Molluscan Ecology Program
Since the discovery of veined rapa whelks Rapana vensoa in the lower Chesapeake Bay by VIMS scientists in 1998, the VIMS Molluscan Ecology program has and continues to conduct research on the biology, ecology, and physiology of rapa whelks in the lower Chesapeake Bay to better understand the ecological impacts of this animal on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The rapa whelk bounty program is an integral part of our sampling program and the progress that VIMS scientists have made thus far in documenting the range of the rapa whelk in the Chesapeake Bay is directly related to the involvement of local citizens including watermen and educators.

After the rapa whelk CD-ROM, Veined rapa whelks: Aliens in the Chesapeake, became available in 2003, many educators began requesting hands-on, data-based exercises and video or photographic resources to help communicate rapa whelk and invasion biology information with their students. The Rapa Resources Program was born of these requests. All of the materials herein are tied to national science and education standards as well as specific Virginia Math, Life Science, and Biology Standards of Learning.

This web site provides material that will help educators teach their students about rapa whelk biology and the potential ecological and economic impacts of rapa whelks in the Chesapeake Bay and in any habitat that might face a rapa whelk introduction.

Data based activities
These data based activities highlight particular rapa whelk biology concepts and describe hands-on classroom activities for students using data sets directly related to our active research programs. These activities are available as PDF files that include student worksheets and teacher answer keys.
Exercise title
Date available
May 2006
May 2006
Video archive
Each video clip is accompanied by a short interpretive text describing the visible rapa whelk activity. These materials are intended as resources for educators; please use with references to the author (J.M. Harding) and source (this web site).
Development of the Rapa Resources program has been supported by Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund. The VIMS Molluscan Ecology Program and the Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program have also provided support. Thanks are extended to local commercial fishermen who continue to contribute rapa whelks to the VIMS Molluscan Ecology research program as well as the many teachers and students who have helped us develop and test these activities.
Document last modified 06.24.2006
© Molluscan Ecology Program. Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
All rights reserved. All images © Juliana M. Harding.