It hard to believe the students have just left. Reflecting back, this has been a memorable semester—up close encounters with migrating humpback whales, octopus and dolphin sightings, diving some of the most diverse reefs in the area, field trip to Provo, Saturday outreach, and Sunday bake-offs at the Center.
On the research front, Aaron Henderson, Marine Ecology Lecturer, and Megan Nash (Fall 2012) had a publication accepted in Marine Biodiversity Records documenting turtles hatching on South Caicos and the Center received a grant to measure and monitor erosion and accretion patterns on turtle nesting beaches around the TCI.
During the last week of the semester, students and faculty were busy working on Directed Research data analysis and preparing for their community presentations. Our Directed Research projects are designed to address resource management questions developed with local stake holders. This semester students studied eagle ray population dynamics, lionfish densities around South Caicos, worked with local community groups (citizen scientists) to document climate change on South Caicos, and assessed a local coral reef ecosystem as part of the Centers effort to identify local impact of development and climate change.
To increase community awareness about our natural resources, our students and SAM organized an Earth Day celebration. Activities at the Center included several “Featured Creatures” and discovery activities. This was followed by a parade with a band to the Conch Dock were the festivities continued. This has definitely been a great semester and we will miss everyone.
Remember the TC SPCA is coming. South Caicos animals need your help. Please donate to support this effort: https://community.fieldstudies.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=184 (in the designation box, select SOS South Caicos Veterinary Services).