Field Trip to the Bahamas
February 16-23, 2015
This trip was led by Professor Tim Patterson, in conjunction with Professor Eduard Reinhardt of the School of Geography & Earth Sciences at McMaster University. This was a joint field course, with students from both universities.
The course took place exclusively on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. Students and faculty were based out of Gerace Research Centre, which is a division of the College of the Bahamas. The Centre is devoted to the study of archaeology, biology, geology and marine science.
The first three days of the course were spent doing small lab-based and field exercises in caves, ponds, reefs, beaches, mangroves, tidal flats and dunes. These mostly consisted of mapping outcrop sections in the students’ field notebooks. Students who wanted to and were qualified to scuba dive were given the opportunity to do so. We even saw a shark! The students also logged cores in the lab during the afternoon and evening.
The next stage of the trip revolved around data collection. Students completed field projects in small groups, which consisted of collecting data in the field and proceeding to laboratory analysis. Possible projects included cores and/or surface collection of sedimentological/paleontological samples to answer a research question. At the end of the trip, the students submitted their written reports and made group presentations on their findings.
We will be going back to the Bahamas again this year under the course code ERTH 4006 Geobiology. The prerequisite for this course is ERTH 2312 Paleontology.