Posted: November 17, 2011

Name: Dr. Heidi Hertler
Position: Center Director
Program: Marine Resource Management Studies, Turks & Caicos Islands

After touring hotels in Providenciales, natural caves, and a plantation in Middle Caicos as part of a field trip, students return to South Caicos and enter into their Directed Research Projects. Students will be tracking eagle ray populations, monitoring the TCI lionfish invasion, and surveying local dock landings and perceptions of marine resource use.

Faculty research is going strong! Dr. Allison Candelmo presented a poster titled “Current trends of the invasive lionfish and finfish populations of South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands” (co-authors Micah Steiger, Elizabeth McNamee, John Claydon, and Sarah Traiger) to the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.  Sarah Traiger, alumni intern 2010-2011, presented a poster titled “Density and Size Distribution of Invasive Lionfish on Reefs around South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands” (co author John Claydon). In addition Dr. Candelmo is engaging students in weekly marine turtle surveys with intern Alex Prebble, a collaborative project with the Marine Conservation Society. Annemarie Kramer began a survey of coral diseases in with Kaylee Prince and is revisiting the eagle ray population with Kyle Paine.
 Our Saturday Outreach Program has been extremely popular this semester with nearly 100 community children and adults in attendance each week. Dr. Candelmo and Kate Berge, our student affairs manager, are preparing for “Lionfish Day” scheduled for November 26. This semester we added “Marine Education for Educators”, where we take local school teachers snorkeling on shallow reefs, and a guided nature walk on Long Cay. Wednesday outreach came to a conclusion with local schools coming to The SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies for “Sea Day”, a hands-on discovery program prepared by Kate Berge and led by many of our students.