Students did post to this blog site while we conducted our field study. We invite your comments and thoughts.

Our field deployment focused on three chief tasks; 1. Mapping the reef floor in 3D, 2. Shoreline Marine Debris investigation, and 3. Environmental characteristics sampling. All went exceedingly well.

This was the second trip in our long term plans. Our first trip and proof of concept was completed with great success in the Fall of 2009; our next proposed trip will be Fall 2010. Don't you want to join us?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Late News! Hurricane Richard hit the caye.

Hi folks. Although this blog has been largely dormant for a while I wanted to post some content from Ruth of Huracan Diving, she and Karel weathered the storm on the caye. Ruth has some images and video on her facebook.com page (http://www.facebook.com/ruth.devacht) and I linked my page to hers. I also have some of her images in a new gallery at sirespics.smugmug.com where you will find a gallery "Long Caye After Richard".

Everyone is okay as far as I hear. Damage was limited mostly to the flora, all buildings are standing.

We are headed back in the Spring with our travel being over the Spring Break week.

Thanks. Scott.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We are back!

These trips are like a formal family meal - something on which many long hours are spent planning, arranging, outfitting and for which every possible need is considered, only to have the meal consumed quickly, even finished before everyone has a chance to sit down and eat. After which we end up in the kitchen washing mountains of pots and pans and wondering if the meal was worth all the work? Then as we complete the cleanup and think about finally sitting down a dinner guest visits the kitchen to let it be known the main course was a bit dry this year and how much they are looking forward to the next family meal when there will be a chance to get it right.

We all relate to being the host of the feast - we all worked long hours planning, arranging, outfitting and considering our every possible need while on a small private island where every item needed must be carried in, used and then carried out. It was hot, hard, humid, tough work and yet oddly we are grateful to have had the opportunity. We look forward to our next trip and to the resulting rewards.

On a more serious note, we experienced great successes. We doubled the volume of samples and of analytical processes for our environmental characterizations and incorporated NOAA's GLOBE Program protocols for each sample type. We increased the rigor and accuracies of the sea floor collection, capturing twice the volume of data while adding geo-located pictures of the sea floor. And we deployed a student conceived methodology to better collect and categorize the shoreline and debris information while also adding tidal data collection and mapping as well as photographic documentation of the debris per collection cell.

Student blog posts and journal content again revealed this experience as life altering and attitude changing. Students credit the class with renewed appreciations and increased interest in the coral reefs and the issues that affect them.

This on-going project will be presented in July in San Diego at the ESRI Annual User Conference, in July/August in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting and in October in Orlando at the League for Innovation first Annual STEMtech conference.

For more information on our program check out dcccd.edu/gis.

Thanks for following us on the blog and for your interests and comments.
Best regards,

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Its our last day on the island. Today was our free day so a bunch of us swam out to the aquarium. The same person who spotted our last shark spotted one today, and just like last time I didn't get to see it. The aquarium was awesome. there were several different species of fish out there and it was just beautiful. When we got back to the island one of the locals spotted a two foot Nurse Shark that he pulled out of the water with his bare hands so that we could all pet it. It was a very fun day and now we are getting ready for another bonfire.

From Long Caye,
Martin Flores

Taylor Savant

So today has been one of the most interesting days so far. A group of about ten of us went out to the aquarium. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. We saw sharks tons of coral and several schools of fish. Belize is one of the most amazing places that you could ever see.

Good times in Belize

Today was the last day and it was awesome! We went to the aquarium (highly populated coral and fish area about a quarter mile from shore) and it was more spectacular than anything I expected to see here!  First off, I saw another shark...I promise I'm not trying to find them!  This one was smaller at least and didn't bother us.  Saw lots of beautiful fish and coral and dived down as far as my ears could stand it.  I found a really pretty shell on the way back but it turned out to have an inhabitant so I'm just going home with a photo :(
When we got out of the water, one of the local guys here found a sleeping baby nurse shark near the shore.  He grabbed it with his bare hands and let us touch it! He was about a foot long and had two long fangs and made an odd squeeking sound when we touched him.  Then he was tossed back into the water.  It was so cool! The guy said he had never tried to grab one before.  Upon arriving back at camp we all realized how sunburn we were! I knew I wouldn't get out of here without one. 
We're about to have one last small bonfire and that's it! I'm excited to get back home but thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would do it again without thinking twice.
See you soon!


Cheryl's Journal

Today was a free day.  Spent the morning with several of my peers
kayaking and snorkeling the aquarium beyond the reef.
A mild sunburn was a given.  Collected some shell and took
photos of my last sunset on Long Caye.  This has been
a wonderful learning experience. 


Jesse Jackson

Its been another great day on the island. It was our free day and we were able to do anything. I have been wanting to get out in the clear blue waters and explore coral and all the fish. I saw so many types flourescent colored fish and corals. I got some great photos. Its fun meeting people from different cultures and learning how they live, what they do for fun, and what they eat. Its been quite an experience. They say don't worry, no problem. Its an extremely relaxed lifestyle. They work really hard to make to create this type of atmosphere. I would definatley come back to the islands in Belize.