Two St. Lawrence County residents attending Clarkson University recently partook in a project to help clean areas of Stradbrook Island's shoreline, which is off the coast of Brisbane, Australia.
Geoffrey C. Baldwin of Ogdensburg is a junior majoring in engineering and management.
Megan Lauren Seaman of Potsdam is a senior majoring in psychology.
Clarkson School of Business students are required to complete some type of international experience to get their degrees. Their options include a semester abroad, taking the Canadian Studies course, an international strategy course, or by attending one of the two- to three-week Global Business Study trips.
The pair chose the latter option, which was led by assistant professor of consumer and organizational behavior Floyd Ormsbee and his wife, Amber Ormsbee.
The Ormsbees assisted a not-for-profit group called the Wild Mob, whose projects include research on the Great Barrier Reef, whales, tracking baby wallabies and marine debris clean up and monitoring. Wild Mob general manager Andrew Elphinstone teaches university courses, so the Clarkson students also learned about his overall environmental work.
"We went to Stradbrook Island off the coast of Brisbane and picked up debris on two beaches," Ormsbee said. "The debris was sorted and cataloged, and Andrew demonstrated how it was different on each side of the island, determining the likely source of the items. This research helps to inform governmental policy aimed at reducing waste, debris, and pollution."
As part of the trip, students visit a variety of businesses, cultural and social events or organizations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues.
"The objective is to expose the students to life and business practices in other countries, as well as the local people and culture," Ormsbee said. "The intention is to prepare them for the roles they will take on in our global economy after they graduate."