Geoscience Field Course Investigates the Sustainability of the Bahamas

By: Bri Diaz, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

February 22, 2016   Center For Integrative Geosciences, Physical Sciences

Thirteen undergraduate students and two graduate students in UConn’s geoscience program found themselves on the sunny Bahamian island of San Salvador this January. The trip was not part of a tropical vacation, but rather a new winter intersession course that investigated the impact of Hurricane Joaquin, a powerful Category 4 storm that ripped through the Bahamas in late September of 2015.

Offered through the Center for Integrative Geosciences, the two-week intensive field course used the hurricane and its aftermath to study geological and climate-related issues facing small island nations today. Students not only examined the island’s geology, culture, and ecosystem, but also the future environmental sustainability of the archipelago.

“When you hear about going to the Bahamas in January, you think, ‘Oh, this will be nice.’ But it was challenging,” says Sam Loeb ’16 (CLAS), a geosciences major and geographic information science minor who participated in the course. “We got to see completely different geological formations than what we normally see in Connecticut.”

“My honors research focuses on another Bahamian island, so it was really interesting for me to actually be there and experience the culture and geology,” says classmate Dana Yakabowskas ’16 (CLAS), an anthropology, geoscience, and geography triple major.

Student travel for this course was supported by gifts to the Nugget Fund in the Center for Integrative Geosciences.

(Link to full story in CLAS News here)

Professor and Head of the Center for Integrative Geosciences Lisa Park Boush (left), Dana Yakabowskas ’16 (CLAS) (top row, fourth from right) and Sam Loeb ’16 (CLAS) (top row, third from right) pose with classmates at North Point Beach in San Salvador, Bahamas. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Park Boush)