Reflecting On Our Trip: The Best Of The Bahamas

We're safely back at Luther! It's odd to be back in the land of snow, but we made it. The trip home went smoothly and easily with plenty of reminiscing about our favorite adventures. I asked my classmates what were some takeaways, highlights, or one of their favorite experiences from the trip and here are what some of them said:


One of my favorite experiences from the trip was spending the last day relaxing on the picturesque Monument Beach. We also became familiar with nearly every organism inhabiting the reefs. My overall favorite experience, though, was bonding with ten totally awesome new scientists (and the Larsen's, of course)!


In regards to major takeaways from trip, I was consistently in awe of the wonders surrounding us. We saw many organisms and observed the coral reef ecosystems in which many of them dwelled. We saw in a variety of conditions ranging from excellent to quite poor. I walk away from the trip feeling grateful for the unique experiences we had and the sights we saw. As a result of viewing Sal Salvador, I also walk away with an increased awareness that the coral reefs we spent so much time observing and snorkeling around are currently in a vulnerable state. With shifting climate and continuous anthropogenic activities, in 20-30 years time, Luther will no longer be able to have the Bahamas trip due to a lack of healthy coral reef ecosystems. In turn, I feel a greater desire to stay engaged in actions that will preserve these reefs. This will ensure the possibility for future college students to take this trip and experience the same wonders that we did.


My highlight from this trip was getting so close to a barracuda, I could almost touch it.


The biggest takeaway I found was how research and biology is more than just science... it's also about people and relationships. Every natural phenomenon that we experienced, every organism we studied was enriched by the company of my fellow scientists. The collaboration and community explored anything in the natural world. It revealed the softer side of hard science along with the palm trees and white sand beaches made for paradise.

For me, one of many favorite experiences was snorkeling in the  afternoon our last full day on San Salvador at Monument Beach and Sue Point. It was fun to realize how many fish I recognized compared to  our first day snorkeling. I had also become very comfortable with  snorkeling. The trip reinforced my belief that humans impact ecosystems, and we must work together to save our environments. It was also delightful getting to know ten inquisitive and perceptive fellow Luther students.

In the coming days, our class will be working on writing our research papers, studying for our written exam and making posters to present at the research symposium. And of course, continuing to  reminisce and appreciate a fantastic trip and catch up with friends and family.

The student dormitory.
Walking along the beach to the Columbus monument.
Noah practicing his balancing skills.
Alison, Megan and Kristine enjoying the water our last full day on San Salvador.
Living the hard life...
The truck we used to get around the Island. A spectacular way to take in the sights.
A photo of Mangrove roots along Pigeon Creek.
An Elkhorn Coral with a Brain Coral in the background.
Andres, Noah and Brain at Pigeon Creek collecting data for their research project.
Alison diving down.
Another monument documenting where Columbus supposedly first dropped anchor at Sue Point.
Andres made it down to the monument--it was deep swim!
Kristine sporting a wetsuit.
A Spiny Lobster.
Snorkeling our last afternoon on San Salvador.
Getting a close up look.
Trevor after being transformed into a merman.
The merman team transforming Trevor.
The dinning hall.
Taking notes in our classroom.
Class photo before heading out to dinner our last night on the Island.