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Geology majors study in Bahamas

A group of WKU geology majors spent Winter Term in the Bahamas as part of "The Geology of the Bahamas" course taught by Dr. Fred Siewers.

Fourteen WKU geology majors traveled to San Salvador Island, Bahamas, during the Winter Term for a study abroad field course on the geology and natural history of the Bahamas islands.

“The Geology of the Bahamas” was led by geologist Dr. Fred Siewers from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, with assistance from Dr. Lisa Park from the University of Akron.

The purpose of the course was to study the modern environments of limestone formation and the development of caves and karst on tropical islands, and to explore evidence for environmental and climatic change over the last 150,000 years.

WKU students Shelby Rader of Irvine and Stuart Kenderes of Independence participated in the Winter Term course in the Bahamas.

Other activities included a study of modern reefs and 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 and other archaeological sites.

Students participating in the course were: Rachel Bowles, a senior from Bowling Green; Keith Conn, a senior from Lewisburg; Matt Downen, a senior from Columbia; Courtney Elder, a senior from Owensboro; Stuart Kenderes, a junior from Independence; Kelsey Kidd, a junior from Bowling Green; Danielle Marsh, a senior from St. Charles, Ill.; Amy Matheny, a senior from Owensboro; Melanie Newton, a junior from Coxs Creek; Buddy Price, a junior from Dubre; Shelby Rader, a senior from Irvine; Heather Williams, a senior from Elkton; Josh Willoughby, a junior from Bowling Green; and Amber Yates, a senior from Bowling Green.

Dr. Siewers said most students were amazed at the diversity of field experiences on San Salvador Island and were surprised at the remoteness and rugged beauty of the island. Many found the course to be a “life changing experience” that transformed the way they look at the natural world and modern society, he said.

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.

“Student engagement in a global context is exemplified by the department’s field camp and study abroad opportunities,” said Dr. David Keeling, head of the Department of Geography and Geology. “Dr. Siewers’ Bahamas experience is one of many exceptional field study opportunities provided for geology majors and is designed to expose students to practices and processes that cannot be experienced in a regular classroom.”

Contact: Fred Siewers, (270) 745-5988.

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