2012 Exuma Cays Spring Field Study
In short, this set highlights Missouri high school students studying Marine Biology firsthand in the Bahamas...

Images were taken from our Exuma Cays sailing field study, April 2012. This event is part of the Marine Biology program in the Saint Joseph School District. Eighteen students from all three local public schools meet for class on 23 Monday nights throughout the school year. Because of the nature of this course, for much of the year it is a rather blended affair mixing face to face and online learning.

The field study is conducted from ~45' sailing yachts along (usually) the Andros Island bank/barrier reef... and often surrounding cays and islands. This reef, often said to the the world's third longest continuous reef, remains fairly healthy today. This is due to the fact that the Andros reef hugs the east coast of a one hundred mile long island that is very lightly populated.

Last count indicates a total population of around 7,000 all living in small villages along the eastern coast. This adds a very remote nature to the trip.

This year's Spring field study was conducted 60 to 80 miles to the East along the remote Exuma Cays chain. Exploration of the many new sites along this string of islets allowed a new and very interesting element to this year's adventure. Captain Larry Leggett tends to employ the students as crew for the boat. This allows the students a more authentic, hands-on experience, as well as allowing us to put the boat in more remote and interesting places.

We now also maintain a class network at stjoeh2o.ning.com (Old website: from 1999 to 2004, stjoeh2o.org...and will soon be moving to a new format next year.) Be sure to also check out the image sets from the previous three field studies here on Flickr.

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