Name: Kathryn Flowers
School: St. Thomas University
Program: Marine Resource Studies, Turks & Caicos
Every morning I wake up to the turquoise waters and stunning sunrise and ask myself how I became so lucky. It is often a question that is asked by my peers and family at home in Canada. When I think about it, I realize that hard work truly pays off, and that idea resonates in all of the staff and students here at the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies. Coming into this experience, I was anxious about being one of the only students to have a background in social sciences. Upon arriving in South Caicos, I realized just how important social sciences are for marine resource management studies.
It was my love for the ocean that guided me to this program, and the desire to protect it for future generations. There is no better way to learn than to be fully immersed in the environment with direct hands-on fieldwork, which has also made me even more aware of the allure that the ocean has to offer. By attacking problems on a local scale, I believe it will become easier to approach global issues surrounding fishery management and sustainable resource management.
The professors do a fantastic job making sure that our work is beneficial to the community and everyone here commits to living sustainably. Our community outreach directly involves many of the children and students here on the island, which helps educate them about the ocean and its inhabitants. The Student Affairs Manager, Kimbrough Mauney, makes sure that everyone involved has fun while participating.
I was surprised that the snorkeling here is almost as good as the diving. The biodiversity in the area allows for wonderful sights during every snorkel and dive. The waterfront staff here at the center have their hands full this semester and all of the students could not be more grateful for their effort.
So just how did we all become so lucky? Simple: we followed our dreams. Being here has so far been better than I could have expected, and I am sure that the remainder of the semester will only bring more opportunity for splendor.