Eight students in Connie Soja’s Seminar on Reefs (Geology 426) spent spring break in the Bahamas with Connie and her husband, Brian White (Smith College), exploring Pleistocene and modern reefs on San Salvador Island. Students focused on identifying coral, algal, and fish communities to determine guilds and diversity trends in nearshore and offshore reefs.
Underwater cameras and slates facilitated data collection and recording, including recognition of the widespread decline of the staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Exciting encounters with Great Barracudas, turtles, spotted rays, parrotfish, and a diversity of scleractinian corals (remember from Paleo class??) made the trip a wonderful educational exercise! Thanks to Colgate and the Geology Department for funds that subsidized the costs of this trip.
Click the image below to launch a slideshow of images from the trip.