The Bahamas #1: Marine Ecology & Sustainability Program Begins!

Trip leaders, Toby Emerson and Heidi Valk ask students to share what they are most looking forward to of their time in The Bahamas. For the next couple of days, 11 students will spend their time investigating the island’s varied habitats alongside educators and researchers from The Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) while living their lives mindful of their environmental impact.

Charlotte McIntosh ’23: I am most looking forward to exploring the island school, spending time on the beach and hopefully playing spike ball in the ocean. Since I have only seen pictures of the Island School, I am excited to actually see it and understand what a semester there may be like, especially experiencing the beach right around the corner!

Ian Choi ’23: After seeing the turquoise blue water outside the plane window, I was really excited to go out on the water. At the Island School, I hope to find some cool areas during exploration time and play spike ball with my friends. I’m really looking forward to snorkeling and seeing the coral reefs.

Elizabeth Richards ’24: I have never been to the Bahamas before, so I am looking forward to staying on Eleuthera for the next week– especially in a building that is really close to the ocean! One of the things for which I am most excited is getting to learn more about marine ecology in a hands-on way.

Bianka Dusseault ’23: Destination: Island School, Bahamas. From what I saw, it was a tiny place lost in a vast ocean. From what I knew, it was a tiny place unfamiliar to me. And from what I heard, it was a tiny place great for its opportunities in the field of marine ecology and sustainability. In the midst of the past weeks homework, AP exam, and finals, I kept looking forward to this trip as a learning experience in the form of a vacation. We are a marvelous group and I hope The Bahamas could spark the beginning of some friendships while rediscovering my love for water. No need to say I am really excited to go snorkeling, have direct contact with an array of habitats, and enjoyed the weather around a spike ball.

Mia Goetzke ’24: I am most excited to set out upon the island and explore a different landscape, as well as snorkeling and jumping off some cliffs on the island. The aspect I’m most interested in in terms of this trip is exploring marine biology and ecology, and learning more about a subject I’m passionate about. I also can’t wait to play some spike ball, and get to know more about my classmates.

Emily Rice ’24: I am looking forward to go snorkeling and swimming all while learning about marine ecology/ sustainability, and getting to know other Deerfield kids. From what I have heard about the Island School, I am very excited to explore the island of Eleuthera and the beautiful location near and around the school.

Sam Olander ’23: I have never been outside of the United States before so that is the biggest thing, I’m excited about at the moment. I’m really interested in learning more about marine life and hopefully getting to interact with animals at the Island School. I’m also really excited because I am starting to get closer to people on this trip I didn’t necessarily know as well back at Deerfield.

Melissa Chun ’24: I am looking forward to exploring Eleuthera as I have never been to the Bahamas before. I am also excited to learn about the efforts towards marine conservation and sustainability overall that the Island School has made. I am most excited to have some hands on experience with marine biology as it seems so exciting to be working with marine ecosystems.

Stella Kerwin Derrick ’23: I am looking forward to snorkeling in the Bahamas, because this is my first trip to the Bahamas and I haven’t been snorkeling in the ocean before. I am also excited to learn about marine life and ecology in addition to working on a research project at the Island School. I am excited to arrive in Eleuthera since the views of Nassau, Bahamas from our plane were incredible and I can’t wait to explore and see more of the Bahamas. I feel as though our group is already getting closer to one another and making the most of our time even during our layover by playing spike ball and cards in the airport.