NACE 24 Field Trips & Workshops

NACE/MAS Field Trips & Workshops

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Please join one of these exciting workshops and tours to some of the area’s best known aquaculture research and production facilities. All tours will leave from and return to the Omni Providence Hotel conference site.  Please arrive 15 minutes before the posted departure time at the hotel lobby.  Registration for each trip or workshop will be limited, and on a first come basis. These tours are highly subsidized by the NACE! For details and questions, contact Chris Davis or Anne Langston-Noll



Northeast Aquaculture Extension Network: The Northeast Aquaculture Extension Network (NAEN) will be hosting a meeting for extension professionals. Join us as we connect over shared challenges and opportunities facing our profession in the Northeast.  We will use this opportunity to create new connections, strengthen existing ones, and build potential for funding regional collaborations in the future. Hope to see you there! Please sign up below and email with any questions.

Start time: 3:00 PM. End time: 5:00 PM. Venue: Omni Providence Hotel. No cost: Maximum of 25 participants

Fundamentals of Seaweed Farming: Curious about seaweed farming? Wondering what this whole “seaweed thing” is about? Join Jaclyn Robidoux, seaweed extension specialist with Maine Sea Grant, to learn and explore the fundamentals of seaweed farming in the Northeast. In this interactive workshop, we’ll cover current species, production methods, required equipment and infrastructure, post-harvest markets, and more. We’ll also discuss key practices of successful seaweed operations and learn about the latest recommendations for getting seaweed from seed to sale. This workshop is open to all and will be useful for researchers, regulators, students, new and developing seaweed operations, and the seaweed curious to gain practical, up-to-date knowledge about domestic seaweed farming.

Start time: 9:00 AM. End time: 12:00 PM. Venue: Omni Providence Hotel. Cost: $35  Maximum of 25 participants

Generating Oyster Aquaculture Opportunities for a Diverse Workforce: The Nature Conservancy and The Pew Charitable Trusts relaunched SOAR (Supporting Oyster Aquaculture & Restoration) in February 2023 and incorporated a 3rd area of strategic focus: to co-create opportunities for restorative aquaculture with underserved communities. This is a listening session to inform this body of work, focusing on race and ethnicity as a starting point, and simultaneously exploring other socially vulnerable and marginalized groups who have been sidelined or faced discrimination. Led by Pedro E. Llanos Altagracia, this listening session aims to:

  • Identify entry challenges and barriers experienced by historically underserved populations in Aquaculture and Oyster Farming;
  • Identify avenues to generate accessibility and participation growth of involved and uninvolved underserved communities in restorative aquaculture;
  • Identify areas to support opportunities for communities new to Oyster farming and Aquaculture;
  • And generate interests in getting involved in pursuit to cultivate and retain a more diverse workforce, in pursuit to achieve net-positive environmental and restoration outcomes.

Start time: 12:30 PM. End time: 2:00 PM. Venue: Omni Providence Hotel. No Cost. Maximum of 25 participants

Farm to Table Seafood: Cooking Appetizing Aquaculture at Johnson & Wales: Join Chef Branden Lewis, Ed.D. at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Food, Innovation & Technology in cooking with locally sourced, farmed seafood in one of JWU’s commercial kitchens. Participants in this small group workshop will gain skills and confidence in preparing New England grown fish and shellfish with recipes which are globally inspired and sustainably sourced. Best of all, attendees will share in the bounty by enjoying a meal of their making together.

Depart: 12:00 PM from Omni Hotel. Return: 2:00 PM. Cost: $75. Participants: Maximum, 18 people.

Oyster Genomics: applications to conservation, management and aquaculture: Led by Dr. Jon Puritz of URI, the first half of the workshop will feature lightning talks featuring genomics data in aquaculture.  The second half will be focused instruction exploring different possible ways of using genomics data with hands-on tutorials using data from the Eastern Oyster Breeding Array.

Start time: 1:00 PM in the Omni Hotel. End time: 4:00 PM. No cost . Participants: Maximum, 30 people.

Field Trips

Tour the Shellfish Processing Facility at American Mussel Harvesters: Meet with the Silkes family as they show you around the facilities of American Mussel Harvesters, one of Rhode Island’s largest shellfish wholesale distributors. At their facility they handle a wide variety of shellfish products, including their own farmed oysters and mussels. In the Restaurant Ready® process, American Mussel Harvesters hold the shellfish in a custom-designed, controlled seawater environment to optimize their wholesomeness and are packaged and shipped from their building on the shores of Narragansett Bay.

Depart: 1:30 PM from Omni Hotel. Return: 4:00 PM. Cost: $35. Participants: Maximum, 14 people.

Behind the Scenes Tour at Mystic Aquarium: Join a guided tour of the Mystic Aquarium including behind-the-scenes experiences. The 2-hour, guided, behind-the-scenes tour will be followed by some free time to explore the shows and displays of the Aquarium. The Aquarium is home to thousands of species of marine mammals, fish, invertebrates, and reptiles including Beluga whales, African penguins, several species of seals, and Giant Pacific octopus!


Depart: 12:00 PM from Omni Hotel. Return: 5:00 PM. Cost: $99. Participants: Maximum, 14 people.

Dip Into Oyster Farming and Sample Marine Research: Join a full day tour to Buzzards Bay and New Bedford, MA to see Oyster farming technology in action, learn about gear design from the pros, and explore the capacities of a modern marine research facility. This tour will begin with a stop at the innovative Oyster farm, Blue Stream Shellfish, where we will speak with Dale Leavitt about his business and visit his oyster processing facility (and possibly the farm site, if weather allows). Next up, the tour will stop at the Ketcham Supply Co. manufacturing facility to dig into the details of Flow N’ Grow oyster cage production. Lunch will be provided by Ketcham, free of charge! Finally, the tour will wrap up at UMass Dartmouth’s SMAST Seawater facility, where we will visit the recently finished, state-of-the-art East Seawater Lab.


Depart: 9:00 AM from Omni Hotel. Return: 5:00 PM. Cost: $45. Participants: Maximum, 14 people.

Have a Shuckin’ Good Time at Matunuck Oyster Farm and Restaurant, and Tour the URI Bay Campus: Join Perry Raso for a tour of the stunning Matunuck oyster farm, followed by lunch at the Matunuck Oyster Bar. After lunch the adventure will continue at the Seawater Facilities of the Ann Gall Durbin Marine Research Aquarium and the Blount Aquaculture Laboratory on the Bay Campus of the University of Rhode Island. You will meet faculty working on fin fish, urchin and other cutting edge research.


Depart: 9:00AM from Omni Hotel, Return: 4:00PM. Cost: $35. Lunch will cost extra. Participants: Maximum, 15 people.