St. Kitts and Nevis

As I mentioned in my previous post I am currently working on the island of Nevis helping with a Reef Check research project. Each day we have been training to recieve the Reef Check certification! Today was our exam! The next week and a half will be dedicated to more research. I’ll be sure to post a little more about the diving and coral reef monitoring project as that is what takes up most of our time.

Nevis

But! The other day we had the chance to go out before an afternoon dive for a hike in the rainforest and that’s what I’ll be sharing today! Also, because I’m too nervous to bring my camera on the boat since I have the tendency to drop every type of electronic device I own into water. I felt much safer bringing it along on the hike. So enjoy these photos and I’ll be sure to borrow a water-proof camera at some point during the next weeks.

We went hiking near the Prison Farm which is a trail with many waterfalls along the path near the farm run by Nevisian prisoners. It is the land where they have vegetable gardens to grow food for the hospital.

Hike

This is an old sugar cane mill, like those throughout the Caribbean. The wood wheel and insides have long rotted away leaving the stone outer shell. Sugar Cane Mill

Cocoa Tree!

Cocoa Tree

We also stopped at the hot springs a few days earlier. The water is over 110 degrees and people used to bathe here hundreds of years ago.

Hot Springs Nevis

I’m already in love with this island! The diving is amazing and I love the ocean even more than the land so I can’t wait to share a bit about that too!

Friday Favorites #4

Hi guys! Sorry I have been MIA this week, but I have been traveling to the Caribbean and beginning the first week of Reef Check on the island of Nevis, I’ll be sure to update you all on that soon! For now, I’m linking up with Mar on the Run where the theme of this week’s Friday Five is things that make you happy! This link up is also hosted by Joining my girls Cynthia from You Signed Up For what?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC!

I’m also linking up with Life in Leggings Friday Favorites since they are quite overlapping themes this week!

Friday Five #4: Things That Make Me Happy! :)

#5 The Beach! NevisAny place with an ocean near by is a perfect place in my eyes! I love the smell of the sea and the sound of the waves. The ocean is such an incredible place that many people never take the time to explore! Throw on some snorkel gear and put your face in the water!

#4 Scuba Diving! Scuba LessonsThis kind of goes right along with the ocean, but I love diving. This is another thing people rarely take the time to learn, but it such an incredible and indescribable feeling to be able to breathe underwater. And there is so much more to see that is hidden beneath the waves!

#3 Exploring! Montana HikeI love going on adventures anywhere at anytime, even if it’s right in my own backyard. I’m usually up for anything and love to just wander around new places. It’s so fun to make your own adventures and seek out new things to learn about

#2 My pup! rp_clementine-spaghetti.jpgShe’s crazy but I love her! Dogs always make you smile even if you had the crappiest day, it’s incredible.

#1 Family! And my fiancé!FamilyI have always been very close with my family and I consider myself very lucky that that is the case, and even luckier that all of our significant others (haha!) fit in perfectly with our family and we are all so close! This is kind of an old picture, but I still love it!

Now it’s time to go diving!

What are some things that make you happy!?

Reef Check Research Project

I’m off to the Caribbean Islands of St. Kitts and Nevis for the next two weeks for a Reef Check research project! I hope to be able to check in and update you guys throughout my adventures, but I’m not too sure how reliable the internet will be.

Scuba

I’m putting my divemaster skills to work for the first week on the island of Nevis. The college I work at offers a Global Ecosystem course that is a summer destination class that allows students to learn outside of the classroom. This course is environmentally focused and has a marine science theme, which is perfect and why I became so interested in the first place! (the tropical island setting didn’t hurt either :))

The first week of the class certifies the students as Reef Check volunteers.

Reef Check was founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson. It is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of tropical coral reefs. Reef Check works to create partnerships among community volunteers, government agencies, businesses, universities and other non-profits.

We are one of those universities that are helping to create a global network of volunteer teams trained with scientific methods who regularly monitor and report on reef health. This class, year after year, goes back to similar locations around the island of Nevis to add to a continuing data set and research project. This data is then used to facilitate collaboration within the local community and produce ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions to rehabilitate damaged reefs.

In 1997, the first-ever global survey of coral reef health provided scientific confirmation that reefs were in crisis due to over-fishing, commercial build up, and pollution. The results shocked many marine biologists who had not realized the extent of human impacts on reefs. Many reefs are in worse shape now than ever, with the threat of inescapable devastation lingering much too close for comfort drastic changes need to happen, and quickly. Some success stories show that with proper monitoring, management and protection, coral reefs can recover.

One of Reef Check’s main goals is to create a global network of volunteer teams, trained and led by scientists, that regularly monitor and report on reef health using a standard method- that’s what we will be doing in St. Kitts. My supervisor, a TA, and I will be training a group of students to act as coral reef researchers and advocates.

It truly is an important and perfect project for me. It also allows me to explore more marine biology opportunities and further my marine research and divemaster certification without giving up my other current jobs. I’m so excited to get back in the ocean and to explore this section of coral reef! The diving will be so different from that of Costa Rica, and I’m excited to dive another tropical coral reef ecosystem.

Ocean

Also! World’s Oceans Day was June 8th. Have you thought about your impact on our oceans? What are you doing to decrease YOUR impact? 

Using less plastic is always the easiest and greatest way to decrease your negative effects on our oceans. Don’t use plastic shopping bags, skip the sandwich bags and opt for washable and reusable containers. STOP using plastic straws and recycle whenever you can! Check out some of these other great no waste products!

10 on 10th! (Or lack-there-of)

Hey guys! I’m sorry, but there won’t be a 10 on the 10th post this month because my life is too crazy and I don’t have time to plan/write/think of a great 10 on the 10th this month and I didn’t want to half-ass it. Sorry that is such a lame excuse, but that’s that. I need more minutes in my days! I thought I could plan a wedding, work two jobs, sell a house and start a business and still have some free time. Yikes, the blog is suffering.

Go ahead and check out these past 10 on the 10th posts, and keep an eye out for July 10th!

May: Inspiration and Motivation: Workout Motivation Tricks that Work
April: Healthy Living- 
10 “Health” Foods with Surprisingly More Sugar than a Hostess Cupcake
March: 10 Healthy Road Trip Snacks
February: Fitness- Handstand Tips
January: 10 Natural Remedies for Winter Ailments
December: 10 Homemade Holiday Gifts
November: 10 Favorite Fitness Finds
October: 10 Unique Apple Varieties
September: 10 Triathlon Do’s and Don’ts

Thanks :) Sorry for being lame!

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