Welcome to the MAR 388 January 2008 Tropical Marine Ecology blog. We arrived yesterday (Jan 2nd) in Montego Bay with all 19 students and two instructors (Brad and myself). We got to the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory after dark and in a pouring rain storm so we didn’t have much chance to see the campus. Overnight a cold front blew through which has given us some healthy winds and bumpy seas in the bay. That’s ok, though because a Jamaican cold front means it’s about 75 degrees or so and the view from our room isn’t too shabby. The breezy conditions have allowed us to concentrate on beginning the course lectures right after breakfast today. We toured the campus and then Brad jumped in with an introduction to basic ecological principles. I’m lecturing on coral reef origins after lunch and all of us are meeting with the dive safety officer at the lab to learn the regulations and rules for diving and snorkeling here.
Due to some shenanigans with the conveyer belts at JFK, several bags (including all of mine) got delayed en route to Jamaica. I believe Prof. Peterson tempted our karma when he mentioned in the line for immigration at Montego Bay that, really, the only thing that could go wrong now would be for his bags to not show up. Of course, his luggage was there, while mine (and a few other students) are still in transit and should be delivered to the lab this evening.
It’s almost lunch time, so I’ll sign off. Check back for daily (or near-daily) updates written by the students to hear about what they’re doing.
Prof. Joe Warren