Sixteen WKU geology majors traveled to San Salvador Island, Bahamas, over the January 2012 Winter Term for a study abroad field course on the geology and natural history of the Bahamas islands.
“The Geology of the Bahamas” course was led by geologist Dr. Fred Siewers from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, with assistance from Dr. Lisa Park from the National Science Foundation and the University of Akron.
The purpose of the course was to study modern environments of limestone formation, the development of caves and karst on tropical islands, and to explore evidence for environmental and climatic change over the last 150,000 years.
Other activities included daily snorkels over modern reefs and an examination of their fossilized counterparts, the biology and hydrogeology of saline lakes and “blue holes,” and an exploration of San Salvador’s rich cultural and human history as preserved in plantation ruins.
Dr. Siewers said most students were amazed at the diversity of field experiences on San Salvador Island, were surprised at the remoteness and rugged beauty of the island and found the course to be a “life changing experience” that transformed the way they look at the natural world and modern society.
Students participating in the 2012 Winter Term course included: Rachel Bowles, a graduate student from Bowling Green; Justin Cave, a junior from Glendale; Jordan Cottingham, a junior from Sebree; Jacob Gibbs, a sophomore from Bowling Green; Cassie Hornback, a senior from Hodgenville; Lowell Neeper, a junior from Morehead; John Papineau, a senior from Albany; Natasha Patterson, a sophomore from Springfield, Tenn.; Zack Pennington, a junior from Liberty; Mitchell Read, a junior from Elberfeld, Ind.; Andrew Reeder, a graduate student from Bowling Green; Gabe Russell, a graduate student from Bowling Green; Jordan Seng, a senior from Dubois, Ind.; Brandon Thomas, a junior from Russellville; Trevor Thomas, a junior from Bowling Green; and Nathaniel Zoeller, a junior from Shelbyville.
Dr. Siewers’ geology field course in the Bahamas is offered every other year during the Winter Term and is one of many study abroad experiences offered by the Department of Geography and Geology.
More: Photos from the trip are available on the WKU Facebook page.
Contact: Fred Siewers, (270) 745-4555.