temperature, Copepods, & Algae

…the hatchery was put in place so that the anglers of Florida can have striped bass to catch and to also maintain that species in this waterway [the Saint Johns River].”

– Jorge Buening

Part I: Aquariums, Water, & Spawning

We have the land, we have the people, we have the capacity to do many cool things, including snakes.”

– Jorge Buening

Part II: Ponds, Packing, Snakes, & Birds

Bethany Gaffey received a B.S. in Marine Sciences and Mass Communication at the University of Florida in 2017. After years of working in (and out of) scientific research, Bethany started her master’s degree journey as a Graduate Assistant in the Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences department before transferring to Agricultural Education and Communication. Now specializing in Agricultural Communication, Bethany looks forward to using her research experiences to create engaging content about our natural resources. 

Eric Cassiano works as an Assistant Extension Specialist for the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin, FL. Eric assists Florida fish farmers as they raise ornamental species, acting as a liaison between the academic research being conducted at the lab and the industry partners raising fish across the state. His extension experience ranges from freshwater to marine systems and from local growers to local K-12 teachers introducing aquaculture to their students.

Tony Brady works as the Deputy Project Leader for the USFWS Welaka National Fish Hatchery in Welaka, FL. Tony leads the hatchery staff as they raise fish, reptiles, and birds to meet the management objectives for some of Florida’s at-risk and endangered species. His leadership experience ranges from collaborating with national hatcheries, zoos, and conservation organizations to managing outreach programs for youth through local 4-H clubs.

Jorge T. Buening works as a Fish Biologist for the USFWS Welaka National Fish Hatchery in Welaka, FL. Jorge assists in managing local species for conservation purposes and non-native species for research across the hatchery’s aquarium tanks and 33 ponds. His husbandry experience ranges from raising Atlantic striped bass, catfish, and bowfin to spawning Gulf Coast striped bass. Jorge has become much more than just a fish biologist, as he assists with caring for the many snakes and birds also being raised at the hatchery.

Theoretical Framework

Media Credits