Bexley News

Spring break carries marine biology students to Caribbean

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SCUBA divers on the trip included Brendan Gandal, Zoe Greenblott, Parker Murphy, Jeffrey Nicosia, Rachael Rice, Leland Schwartz, and Jocie Steinke. Snorkelers were Dylan Cramer, Danny Federman, David Heym, Diana Huefner, Lexi Rubinstein, Sophie Schuss, Chloe Seletz, Ben Smith, and Jonah Stuber.

Sixteen Bexley High School students and four teachers traveled to Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, in the Caribbean over spring break last month as part of the school's marine biology field study program.

In preparation for the trip, student participants met weekly throughout the previous month of the school year, during lunch, for instruction on marine life.

Leading the trip were retired science teacher Craig Kramer and BHS science faculty member Jennifer Messerly.

Additional chaperones on the trip were retired science teacher Mark Liefeld and BHS English teacher Julie Horger.

During the week in Bonaire, students studied the diversity of marine life, including the fringing coral reef, through diving and snorkeling experiences and nightly lectures. The students and teachers went snorkeling and diving at sites along the western border of the island, including Bari's Reef, Windsock Beach, the Salt Pier, and the site of the Hilma Hooker shipwreck.

Snorkelers and divers saw a variety of marine life like angelfish, moray eels, blue tang, barracuda, parrotfish, trumpetfish and pufferfish, Kramer said.

Students also learned about the history, culture and topography of Bonaire, with visits to southern and eastern points on the island, as well as a day-trip to Washington Slagbaai National Park on the volcanic northern end of the island.

During the trip, the student travelers completed journals reflecting on their experiences that they submitted as part of the requirements to earn a half of a credit in "Introduction to Marine Biology."