Many years ago I lived in Bermuda for a college semester. There were 15 of us learning how to be marine biologists while living at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research. For two months we studied, we dived, we snorkeled, we spent hours bent over equipment in the laboratory searching for microscopic parasites. Fun was had by all.
As my old classmates responded to my recent “Barracuda of Walsingham Bay” post on Hot White Snow I realized that there are a million stories to tell. I also realized that those stories fit better here on Science Traveler. So along with other science traveling stories I’ll be reconstructing those Bermuda experiences.
To catch everyone up on the story, the following were two I posted on my creative writing blog, Hot White Snow. Click on the titles to read the full articles. I’ll follow with more on a regular basis. Who knows; some day it might make a good book.
Each of us were required to do a field research project of our own design. Mine was to examine the epibiota on mangrove roots in Walsingham Pond, with a comparison site in Walsingham Bay. I gathered data by snorkeling around both locations and writing my findings on waterproof tablets (the plasticized paper kind, long before iPad-type tablets). A barracuda full of teeth and curiosity followed me around the Bay. It was unnerving, and yet at the same time exhilarating. [Read more]
Our main mode of transportation around the island was by small motor scooters called moped. While seemingly innocuous, they played central roles in several incidents, including one that makes my knee throb to this day. One day after a light rain we set out on a research expedition that turned out to be more eventful than we anticipated. This is why. [Read more]
I’ll have a lot more on our time in Bermuda. There are many stories about the science, but also many about a bunch of college kids in a semi-tropical island (think “The Real World” before MTV), and even more stories of love and intrigue.
I hope that my colleagues on that trip – Pat Arszyla, Mark Blake, Mike Calabrese, Ed Carver, Ken Foote, Eric Henderson, Joan Kwiatkoski, Sandy Mazzo, Pat Piccirilli, Nancy Rigotty, Sue Schurman, George Skalski, CeCe Spinella, Pablo Vigliano; our professors Dr. Bob Singletary and Dr. Dean Christanson; and Bermuda Biological Station Director Wolfgang Sterrer and other instructors – will enjoy the memories. I’ve had the privilege to reconnect with some of them after all these years. If anyone has kept in touch with those I haven’t, I would appreciate getting reintroduced.
[A quick note about the photo. It was taken a few years after Bermuda while I worked as a marine biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service at Sandy Hook, NJ. I was tagging flounder on a cold winter’s day. It was a good day to be a marine biologist, just before the laboratory burned to the ground. But, that’s another story.]
David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is on Abraham Lincoln, due out in 2017.