Posted: April 26, 2017
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Research Beneath the Waves

Turks and Caicos Islands

Greetings from South Caicos! My name is Connor Christoffersen, I’m a junior at Skidmore College studying Environmental Science. We’ve reached finals season here at the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies, and the whole school has fled into the reef to study (fish puns). After we get past these lovely exams, we get to focus purely on our Directed Research projects, which serve as a lovely light at the end of the flashcard-filled tunnel. My own research involves working with my favorite finfish assessment team, conducting both catch assessment with the local fisherman at the docks and population density assessments while scuba diving and snorkeling.

The world’s top finfish research group

I’ve been lucky enough to get to assist with some of the other Directed Research projects, which has allowed me to do everything from help catch and tag a tiger shark, to majestically swan dive off a moving boat onto a sea turtle. Currently I hold the class record for sea turtle catches at a whopping 2 (hold your autographs for later, it’s really expensive to send mail).

Just “tagging” along

Not that the island is all work and no play, we’ve been happily keeping ourselves busy running, swimming, losing in the local spelling bee, and going on adventures from one beautiful sunrise to the next beautiful sunset. Not to mention we have recently certified 23 of our students as official PADI Advanced Open Water divers! This opens up new depths (literally) of opportunities and fun for our waterfront activities, and keeps us safer than ever…Yes, Mom.

More beauty than you could ask for, sunrise to sunset

Of course we have our setbacks, but even the most unfortunate of car rides can turn into a lovely new fashion choice. It’s been a wonderful semester thus far, and we’re all trying to savor every second left of it that we have.

→ Marine Resource Studies in the Turks & Caicos Islands

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