Name: Sophie Wasserman
School: Vassar College
Major: Environmental Studies
Program: Marine Resource Management Studies

Our world here in South Caicos does seem to be coming to an end, but we are also nearing a new beginning! As we start our third month here, we’ve wrapped up our classes and are beginning our Directed Research.

For the next month, we’ll be divided into groups, working with professors on five different research projects. Some students will be surveying the coral reefs around the island for signs of disease. Another group is identifying and studying Spotted Eagle Rays. From land, some students will be talking to the fishermen about the fish they bring in and taking data on the stomach contents and sizes of the fish. Meanwhile, other students will studying aspects of local ecological knowledge.

I will be hunting down and then dissecting lionfish, and oh my goodness I could not be more excited! All of us are looking forward to the change in speed, and a chance to apply all we’ve learned in our classes. We are also super happy about the lack of homework, at least for a while. I spent two hours out in the sun today reading (for fun!) and it was glorious, just what I needed to remind me just how lucky I am.