Stories from the Field
Shark Research with MarAlliance
July 16, 2016
Today headed out on a boat with MarAlliance, helping collect data through transects and footage from Baited Remote Underwater Videocameras (BRUV’s for short). MarAlliance is a nonprofit organization working in Belize that focuses on working with government institutions to provide accurate data about threatened marine wildlife. health and abundance of local species. MarAlliance’s work informs the government of the health and abundance of local species, fosters a connection between law enforcement and conservation scientists, and helps evaluate and encourage Marine Protected Areas within Belize.
Hanging with Dolphins
July 3, 2016
Today’s highlight was definitely hanging out with dolphin and manatee expert, Eric Angel-Ramos. Eric has been studying the bottlenose dolphins that are here in the Atoll. He mainly uses a drone, or unmanned aerial system, to view the dolphins. The bird’s-eye-view gives him a perfect image of what is going on below him, and he has been able to observe and identify new behaviors in the dolphins. Eric also takes pictures of each dolphin’s dorsal fin in order to figure out who they are. He showed us several videos of the interactions and photographs of dolphins, some of whom have been documented nearby for over twenty years. Once the presentation concluded, Eric and the group all went out on the boat. Students took watch overlooking the surrounding waters, and searching for dorsal fins that would indicate a dolphin’s presence.
Red, White, and BLUE HOLE!
July 4, 2016
Wow, what an amazing Fourth of July we had in Belize! After breakfast we patiently waited for our guides to arrive from Belize City, and after packing up our boat we headed out to the blue hole.
Caroline’s College Essay, Belize
May 18, 2016
If I were given $10,000 to invest in a project…
If I were given $10,000 to invest in a project that I am passionate about it would be a mission based on ocean conservation. I will admit, going through daily life, it is hard to avoid all kinds of plastic since plastic is so convenient. From my daily cup of coffee, to takeout, to makeup, and school supplies, plastics are everywhere. Before this past summer, when I went on a National Geographic Student Expedition to Belize and learned of plastics’ damaging affects on marine life, I frequently used plastic bags, water bottles, and straws. Since returning home, I have become extremely aware of the amount of plastic present in my environment and I try to find other resources. Now, I bring reusable water bottles to school and even use a metal straw, given to me in Belize, for my daily smoothies. Instead of using plastic grocery bags, my mom and I now use the reusable grocery bags, and when I can, I hold my recently purchased items in my hands rather than using a plastic bag. If I walk out of a store without a bag, people usually give me weird stares and wonder why I do not just put my items in a bag. These odd looks make me think of my time spent in Belize and ways I can work towards reducing the amount of plastics that end up in the ocean by raising public awareness.
Island Life on Blackbird Caye
August 13, 2014
The last three days here on Blackbird Caye have been a blast. On Thursday, we spent half the day snorkeling on a beautiful reef, and the other on a boat where we conducted dolphin research. While working with the dolphin researchers, we observed a group of juvenile dolphins mating (which we found out is an exciting observation, in the dolphin world!).