We made it

We’ve all arrived safe and sound at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab in Jamaica. The day came off without a hitch. We’re all pretty hungry (AA didn’t serve a meal) and tired (did anyone else get up at 3am?), but the blue water and warm breezes are enough to lift the spirits of all. I hope the students get a good night’s rest, as I have three lectures and two field trips planned for tomorrow.


More soon…

A smashing success…

And so end’s Stony Brook University’s first Tropical Marine Ecology class.  I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way the class played out.  The facilities at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab were perfectly suited to all aspects of the class.  The students worked extremely hard, learned a tremendous amount about coral reef organisms and function, and executed successful, in-depth research projects.  It was  gratifying to oversee many student firsts during the class:  First SCUBA dive, first trip out of the country, first examination of a coral reef, first experience making a graph, first experience with a statistical test, first independent research project, etc.  Student gave final PowerPoint presentations of their research projects on Friday afternoon which were impressive and of a high quality.  I’ll hold off final judgment of each project until Friday…the last day they may hand in their final papers.

For site visitors, continue to check back, as we will post more pictures and information about student projects in the near future.


After a long day (which began at 3am for some of us), we’ve made it in one piece.  Both Prof Peterson (Brad) and I are very impressed with the accomodations here thus far: nice rooms, excellent lab facilities, great food, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.  Brad and I have just finished mapping out our plan of attack for the next 10 days which should include twice a day lectures and twice a day field trips with digital underwater cameras for the students to use to begin building their species lists and identification skills.  After dinner, Brad reviewed some of the organisms to be expected on the local reefs with students (see picture).Day_1