Spit­tler stud­ies coral reefs in Ja­maica

Sunday Star - - LIFE -

CON­WAY, S.C. — Sarah Spit­tler, a ma­rine science ma­jor from Til­gh­man, trav­eled to the Dis­cover y Bay Ma­rine Lab­o­ra­tor y in Dis­cover y Bay, Ja­maica, for the Ecol­ogy of Reefs Maymester study abroad pro­gram.

From May 9 to 26, stu­dents in the pro­gram spent their days re­search­ing trop­i­cal coral reefs and par­tic­i­pat­ing in scuba div­ing.

The Ecol­ogy of Reefs pro­gram high­lighted the struc­ture, pro­duc­tiv­ity and bi­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity of the coral reef ecosys­tem, with em­pha­sis on their sen­si­tiv­ity to en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­tur­bances.

For nearly 30 years, stu­dents and fac­ulty from CCU have trav­eled to Dis­cov­ery Bay, Ja­maica, for the pro­gram, which is in part­ner­ship with the Univer­sity of the West Indies Dis­cov­ery Bay Ma­rine Lab­o­ra­tor y.

Stu­dents were en­rolled in both MSCI 477, Ecol­ogy of Coral Reefs and MSCI 499, Di­rected Un­der­grad­u­ate Re­search. In Ecol­ogy of Coral Reefs, stu­dents learn about reef struc­ture, pro­duc­tiv­ity, and di­ver­sity.

As part of the re­search por­tion of this course, Di­rected Un­der­grad­u­ate Re­search re­quired stu­dents to pre­pare an in­de­pen­dent, fac­ulty-su­per­vised project that ends with a pre­sen­ta­tion and for­mal re­search pa­per.

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