After returning from our field trip to Providenciales, North and Middle Caicos, everyone is excited about finishing up class work and diving into their Directed Research. Our Provo trip was both fun and productive. Bryan Naqqi Manco from the TCI Department of Environmental and Coastal Research (DECR) educated us about cave formations and the local environment, which is surprisingly much different than South Caicos.
In addition to the Conch Bar (as in sand) Caves, we enjoyed lunch on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Turks and Caicos, Mudjin Harbour, while watching whales breach. Our day ended at the government farm where we learned about the Caicos pine (Pinuscaribaea) restoration project. David Stone (TC Reef Fund), David Bowen (Director, Ministry of Art and Culture), and Amdeep Sanghera (Marine Conservation Society), joined us in the evenings to discuss their projects. Day two of the field trip was spent surveying the local community about fisheries and visiting the conch farm. After a five day spring break, students are back on South.
Only one week of classes remains before the start Directed Research. Students will be tracking eagle ray populations, monitoring lemon sharks, and surveying local dock landings and perceptions of marine resource use. In the meantime, faculty research is going strong! Many of our students have been out with Dr. Aaron Henderson assisting him in catching and tagging lemon sharks. Other students are setting up a green house on site made from found material with Dr. Eduardo Guevara to grow some produce and mangroves trees as part of a small restoration project.