I started my master’s at CEI in association with Carleton University in May 2012. I will be studying the thermal biology and spatial ecology of bonefish (for global warming implications) as a grad student in the Dr. Steve Cooke and Dr. Cory Suski labs of Carleton University and the University of Illinois, respectively.
The staff and faculty at CEI are a wonderful bunch of people. They are encouraging and eager to help me develop professionally and as a person. I really enjoy and appreciate CEI’s unique ability to engage in outdoor, experiential classrooms near Exuma sound. It’s nice to be a short boat ride away from the mangrove creeks that act as my study site. To date, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary network of professionals including meeting and working alongside visiting world-class scientists, collaborating with other master’s students, both here and abroad, and working closely with a host of Ph.D. students at the institute.
Aside from offering me fantastic opportunities to grow professionally, CEI has presented me a host of other amazing opportunities which I don’t think would be available if I were elsewhere. Not many students are able to catch and tag sea turtles, go drum lining for sharks, or dive into an off-shore aquaculture cage to feed cobia on their days off, in addition to working with mangroves and bonefish. CEI has also enabled me to become a professional diver; I was an open water diver when I arrived and have recently completed my dive master certification.
Though I do occasionally miss the change of leaves and crisp fall air or a nice snowfall in Canada, I feel that I have gained so much through living and studying in The Bahamas, both professionally and through so many amazing opportunities.