By James C. Emm
My name is Jamie Emm and I am returning to further my involvement with CIEE Research Station Bonaire. I first was introduced to CIEE because I wished to learn about an environment that has had my desire since I was a child. The ever-so-wise google brought me to the 2014 CIEE Summer Program. I then spent 5 of the most informative weeks of my life engulfed in the CIEE program. I found my passion and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. After my time as a student, I completed my degree and did whatever I could to get into the marine ecology field.
I returned to CIEE as an intern for the Fall 2015 semester. I was able to work with an amazing team of interns as well as an incredibly knowledgeable staff. My time as an intern was not only informative, but exceptionally rewarding. The opportunity to be a staff member in the program, I was once a student of, was humbling and inspiring. I had the opportunity to reach out to students my age and show them what beauty I saw when I was in their shoes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching exceptional students grow as scientists and am proud to have played a small part in their journey. I learned the importance of education and its significance to bring change, but my thirst for more grew in those months.
Once my tenure as an intern ended, I strove to get involved in research and expand my experience in coral reef ecological concepts. Once again, CIEE randomly came into my life. I received a call late one night that my former colleagues have missed their flight and were stranded in Atlanta for the night. I was ecstatic to see these people again and, in conversation, a proposition came up. Dr. Rita Peachey mentioned the desire for assistance with research and I knew that was my chance. I then set my heart on getting back to Bonaire. After keeping in touch with Dr. Peachey, I was able to get that opportunity I was looking for.
It seems that all the pieces have fallen into place because here I am. Just a man and his dog. I am working as a Dive Master at Buddy Dive Resort and for the next year will be a research intern with CIEE Research Station Bonaire. I am lucky enough to be working with Dr. Rita Peachey, Dr. Enrique Arboleda, Sara Buckley, and Austin Lin on their research projects. I am currently involved in projects dealing with Zooplankton, Box Jellyfish, and Fire Worms. I am truly honored to once again be working with CIEE and look forward to contributing to current work as well as projects on the horizon. I do not know what proceeds this year, but I have every intention of using this experience to further my education and someday earn my PhD. in Marine Biology/Ecology. I could not be more thrilled to further my research experience with CIEE and have a feeling my third time back will not be my last. I live a blissful life.