For the Island School summer term, six students had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick researching invasive lionfish. In one day, the students became professionals at cast netting, dissecting lionfish, conducting behavior observations, and data analysis. They dissected fourteen lionfish, with body fat ranging from% 0.58- %2.1 and the discovered of various prey items in the stomach including crabs, grunts, and blue headed wrasse. Shockingly, there were twelve fish in one stomach; proving the voracious eating habits of the lionfish. The students are now knowledgeable invasive lionfish researchers. Of course, the students love to eat lionfish and recommend everyone do their part to stop the invasion by eating them.
The Island School is excited to announce the launch of Island School Street View! You can now take virtual tours of The Island School, Cape Eleuthera Insitute, and Center for Sustainable Design campuses, as well as iconic locations around the Cape as if you were there! To move througout the tours, pan around the “photosphere” and click on the hovering arrows or circles located on the screen.
The Island School Campus Tour has six locations throughout the tour: The Flag Circle, Entrance, Boathouse, Dining Hall, Boy’s Dorm, & Boy’s Dorm Beach.
The Cape Eleuthera Institute Winter Newsletter went out earlier this week. Take a peek to see all the amazing things going on over at the institute! Also be sure to visit their blog to keep up with daily happenings.
The idea of a Gap Year is to take a step back to view the big picture. To take a step back to look at where you’ve come from, where you’ve gone and see where you’d like to go. To take a step back so you can take the right steps forward.
The program here came to an end last week, culminating in the students Demonstration of Learning and Graduation ceremony. Over the past nine weeks Eryn, Ryan and Jordan have made profound change in their own lives and of those surrounding them.
All of the things that were accomplished by these amazing individuals are difficult to quantify with words, however a list of all the things we delved into over the program might suffice:
Taking marine ecology classes
Teaching an environmental issue class of their own
Taking a human ecology class
Community service projects
Down Island camping trip, experiencing a sense of place on Eleuthera
Community outreach at the Deep Creek Middle School
Conducting the Fall 2013 shallow water conch surveys
Adventuring on 5 day Kayak expedition
Being part of a research team as an intern for three weeks
Getting both Open Water and Advanced Scuba certified
Presenting their learning to the wider community
They have each proved themselves in both a personal and professional setting, being part of the community family and involved with the research facility. During the student’s demonstration of learning it was clear how much they are taking from the program. The diverse learnings of each student are a testament to each of their personal challenges and growth.
We would like to wish the Gap Year Team of Fall 2013 all the luck in the world as they move onto other endeavors and experiences, we hope you take what you learned here and build upon it. You are the game changers.
If you’re interested in joining the Gap Year Team of Spring 2014 or learning more about the Gap Year program in general, you can find out more on our website; http://www.ceibahamas.org/gap-year.aspx.
Cape Eleuthera Institute said goodbye this week to SeaTrek, a group of students aboard a sailing, scuba, and marine biology expedition. They kept a very detailed blog during their time at CEI–check it out here!
For those of you hoping to watch your child’s research presentation again, you’re in luck! We have posted all of the Parents Weekend Research Presentations on YouTube for you and your son or daughter to enjoy. All of the presentations can be found on the CEI YouTube Channel homepage here.
During kayak rotations this term, students had the chance to do what we call an ‘Intensive’ for Human Ecology class. Students focused on one project to develop the viable solutions, skills, and knowledge that they need to take home with them. The three intensives included: Plastics and Marine Pollution, Aquaponics, and Sustainable Agriculture.
In Plastics, the students conducted beach plastic surveys to determine how much micro and macro plastic has washed up onshore different beaches of Eleuthera. The Aquaponics team learned more about the system located at CEI and built their own ‘backyard aquaponics’ model. The Sustainable Agriculture group worked on The Island School farm and designed their own grow bed and ‘herb spiral’. Check out a couple of the videos that the students created about their experience and the project they worked on!
In association with Microwave Telemetry, Inc. and the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University, Edd Brooks and CEI’s Shark Research and Conservation program have discovered new findings while studying the migratory behaviors of ocean whitetip sharks that can help shape conservation strategies. Some sharks spend extended time periods in the protected waters of The Bahamas yet roam long distances when they leave. For the full article, read below or click here.
As the nations of the world prepare to vote on measures to restrict international trade in endangered sharks in early March, a team of researchers has found that one of these species – the oceanic whitetip shark – regularly crosses international boundaries. Efforts by individual nations to protect this declining apex predator within their own maritime borders may therefore need to be nested within broader international conservation measures.
The research team, which included researchers from Microwave Telemetry, Inc., the Cape Eleuthera Institute, and the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University, attached pop-up satellite archival tags to one male and 10 female mature oceanic whitetip sharks off Cat Island in The Bahamas in May 2011, and monitored the sharks for varying intervals up to 245 days. The tags recorded depth, temperature, and location for pre-programmed periods of time. At the end of the time period, the tags self-detached from the sharks, and reported the data to orbiting satellites. Their findings, published online today in the journal PLOS ONE, show that some of these sharks roamed nearly 2,000 kilometers from the spot where they were caught, but all individuals returned to The Bahamas within a few months.
“While the oceanic whitetip shark is one of the most severely overexploited shark species, it is also among the least studied because Continue reading →
Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) partners with One Eleuthera and Out Island Eco Company to providealternative disposable products to Styrofoam, on the Island of Eleuthera.
The Island School and CEI’s journey to becoming a zero-waste campus while extending the concepts of this model to our neighbors on the island of Eleuthera has taken patience, but we are now excited to announce we are one step farther.
This particular initiative began in 2010 as CEI outreach collaborated with the Deep Creek Homecoming Association at its annual homecoming festival “Conch Fest” using the tagline “da Creek gone green”. CEI worked diligently with the food vendors to source products that promoted sustainability and were a viable alternative to using Styrofoam. The venture was particularly challenging, as sourcing the right company to provide the products proved difficult. The import duty on Styrofoam-alternative products was 45%, which made using these replacing Styrofoam an unattractive and expensive option for the average resident. Through generous sponsorship CEI provided the products to the vendors, which drastically reduced the cost of going green.
Extensive research and communication with wholesalers of these products led CEI to connect with Out Island Eco Company (OIEC), formerly affiliated with BioShell Bahamas, a non-profit company located on the island of Abaco and led by Ms. Juliette Deal. As this partnership evolves, OIEC has successfully launched an educational and outreach model in Abaco and has worked diligently with the Bahamas Government to reduce import taxes on these ecologically friendlier items.
In 2012, One Eleuthera (OE) joined the cause and partnered with CEI and OIEC Continue reading →
When I asked around the copious newcomers that arrived at Cape Eleuthera Institute in the past week or so, if they could describe their experience so far, they responded ultimately with; surreal, funky fresh, refreshing, really salty, filled with lots of lettuce, and extremely informative. Personally, I would not object to any of those, but due to lack of time, as I am a gap year student here at The Cape Eleuthera Institute, and have to finish my prerequisites for SCUBA training, I am only going to focus on the week being “surreal, informative, and refreshing.”
Along with four other gappers (for the sake of an easier flow to this blog post, and a more real description of our time here, I am going to refer to a gap year student as a “gapper”, what everyone else has come to call us), we arrived to the sunny south side of the island Eleuthera, and it immediately seemed as if the luminous sun hovering the enticing, crystal, teal waters sucked out the oxygen from the moment, where we were all amazed Continue reading →