By Calvin Clapp
Here in South Eleuthera, the past couple weeks have been somewhat of a blur. Whether the blame falls upon camping trips, scuba diving or research, there is no doubt that we have been fully engaged in life on the island. Last weekend, the interns organized a small camping trip to Surfer’s Beach. So we started bussin’ it down the island, making any of the necessary stops to make it a proper camping experience. After sharing stories and laughs, with the fire simmering down, we all headed to bed ready for a fun-filled day of aquatic activities. The last minute decision to camp was not regretted by anyone.
With drowsy eyes and with a trailing stench of campfire, we rolled back to campus ready to take on a couple days of learning in the field with our respective research groups. We soon realized that our recent camping trip was only a pre-game for our exclusive DIT (Down Island Trip) for the gaps and our leader, Scotty.
This served as a great opportunity to explore and experience Continue reading
by Adam McWilliams
This last week we have all started to focus more on our research and were introduced to the different programs that CEI provides. We first started with aquaculture. Marie, who is in charge of the aquaculture team, taught us how the fish (cobia) are fed in the cage and what they are fed with. Immediately after that we were introduced to the flats program where we went to Starved Creek to catch bonefish and mojarra for experiments back at the lab. The final group we were presented with was the sharks program. They gave us a presentation on shark taxonomy and the general anatomy of these animals.
Once we were introduced to all the programs, the three of us voted on which topic was the most interesting and then we were each assigned Continue reading
by Philip Beardsley
Back down to paradise…this time, not as an Island School student, rather as a Gap Year student! The first 10 days or so down here have far exceeded my expectations. As anticipated, there was a warm welcome for us all at the Rock Sound Airport – what better way to embark on such a journey? Being that there are only three Gap Year students, we have gotten to spend a lot of time with the other interns, which has been very enjoyable.
The week started off with a few days of orientation followed by a trip down island. The Down Island Trip was truly amazing – it was a great way to get a sense of the general vibe on Eleuthera Continue reading
They say that all good things must come to an end.
Last Friday morning, we said farewell to the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Gap Year students. We did so with heavy hearts but heads held high, confident in their abilities and potential to do good work wherever they are and to continue to be stewards of the earth, their communities, and themselves.
In their final weeks, Cole, Jon, Shelby, Shaquel, Sarah, and Lulu worked feverishly on piecing together their Independent Student Projects, which they presented to members of both the IS and CEI communities early last week. The work Continue reading
This is Jonathan Karlson coming to you from the Cape Eleuthera Institute on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. It’s the end of week six for the GAP semester and CEI has officially become our second home! The past week has been eventful to say the least. Amidst the exasperating work on our independent student projects (ISPs), long afternoons spent working on rescue SCUBA knowledge reviews, and fearless research for our Human Ecology paper, the Gap Year students took a well-deserved hiatus from the rigorous schedule that is CEI and went for a five-day kayak and camping trip down the eastern side of the Cape.
Before departing, we packed heavily on Sunday afternoon, splitting into teams of three to gather both food (such as cheese, tortillas, pancake mix, GORP, peanut butter, jelly, bread, and granola) and gear (such as tents, sleeping bags, pads, crazy creeks, dromedaries for water, tarps, paddles, PFDs, spray skirts, and whistles). Once the gear was nicely stowed in the boathouse for our departure the following morning, we retired to our dorms to pack personal gear and prepare mentally for a rough, yet relaxing next couple of days (or so we thought…).
Boy, how time does fly.
Today marked the completion of week five of our two months here on the Cape, and we couldn’t be happier–or busier, for that matter. We finished our Down Island Trip on Saturday and settled back into campus to continue work on our ISPs on Monday. We then spent the rest of the week diving into these projects–from collecting Amber Pen Shells, to completing conservation surveys in Rock Sound, to helping the lionfish team survey their patch reefs. After also spending some of our time leading the Branson School students, visiting for the week from California, through some of the exercises and routines Island School students get to experience every day, the weekend came and everybody had a chance to relax before tying up loose ends and prepping for our kayak trip. With all of our food, tents, and gear packed and set aside we will be ready to leave tomorrow morning after breakfast for five days out on the Caribbean Sea, and man what an experience it will be.
It’s hard to believe it, but we’ve reached the middle of our time here. Looking ahead, we really need to make the most of our remaining time. Looking back, we had one heck of a week!
We began work in earnest on our Independent Student Projects, meeting with our respective mentors to figure out what form our end results will take. My mentor, Ian, seems pretty gung-ho about posters, so that’s what I plan on doing. We also continued to play host to the Warner family, eventually meeting with them regarding their assignments. I can’t vouch for the other mentor/mentee meetings, but this was a great chance for us to step into the shoes of a teacher and–in turn–a wonderful learning experience.
But the real highlight of the week was our Down Island trip. We headed out at the crack of ten on Thursday, ready for an adventure. And boy, did we ever find it! In the space of three endless days, we: Continue reading
If evolution is a transformative process, then who’s to say we aren’t evolving everyday?
As our third week here at CEI comes to a close, all of the gap year interns are beginning to naturally expand into our own place here. We all have developed and begun to find our place in the community at the Cape Eleuthera Institute; some of these changes we discover together, and some we can only find on our own.
This week we all brainstormed on ideas for our Independent Student Project, or ISP, which is the research or outreach project that we want to dedicate our time here to. Gap interns Sarah and Lulu are joining the Shark Team, I am joining the Lionfish team, Shaquel is focusing on gathering data on local knowledge of CEI projects, and Jon and Cole are developing an independent project studying filter feeders. The unfolding of each of our interests is becoming more apparent!
As we make these decisions, we are having plenty of fun in the meantime. SCUBA! This week we are working on Advanced Open Water Scuba, which involves a boat dive, deep dive, night dive, naturalist dive, and navigation dive. Here’s a drawing I did of the scuba transformation!
Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Meyer, and I’m one of six students participating in the Spring 2012 Gap Year Program. We’re nearing the start of our third week here, but it seems like we’ve been here much longer than that because we’ve been so busy!
So far, we’ve been spending a lot of time being exposed to many of the research groups at CEI, such as the aquaponics, aquaculture, patch reef, lionfish, and shark teams. It’s nice to have the ability to “scope out” the different aspects of each group before we decide which one interests us most; after we pick a team, we will choose a mentor who will help us with our Independent Student Project that we’ll complete by the end of our semester. Continue reading