I am embarking on new adventures that I have been awaiting for quite some time. Ever since I was little I have had a yearning to explore the world and experience new cultures. I am currently preparing myself for a year that is sure to change my life. First stop on this journey is Turks and Caicos to studying marine biology. The program I am enrolled in is called the School for Field Studies, or SFS. I have always had a passion for the ocean so this semester is going to be amazing. The sea is such a magnificent spectacle and it has always sparked my curiosity as less than five percent of the ocean’s floor has been explored. That is just such a crazy concept to me; there is so much to be discovered on our little blue planet.
The SFS program I am attending this Fall of 2014 focuses on marine resource studies. My school is located at the southeastern end of the Bahamian archipelago. The diving here is incredible and considered among the world’s top 10 diving destinations. Turks and Caicos Island (TCI) are known for their stunning diversity of life, from corals to whales. The fauna include more than 300 species of fish, several elasmobranchs (such as the spotted eagle ray, lemon shark, sea turtle, and humpback whale). The classes I will be taking in TCI include tropical marine ecology, principles of resource management, environmental policy and socioeconomic values, and directed research. The research is what excited me the most, as students snorkel and scuba into he waters surrounding South Caicos, learning field research and monitoring techniques to identify and assess the health of a wide range of marine organisms and habitats.
My goal for the semester is that this program will help guide me into the direction of a future career to pursue. I know that I am passionate for biology as well as the ocean, so I feel marine ecology could suit my interests perfectly, but attending a landlocked school in Pennsylvania doesn’t offer much experience in that field. I am also still considering the medical field, as it is a fast paced and challenging career that definitely has a multitude of career opportunities. This summer I had my first experience in the medical field, becoming an Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT. I have also taken an anatomy and physiology class, which I found super intriguing. As it stands right now I have no idea what I want to do after I graduate Dickinson, but hopefully after some soul searching this year I will be able to have a clearer grasp on my goals.
TCI is not the only excitement I have planned for this upcoming year. I will be spending my winter break in Hawaii, staying on Oahu and Maui for a little over a month. I am also applying to go to Africa in the Spring of 2015, but more to come about that as it comes closer in time. The Africa program is also through School of Field Studies, and is located in Tanzania. If I get accepted I hope to travel a little before in Europe and Zanzibar, but that is not definite yet. Lastly, I am thrilled for next summer of 2015 where I will be conducting research for NOAA. I will be studying marine biology, but I have not chosen a location yet. The Hollings Scholarship (in which my internship is through) can be anywhere in the United States, so my top choices are Hawaii, California, Florida Keys, or maybe even the American Samoa. Who knows..my future is looking brighter than ever and I am just thrilled to be lucky enough to have such an incredible year planned ahead of me.