Tuesday morning we ate our final breakfast at the Gerace Research Center. We headed to the airport with Georgia College and flew to Nassau with them, and there I said goodbye to my classmates, to my friends. Many of us on the trip graduated a few days prior to our trip, so this blog post is really my last act as a student at Missouri S&T. We’re all grateful for the opportunity to have such an amazing trip, led by the incomparable Dr. Wronkiewicz. It was a blast from the first day (cave picture) to the last (beach picture).
We have done a lot while on the island, from the inland lake studies to the coral reefs, but one of the aspects of this class that was the most striking was the lack of water. Freshwater has disappeared from San Salvador Island due to overuse of the resource. The arrival of Club Med in 1994, along with the rise in population in Cockburn Town led to over-pumping, with pump rates increased by 400%. One way we see this is with the blue hole on the island lacking the freshwater lens it historically possessed. These types of studies using blue holes as well as sea level proxies can tell us about the past environment and help to predict the future. A couple of students, including myself, looked at the biology and paleontology of the island to see how the geology may have affected the biology. A lot of people just think of mining and oil when they think geology, but this trip really shows that geology is incredibly useful in environmental studies, too!
It has been an incredible trip, and I would urge anyone who has taken a single geology class to look out for Geology 4841 this upcoming spring, as Dr. Wronk always teaches an amazing class, and travel, wherever it may be, is always an opportunity that should be taken advantage of!