Written by Michael Rouleau
Twenty biology students from Eastern Connecticut State University traveled to the Bahamas in May 2017 to study the island’s tropical biology.
At the Gerace Research Center, students experienced life at an active field station where they explored mangrove forests, sea grass beds, saline lakes and coral reefs. The group snorkeled at field sites around the island and identified species and compared notes on the animals and behaviors they observed. They also conducted quantitative surveys of rocky intertidal and dune communities.
The trip to the Bahamas was the field component of a class taken on the Eastern campus during the academic year, in which students studied island formation and the ecology of island ecosystems. The class was led by Biology Professors Joshua Idjadi, Kristen Epp and Brett Mattingly.
In their free time, students enjoyed interacting with other school groups and local residents at the research center and surrounding community. Students described the field course as their best experience at Eastern.