Student off to marine camp

Larue Nixon of Leading Edge High School will attend the 2008 Caribbean Sea Camp at the Little Cayman Research Centre.

Nixon, a Year 9 student, is the son of Latasha and Larue Nixon Sr. of Prospect.

Among his responsibilities will be assisting with research, studying different species under a microscope and learning the Cayman Islands Marine Park Laws.

The camp will take place 15-22 August and is geared toward 14 to 18-year-old students. Participants are expected to learn about tropical marine environments and various sampling techniques while working directly with researchers.

Research centre head Ms Carrie Manfrino will lead the camp and has been teaching classes there since 1997.

Leading Edge obtained sponsorship from HSBC Cayman Ltd. to cover the cost of the camp and airfare.

While at the camp, Nixon will stay at the research centre, which is equipped with four dorm rooms and two half baths. The bathing facilities are next to the central building and feature compostable toilets, waterless urinals, water efficient showers and sinks and a grey water garden.

The 14 year-old says he has an interest in being a marine biologist. His favourite subjects in school are science and social studies and he enjoys learning about marine life including fishes and coral reefs.

Peter Hillenbrand, chairman of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, said the organisation is happy to accommodate a young Caymanian interested in marine life.

‘Any time the Sea Camp can help spark a local student’s interest and help them along their chosen path we are incredibly delighted. We feel like our work establishing the research centre is paying off.

‘The world needs more people studying our oceans. It has been neglected and taken for granted for too long. To find a young Caymanian who is interested in the very feature that makes Caymanians who they are is incredibly important to us.’

The institute is a larger establishment that includes the research centre and came into being in 1998 and is recognised for its efforts to raise marine life awareness and its research into the reef communities across all three islands in Cayman.

Nixon says that going to the camp will give him a chance to finally see the research centre.

‘I’m excited. I have wanted to go there for a long time. I first heard about it and saw it on their website. After that I thought to myself I would love to do that too, especially after my mom gave me a book on Little Cayman’s marine ecosystem.’

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Larue Nixon is keen to learn about all types of marine life. Photo: Matthew Yates

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