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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hunt for lionfish?

The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is a venomous fish native to the coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Around 1990, the fish was artificially introduced to the Florida coast. Since that time, the invasive fish has spread along the Atlantic coast from New York to the Caribbean.

Although we have not spotted one in Belize, this article suggests we should keep an eye out!

Current Biology v. 20:23, 12/7/2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our final class in the U.S.!

This past Wednesday was a very exciting time: our final meeting as a class in the U.S. Our course, Tropical Marine Biology, met for two hours, every other Wednesday during the fall semester. Each class meeting started with a species ID quiz: 10 organisms from that week, and 10 randomly drawn organisms from past weeks. All together, students had to learn to recognize by sight a total of 60 different organisms, including large vertebrates, invertebrates, and 30 species of fish. You can see the class species ID quiz page here.

After the species ID quiz, we all watched student presentations. Each student had to adopt one organism, become the local expert, and teach the class about their chosen organism. (You can see many of the student presentations on the species ID page listed above.) Additionally, each student also had to choose one topic about Belize culture (food, education, tourism, etc.) and present that to the class. These presentations accounted for a significant portion of the course grade.

After the final student presentation, we discussed many logistical issues (baggage, equipment lists, etc.), and everyone shared with the class what they were most excited about (popular answers: the rainforest, snorkeling, river tubing). We posed for one final group photo and then said goodbye until January!

On January 11th, we will gather back in Henniker and share a dinner at Prof. Simon's house. We then leave for Logan airport via NEC van at 3AM on January 12th. I think we are all excited to be done with the NH portion of the course, and I think we are really excited about going! Stay tuned to the blog in the coming month, as I will post a lot of information about where we are going and what we will see.

Oh, and on one final note, our plane tickets arrived today! I guess we are really going...