Student Update April 11, 2013

Hello! My name is Isabel Jamerson and I am from Seattle, Washington. I will be the new student blogger this week and I am thrilled to share some stories about The Island School life.  Tuesday morning, after our long exercise, I went out in the field with my Marine Ecology class.  This week’s focus is water, so we focused on Mangroves and how important they are in our ecosystem.  We drove to a local marina where we trudged in the water looking at the different types and aspects of mangroves.  Our teachers, Peter and Becky, taught us about how mangroves can live in salt water and how each species deals with this differently.  We then traveled back to campus where we got in the water just a mile away from The Island School.  There we snorkeled around, looking at the fish and organisms living in the mangroves.  I observed many juvenile fish hiding in the roots of the mangroves, especially the small fairy basslets. The two-inch purple and yellow fish timidly peaked their heads out of rocks and roots as we passed by, and were very hesitant to leave their protected home. We floated along the shoreline for about a half an hour identifying and observing the life around us.

On Wednesday morning, I had my Human Ecology three-hour block, where we continued to look at water.  This time we took water samples from around the area and on campus, to test the salinity, pH levels, and taste.  We learned where the Settlements get their water as well as where our water supply comes from.  The Settlements get their supply from a reverse osmosis plant near Deep Creek, and we get our supply from rainwater and from a well field in the inner-loop.  After tasting each one, we shared our opinions on the best water and compared it to the pH and salinity of it.

In the afternoon, we had our Research class up until dinner circle.  I am in the shark research group and we went out in the field to draw blood samples from sharks! Each group has this time period to go out scuba diving to look at patch reefs, to catch bonefish, or tag turtles.  In these five-hour blocks, we get in depth with our project and are doing hands on work.  It is definitely one of my favorite times here at The Island School!