Everyone within our program is working on a different Directed Research project; there are nine projects in total. The projects range from studying White Spotted Eagle Rays to researching lobster and gathering information on informal fish landings. Each day is different and unpredictable. We all have our own schedules, students are out and about all hours of the morning and some even are out late at night collecting data.
I find that our research projects are the most rewarding part of this entire experience. As I am studying fish landings, my sidekick Ellie and I go out into town in hopes of interviewing local fishermen, restaurant and fish plant owners. Each day we have gone out we have ended the day ecstatic — we have gathered information that we never expected to collect and we get to meet so many people that we probably would not have met if it weren’t for us conducting these interviews and surveys. Getting to know the locals and interacting with them is both interesting and rewarding.
Many students go abroad; however, I don’t think many of those students get the same experience and knowledge that we have gained from being on South Caicos a mere two months. This is an opportunity every student should get and never take for granted. All of us here have learned valuable skills and knowledge that I am sure we will use down the line in our lives and back at our respective institutions. I am thankful for every moment and experience that I have had here thus far.