LIFE AT A FIELD RESEARCH STATION
Breathe in the warm sea air as you make your way from Curaçao’s International Airport to the CARABMI marine field station. With on-site wet and dry labs, views overlooking Piscaderra Bay and snorkel and shore diving access just steps from your dorm, your home for the next three weeks is a future marine scientist’s dream come true. In between lectures and labs on marine field science methodologies, head underwater and begin familiarizing yourself with the vibrant corals and fringing reefs that will become the focus of your research here. We’ll also take time to explore some of the islands other natural treasures with a coastal hike along the rugged north coast, a visit to a sea cave in Shete Boka Park and a mangrove kayak tour.
CRAFT YOUR OWN RESEARCH PROPOSAL
After building a foundation of theoretical knowledge in the classroom, it’s time to develop practical skills in the field. Use video transects to gather underwater data, then run various statistical tests to interpret and analyze your findings. As you become more comfortable with the methodologies, your own scientific questions and hypotheses bubble to the surface. Let your ideas simmer while you wander the colorful streets and markets of Willemstad. Find clarity as you take in the breathtaking views from the summit of Mt. Christoffel. Discuss the viability of your proposal with your peers and begin bringing together the pieces for your very own research experiment.
GATHER. ANALYZE. ANSWER.
It’s back to the field to conduct your research. With newfound mastery of video transects and other survey methodologies, you’re doing real-world marine biology as you gather data by day and conduct analysis in the evenings. The work is rigorous, but the reward of seeing your results emerge is tremendous. Spend a day relaxing on the white sand beaches of uninhabited Klein Curaçao before returning to CARAMBI to prepare and present a final report of your findings. While the field experience you’ve gained here will be invaluable to your future pursuits in the marine sciences, you can take special pride in knowing that you’ve also contributed to a larger body of scientific data about the reefs surrounding this island paradise you’ve come to know and love.