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.
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!
Last Saturday was a very big day for all of us. It was the day where all of the research and work that we had done in the past three months culminated to a big Research Symposium. During the Research Symposium, each research group gave presentations about their research, booths, and posters. This was a little different from the presentations we did during Parent’s Weekend because we were presenting all of our work to people who could look at our results and make change in the Bahamas, and in the world. The Bahamian Minister of Environment attended the symposium as well as Friends of the Environment, BREEF, and many other NGOs. To see these people listen to and think critically about our research made me appreciate and feel proud of all of the work we accomplished these past few months. Continue reading →
We circled up at noon; I was moved to tell your children in the more intimate moment of our small circle how proud I am of the good work that has been accomplished. Yesterday after the research presentations we gathered in Hallig House to listen to key note speakers share impressions. Eric Carey, Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust, is big in stature and huge in spirit and brutally honest; he was “blown away” by the work. Eric mentioned specifically the turtle project at Half Sound and the conch research as monumental and pioneering efforts that will encourage (he used the word force) the government to enact laws to protect and conserve these vital habitats and endangered species. As a boy growing up in Tarpum Bay he confirmed the story retold by the research team, ” when I was young we would go to Sandy Cay and load our boat with 100s of conch that sat dry at low tied and if you go back now you can not find a single conch.”
Next to speak, Mr. Sandy Mactaggart, Chancellor Emeritus University of Alberta. Sandy has dedicated his full and extremely successful life to save beautiful places; he realized that the work here by young scientists proved beyond a doubt that education as it continues to exist is tragically flawed. He then shared a story; I encourage you to read the link, http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/introbook2.1/x874.html . Your children are producers of knowledge, they have stretched to ask and answer new questions and they are well tested and confident — watch out world!
Last to speak was the Honorable Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment, Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Continue reading →
Hurricane Sandy might have stopped our field work, but we prevailed in the lab. We took this time out of the water to dissect a lionfish not only for our data collection but as a live presentation to another two research team including Conch and Patch Reefs. This fish was particularly exciting to us for what we found in its stomach. Most lionfish we dissect usually have low stomach content. However, this was not the case. This gluttonous fish had consumed approximately seven fish: three French grunts, three tomtates and one overly-digested and unidentifiable fish, all juveniles. It was exciting for us to show other research groups a few things of what we’ve been doing over the course of this semester.
We have been spending a lot of time doing work on our research projects these past few days, getting ready for the presentation Parents’ Weekend, and the Research Symposium. My research group, Climate Change, spent our class yesterday preparing for presentations that we are giving this afternoon to other students, and teachers. The last presentation that we gave was only our project introductions, but now we are presenting about our whole project, so these presentations definitely cover a lot more ground. In climate change, we have been studying the effects that rising temperatures and acidity have on tropical flats fishes, and to do this, we have been doing a lot of work in the lab, with a shuttlebox. A shuttlebox is two tanks, about the size of a baby pool, connected by a shuttle. We change the lower the pH in one tank, observing at what point fish will leave the environment that they are used to, to go to an environment that is more suitable for them, having a lower pH. While we are in the lab, it can be stressful Continue reading →
Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, and although the winds have died down, visibility in the water is next to nil. We rely on good visibility to be certain that we actually see all of the conch along our transects. Because of this, our full research day has been grounded; however, we are trying to make the most of it. We have already begun writing up our results and streamlining the information, finding trends in our data and creating graphs. We are also working on creating our posters that we will present at the Research Symposium at the end of the semester. Here is a picture of us working hard, even inside the classroom.
By: Korinna Garfield, Sam Hastings, Atalanta von der Schulenburg, Maggie Bland, & Nathaniel Millard
Hello! We are team Patch! On this research project we are looking at the spatial and temporal abundance of fish species in Eleuthera, here in the Bahamas. Patch reefs are transitional juvenile habitats for fish after their early life in mangroves. One of the main reasons we are conducting this research, is to see if it is necessary that an MPA be established near Cape Eleuthera, based upon the fish population and habitat trends in the area. We hypothesize that patch reefs will have a higher fish biomass the closer they are to mangroves, there will be an increase in lionfish (an invasive species), and Continue reading →