Name: Lizzie Wilson
School: Austin College
Major: Environmental Studies
SFS Program: Marine Resource Management Studies, Turks & Caicos
For the students on South Caicos island, life has been nothing but sand, seawater, and sun bathing. Over the course of the first week, we’ve taken part in several snorkels and a dive for those who are certified. These have been both recreational and educational, supplementing our learning about the local ecology, history and resource management plans of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
A trip to East Bay allowed for exploration in small groups, and down-time has allowed us all to investigate the small town of Cockburn Harbor. The native “Belongers” have been an incredible help when it comes to understanding our surroundings. They’re often more than willing, excited even, to share information and their culture with our inquisitive minds. Eduardo, the environmental policy professor here on South Caicos, was also able to arrange a tour of a small fish-processing plant.
This trip helped facilitate our understanding of the local economy, which is based primarily around the export of spiny lobster and conch meat. An ID session carried out at a nearby mangrove also offered students the chance to see many marine organisms in their natural environment, including Southern Stingrays and quite a few juvenile Lemon Sharks.