Greetings from South Caicos! The Center for Marine Resource Studies is extremely excited to welcome our new Resource Management faculty Dr. Alex Tilley and his wife, Juliana. After a long winter break, our faculty and staff welcomed thirty-six very excited students to South Caicos. In just over a week, we have toured historic Cockburn Harbour and discovered some of the biodiversity our marine system has to offer.
Classes are in full swing and field exercises take up most of our afternoons. Since we are learning about the local marine life and their interactions, I have included a photo of one of the species students learn about in the ID sessions. Saturday’s community outreach included swimming lessons, a “featured creature” – this week was the West Indian sea egg (Tripneustes ventricosus) – reading and homework help, and sports. In addition, this semester students will help with the restoration of an underwater marine trail and the preparation of material for a new trail accessible to younger community members.
Students have begun participating in faculty research projects which include shark and turtle tagging and monitoring, and water quality assessment. We also hope to work with the TCI Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA) to assess the conch stock around South Caicos. We are looking forward to an extremely productive and engaging semester!