UNCW Unveils 250-Gallon Aquaponics Tank

Monday, April 27, 2015

The University of North Carolina Wilmington will unveil a 250-gallon aquaponics tank in Wagoner Hall on April 29, the University announced today. A joint project between UNCW’s departments of sociology and criminology, marine biology and biology, and environmental studies, the tank combines aquaculture and hydroponic technology, allowing plants and fish to coexist. Campus dining will utilize the vegetables and herbs grown, furthering the availability of sustainable foods on campus.

“Students are keenly aware of the importance of local food, sustainable food supplies and their role as citizens in minimalizing our ecological footprints,” said Leslie Hossfeld, chair of UNCW’s department of sociology and criminology.  “Aquaponics, like other sources of food production, is a perfect way to teach sustainability and the importance of being cognizant of one's ecological footprint.”

Students will be able to conduct activities involving chemistry, physics, biology and sustainability to solidify their understanding of scientific theories. With hopes of creating a “how-to” guide for use in other educational settings, the tank will provide countless hours of learning for students across a wide array of disciplines.

Roger Shew, Anthony Snider and Leslie Hossfeld have developed course material relating to sustainability and local food initiatives to further engage their students. The funding and support for this project is widespread and was provided by ETEAL, Feast Down East, UNCW Campus Dining, UNCW’s departments of sociology and criminology, environmental studies, the College of Arts and Sciences and local business Progressive Gardens. Owner and UNCW alum Evan Folds will provide the vegetables grown in the tank.