*File photo
*File photo

The Atlantic Conservation Partnership (ACP) and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo recently hosted a group of students from Flagler College as they participated in a study abroad course, which is a part of their Coastal Environmental Science major. The group included 12 students and two professors.

“Bermuda is such a unique and special island to me,” explained Dr. Terri Seron, Chair of the Natural Sciences Department. “I previously spent three summers on the island taking courses and participating in coral research, and I was absolutely thrilled to return to Bermuda many years later with my students to pass on my love for Bermuda. The Flagler students understand the environmental pressures and problems that our coral reefs are facing, and that knowledge gives me hope for the future.”

Flagler College is a small, private college located in St. Augustine, Florida. Their Coastal Environmental Science programme was launched in the fall of 2013, and is designed to give students hands-on research experience, including undergraduate research opportunities overseas. In 2013, students spent a week the Bahamas.

During their time in Bermuda, students were required to develop different research methods and strategies, and then test those methods, all while engaging with Bermuda’s marine environment.

“We plan to return next year with another group of students to expand our programme and partnership with ACP and BAMZ,” Dr. Seron added. “The staff at BAMZ were such a pleasure to work with, and their resources between the aquarium, museum and zoo are so rich. The possibilities for what we can accomplish in offering a hands-on research experience to our students are limitless here. I am very excited about future possibilities.”

Student, Ryan Maroney, shared: “As a student participant in the recent Flagler College-Bermuda study abroad programme to Bermuda in association with BAMZ, I was completely blown away by not only the natural beauty we encountered on the offshore reefs, but also by the dedicated and friendly people we had the privilege to meet and work with at BAMZ. Through the guidance of our Professors and the always helpful and knowledgeable aquarium staff, we were able to not only have a lot of fun on your beautiful island, but also accomplish some meaningful and hopefully impactful research.”