Working to save threatened coral species while getting up close with sharks and dolphins is just how Berry student Rose Blanchard wanted to spend her summer.
“Growing up I was always terrified of the ocean and sharks. It was so cool to be around so many large sharks that were very docile and calm,” said Blanchard who spent time in Roatan, Honduras, this summer with a group of students led by Biology Professor Bill Davin. The trip was part of Dr. Davin’s Coral Reef Ecology course. Students had the chance to get up close to sharks, dolphins, varieties of fish and, of course, coral.
Prior to the trip, the group raised $1,000 through BerryFunder– enough money to purchase five coral trees. During the trip, students helped collect coral fragments and add them to the trees at the coral farm. As many of these coral species are listed as threatened and are at risk of becoming endangered, the work the students have done is of key importance.
“Considering the global conditions that are currently threatening the life of our coral reefs, I feel it was truly a once in a lifetime experience,” Berry senior Sydney Sneed added.
Story by social media assistant Shannon Rainey