This summer, Stacey Sebert, New York State Master Teacher and seventh and eighth grade science teacher at Sand Creek Middle School, took part in a field excursion with Terra Education on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. Sebert and other educators from across the country snorkeled in several reefs, estuaries, and explored a local cave.
The group stayed at the Gerace Research Center, a small university that focuses on the study of archeology, biology, geology, and marine science. Class was held each night to review the ecosystems and life that was found during each of the dives. During low tide, the group explored a cave that is completely immersed in water during high tide. The group also conducted a night dive to experience bioluminescence and how drastically life changes in a coral reef at night.
“This was an amazing experience, to be immersed and see reef and mangrove ecosystems first hand,” said Sebert. “I had a hawksbill turtle swim right beneath me then a nurse and black tip sharks swam right next to us. It was absolutely incredible, and a little bit terrifying! To see the reef’s diversity and areas that were teeming with life, it encouraged me to see that our conservation efforts seem to be helping coral reefs. I cannot wait to share this experience with my classes this school year.”