By: Caroline Booth, `16
As soon as we landed in Bermuda we headed to the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and received a tour of the facilities. Our original thoughts were they were very different from the labs back home. The houses were painted white because white absorbs the least heat allowing less evaporation. This worked for the system of capturing fresh water through rain. We then adventured on a short hike to Whale Bone Bay. As we traveled down the path we were interested by the differing geographic characteristics of the land including, rocky cliffs, crystal clear oceans, and forested areas. At the beach we reveled in our first taste of the marine life. There were so many organisms in what seemed like a quiet bay that opened our eyes to the life beneath the surface. We were very excited to see organisms such as giant snails, an octopus, angel fish, patriot fish, butterfly fish, a sea urchin, anemones, symmetrical brain coral, star coral, wrasse and many other species.
When out of the water we took part in a beach cleanup to help rid the local environment of plastics. The plastics photo-degrade into small pieces that appear to be food for the marine life. At first we didn’t see much plastic but as we began to clean it up it seemed to appear before our eyes. Upon our return we attended our first lecture. The lecture was very informative, filling us in on the formation of Bermuda, the organisms found here and current environmental issues. We were particularly interested by the lion fish, an invasive species from the Indo-Pacific which is a more aggressive predator than the native species. In an effort to have a tasty lunch and control the invasive species we may get a chance to spear a lion fish.