Students from the Environmental Science 101 course at the University College of the Cayman Islands recently took part in a mangrove tour to better understand local natural systems, and human impacts and solutions.
Marnie Laing, the adjunct professor for the class and education director of Sea Elements at the Lobster Pot Dive Centre, explained that interactive experience in local ecosystems fills an important role in helping to educate young Caymanians on the vital importance of mangroves and why we need to protect it.
‘The students can learn about the important functions of mangroves in class, but until you explore this beautiful environment, most people don’t understand how much life there is to discover,’ Ms Laing said.
‘Within an hour we saw clusters of tunicates, orange encrusting sponge, mangrove oysters, local green herons eating fish among the roots and four migratory brown pelicans.’
UCCI stresses the importance of interacting with the local community through the Science Department. Students of environmental classes are given the opportunity to learn from many leading scientists in Cayman, in both the public and private sectors.
‘The trip was definitely a success,’ said Environmental Science student Deino-Karl Escoffery.
‘The first hand experience was really beneficial; we were able to see up close, where and how mangroves grow and observe the life that is supported by the mangroves. The entire class participated and we learned a lot from the experience.’
For more information on classes offered at UCCI, visit www.ucci.edu.ky or contact Administration at 949 9580.