We know that coral reef structure is an important metric of reef health. However, accurately measuring reef complexity and coral cover is a very time-consuming process. So the CIEE students and staff proposed a question: is there a quicker and simpler way to get the same quality of information about reef structure? To answer that question, we took visual estimates of reef complexity and coral cover that we will compare with the values from traditional methods. It was very interesting to see how reefs in Curacao differ from those in Bonaire! We will be repeating these dives here in Bonaire then determining if our visual estimation method is sufficient to measure reef structure. We are excited to move forward with this project as another student-staff joint project at CIEE Bonaire!
As a result of this great fieldtrip, we believe that students truly had the chance to discover Curaçao and are now able to compare the island with Bonaire. They could grasp the differences in what they have to offer, the scale, the atmosphere, and even the culture!