During March break, students will have the opportunity to travel to the islands of The Bahamas for nine days. Here, students will immerse themselves in environmental, place-based education, marine ecology, and sustainable living. Our group will spend the first two days in Nassau meeting with local non-profit leaders to better understand the context of sustainability, marine conservation, and environmental change. Students will then spend a week in Eleuthera 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.
The island of Eleuthera is known for its pink sand beaches, its unspoiled natural landscape and its history as the founding island of The Bahamas. Students will experience wonder and a sense of place as they explore the coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves accessible from campus. Alongside researchers at CEI, students will have the chance to take part in ongoing research efforts to conserve the species that these habitats support. This could involve encounters with sea turtles, lionfish, stingrays, or maybe even sharks in their natural environment. The connection between developing a strong sense of place and taking action to protect that place will be a key focus of this trip. The CEI campus honors its research efforts by maintaining an ethos of sustainability. Students will spend time learning about aquaponics systems, biodiesel production, or sustainable farming and food security. Throughout the trip, students are asked to be mindful of their environmental impact while they are guests at CEI by minimizing waste, reducing electricity use and conserving water.
This program is open to all students with a preference towards those who have completed at least one year of a lab science, have a demonstrated interest in sustainability, and are eager to participate in a physically active experience. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 4. Financial aid is available for all trips with priority for students who have not previously received aid for a Deerfield trip.
March 6: Depart Deerfield, and begin traveling to The Bahamas with a stopover in Florida or a NE/NY -based hotel
March 7: Depart on an early AM flight to Nassau. Spend day and evening engaging with non-profit leaders working on education, ecology, and marine conservation. Snorkel, swim, and engage with science research.
March 8: Spend morning in Nassau (possible continuation of previous day’s activities). Travel to Eleuthera.
Typical Schedule March 9– 14 (subject to change):
- Early morning, begin the day with group exercise, such as biking, swimming, or running.
- Morning lab activity or ecology adventure
- Afternoon research and/or excursions around the island, such as beach clean ups, campus exploration & discussions, and more.
- Evening research tutorial/lectures and activities such as lionfish dissection, a night hike and bonfire
Other potential topics include: plastics, sustainable fisheries, food security, permaculture, aquaponics, aquaculture, tourism, coral reefs and mangrove ecology
March 15: Fly back to NE/NY based Airport**
*This itinerary is subject to change.
** Families are responsible for transportation from U.S.-based airport to the student’s final destination at the end of the trip.
- Students are expected to minimize wastewater production and electricity consumption throughout their daily activities. This means that:
- This is an “unplugged” trip where students will not have access to cell phones or internet for the duration of their time in The Bahamas.
- Students may not bring their own snacks to the CEI campus. Most meals will be prepared by CEI in their dining hall, where the kitchen team emphasizes sustainable practices and reduction of food waste.
- Deerfield students will live together in open-style dormitory separated by gender with several bunks per room. There is no air conditioning.
- Students and faculty leaders will update families and friends at home through our Notes from Abroad blog. Check out last year’s posts for a better understanding of the travel experience.