The Fishers Island Conservancy in February awarded Fishers Island School senior Nicolas Hall, The Edwin Horning Research Grant for Environmental Conservation to study the effect of acidifying sea water on the soft shells of oysters.

The grant enabled Nicolas to purchase equipment to acidify seawater and subject developing oysters to the acidic solution. His goal is to determine the potential future of shelled organisms living in acidifying sea water.

Nicolas is fortunate to live on Fishers Island where he sought the counsel of Steve Malinowski, owner of the nationally-recognized Fishers Island Oyster Farm. “Steve is supplying my oysters,” Nicolas said. “He walked me through feeding and caring for oysters, as well as how I can quantify my results.”

Nicolas, 17, the son of Stephanie and James Hall, grew up on Fishers Island attending Fishers Island School. His love of the ocean developed through the years, but it was a 10th grade oceanography class with science teacher Carol Giles that sparked his intense interest.

“I had a lot of fun in that class. Being around water all my life, it was natural that I would go into a field based on it,” Nicolas said. He will attend Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia this fall, where he will study oceanography.