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Bermuda Field Course 2011 :: Daily Report

Day 11 | Sunday, March 20, 2011

The End.

With the last moments of spring break quietly slipping through our fingers, UNCW and Southampton students groggily gathered on Sunday morning to give (and listen to) final scientific presentations. Still swapping stories of cave exploring, sightseeing, and whale watching experienced the previous day, it was apparent the trip was a huge success overall!  From coral reef zonation, to fish behavior, to a fishy forage (courtesy of Renee Fuccella), each presenter’s talk showed the importance of field courses like the Bermuda Tropical Field Methods course. Without a doubt, each UNCW student exercised synapses they didn’t know they had. But through collaboration, beautiful weather conditions, and superb instruction (thank you Dr. Lema and Dr. Taylor!), students from both UNCW and Southampton showcased what they learned and experienced in each of their presentations. After lunch – which included our last influx of Pepperidge Farms’ Sausalito cookies (for many this was not unwelcomed as it was a daily occurrence with lunch) – we piled into two taxi cabs to head to the airport…and then home. Packed like sardines among dive gear, dirty clothes, and babies on board, taxis full of UNCW students made their way to the airport. Reluctantly, we grabbed our last ginger beer (shout out to Rachel Dixon…she’s addicted to them), wove a path through the maze of U.S. Customs, metal detectors, and airport security personnel, and boarded our flight to home. One last minor hurdle to navigate Atlanta’s ATL airport and ‘Team Dub’ safely arrived in Wilmington late that night. After some under-the-breath curses of having to return to reality, everyone said ‘adieu’ and parted after a once in a lifetime experience.

 - Zach

With this last blog post, UNCW students would like to thank all of the supporters that made these last 10 days possible, which for most of us would be best be describe as a fairy tale.  First, funding for this field course was provided by the generous support of donations from the Gillings family. Without their support, most of us UNCW students would have been hard pressed to go. Next, our host, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) provided a great central location, scrumptious food, and pleasant accommodations coupled with a very supportive staff, which without, our daily field excursions would have been much more difficult. Next, our new colleagues, the University of Southampton students and faculty: it was our pleasure meeting and working with each and every one of you. We wish you safe travels back to the UK and to wherever your future endeavors may take you. Melissa Smith from UNCW’s Center for Marine Science, for posting our daily blog entries and photos. And lastly, but certainly not least, we thank our instructors: Dr. Sean Lema and Dr. Alison Taylor. Thank you for such an amazing experience abroad and quietly holding our sanity together as we stumbled through statistics, field methods, and fun! Without your guidance and support, this trip would have never been possible for our UNCW group. Thank you again to everyone who made this trip possible, our experiences during this course will not be forgotten!

- Ashley, Heather, Jenn, Laura, Rachel, Renee, Robbie & Zach


Students presented findings of their scientific studies during the morning

Students presented findings of their scientific studies during the morning

UNCW students ready to head to the airport
UNCW students ready to head to the airport

Robbie taking sleeping tips from a highly experienced Bermudian local
Robbie taking sleeping tips from a highly experienced Bermudian local

Zach, Heather, Rachel and Renee on the final flight back to Wilmington
Zach, Heather, Rachel and Renee on the final flight back to Wilmington

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