by Nathaniel Hanna Holloway
The first three weeks of January were action packed and full of adventure for the four university students attending CIEE Research Station Bonaire’s second ever J-term program. The goal of the J-term program is to produce competent and safe underwater scientists with an emphasis on coral reef field collection methods. To accomplish this goal the students go through our “SCUBA bootcamp”; our Advanced SCUBA and our Marine Ecology Field Research Methods courses.
When they complete the program they are proficient in identifying Caribbean reef fish, corals, algae and coral diseases. In addition they get a boatload of new and useful dive certifications: American Academy of Underwater Sciences scientific diver, Advanced Adventure Diver, Rescue Diver and DAN dive emergency management provider. On top of all of this they get detailed training in the Atlantic and Gulf Reef Rapid Assessment data collection methods. With these new skills they are well on their way to becoming the excellent marine biologists we know they can be.
In between all the diving and course work we managed to schedule some fun activities too; a BBQ, windsurfing lessons, a pizza dinner, and perhaps everyone’s favourite a trip to Washington-Slagbaai National Park.
All in all, our four students started off 2016 with a bang and we hope they continue to ride that wave to future successes in all of their endeavours.