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Cape Eleuthera Institute

Cape Eleuthera Institute Welcomes Eleuthera Principals

_Y1A2655 In December 2013, the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) and Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) launched The Local Schools Program which has several education programs that reach young Bahamians.  Our Local School Programs connect CEI and CSD to schools throughout Eleuthera and share information about current research projects. Through this program, young Bahamians get to understand principles of marine conservation and environmental stewardship participate in research themselves and get hands-on experience with topics covered in the national curriculum.  Students gain a deeper appreciation for their natural resources and the need to protect them.  Local School Programs support and supplement students' experiences in school and engage a future generation of scientists, guides, and policy makers.

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Principals from schools throughout Eleuthera and senior members of the District Education Office spent a day on campus to experience the program first-hand. The morning session was dedicated to understanding the program design and how the curriculum is built around the Bahamas National Science Curriculum which will be delivered to students as an experiential addition to lessons learned in the classroom. In the afternoon, Principals got down and dirty participating in research projects involving farming, aquaculture, aquaponics, conch and lionfish. A brief taste of some of the exciting projects researchers are involved in.

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Courses are designed to reach students in Pre-K to Ph.D. and can be customized to various curricular objectives. Teachers and groups can learn more about these programs by contacting the Outreach or Educational Programs Department at CEI at 1-242-334-8552 (Danielle Gibson/Tiffany Gray/Karen Knight). Educational Programs are delivered year round on space available basis. In addition, see our website for information on Summer Camps, Summer Apprenticeships, and BESS Applications at www.ceibahamas.org

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CEI's Kristal Ambrose as Guest Speaker at Bahamas National Trust

Last week the Bahamas National Trust hosted Kristal Ambrose, Aquaponics Technician at Cape Eleuthera Institute, as a public meeting guest speaker. The topic for the evening featured her internship to study plastics in the North Pacific Western Garbage Patch, an area highly concentrated with plastic debris and an environmental issue only just beginning to be studied by scientists. Kristal recounted her expedition, which sought to answer questions that explore what happens to plastics that enter the ocean, from ingestion by marine life, to absorption of harmful pollutants. The opportunity to share this experience with a Bahamian audience was especially important to Kristal, as her primary goal following this study is to find real solutions through education, research and outreach projects in her home country. After peaking the interest of one attendee at the BNT meeting, Kristal was approached to also share her experience with students at St. Andrews School where she spoke to two classes on Friday. Kristal's study was supported by the BNT, Bahamas Reef Environment Foundation (BREEF) and The Nature Conservancy, all of whom were represented at the meeting Wednesday night. Also in attendance were the Young Marine Explorers, a non-profit environmental organization that provides transformational educational experiences to Bahamian youth. With support from these organizations, Kristal aims to continue to raise awareness and work together on future projects, such as community beach clean ups around the Bahamas. She remarked, "I believe that sharing my experience helps to create recognition of this very important issue right here in this country. I am excited to keep up the momentum with future projects and collaborations."

You can read more about Kristal's internship from earlier posts on blog on May 3 and May 14.

Island School Students' First Week of Research Class

Research classes kicked off this week for The Island School students. On Tuesday, students broke into their 8 different research groups and spent the afternoon getting to know their research advisors--members of the research team at the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI). They also learned about the study they would be working on for the next 3 months. Thursday afternoon was their first field block, where they got out on the water or into the lab for the first time! The 8 studies being conducted this semester focus on shark ecology & physiology, the impact of climate change on bonefish & mangrove flats species, lionfish & reef fish population ecology, and sea turtle & conch abundance & distribution around South Eleuthera. These studies are well-established areas of research at CEI and as a result, many visitors and collaborators will be visiting our campus over the next few weeks to share their knowledge and expertise with the students. Research class is an exciting opportunity for students to gain new skills in the field - from fish identification and handling to public speaking and PowerPoint creation. Students learn about and contribute to global conservation issues, work in small groups, and ultimately, have the experience of a lifetime!

OSU's Dr. Mark Hixon at CEI

Dr. Mark Hixon plus four graduate students have been conducting lionfish research at CEI this summer. Dr. Hixon is the most cited coral reef biologist in the last decade and recently gave a TED talk about the lionfish invasion. Mark and his team our the first long-term residents in Hallig House. He speaks about his experience at CEI in the video below. Mark will return later in August with Carl Safina and a film crew in tow. They will be shooting an episode for Saving the Ocean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZD2JDIuYJw&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Thousands of Tilapia for Aquaponics Team

The Aquaponics research team at The Cape Eleuthera Institute has successfully hatched nearly two thousand tilapia eggs. Eggs were removed from the mouths of the female brood stock and transferred to a larval rearing device known as a McDonald Jar where they were maintained at a water temperature of 27°C. Tilapia are mouth brooders; upon fertilization of eggs the female scoops all of the eggs into her mouth and incubates them for 3-5 days. After spending four days in the McDonald Jar, the eggs had a near 100% successful hatch rate and transformed into fry. They have officially been introduced into the aquaponics system and are doing FANTASTIC! [slideshow]