NEU/BIO 675: Biodiversity, Brains, and Behavior
January 13, 2020
Today started much like yesterday, breakfast at 7:30 then we got our gear ready for our morning boat dive. We were at a dive spot known as the Wreck of Mr. Bud. This is a small sunken fishing vessel at a max depth of 65 feet. We were able to swim through the ship and see the inside. It was covered in soft corals and small shrimp and reef fish. The second dive took us to Gold Chain Reef, which includes a giant wall that goes down well below 80 feet. We stayed between the depths of 20-65 feet for the majority of the dive. We saw a giant lobster which was the size of my calf, flounder, a sailor’s eyeball cell, anemones, and beautiful sponges and corals.
When that dive was over I did not shower because we were planning on going on a night dive this evening. I rinsed off and went to hang out in the hammocks and relax. Before dinner we were informed that because the waves were so high and the surges so strong, our night dive would be pushed back to later in the week. We had dinner and continued to enjoy our time together. Tee evening included some intense games of ping pong, a couple strawberry daiquiris, and lots of fun and laughs. We are all going to sleep early because we leave early in the morning for our shark dive!
-Annemarie Seth ’21
Waking up to stormy skies and dark clouds was a little bit of a surprise this morning, and I can’t say I ever considered the possibility of getting soaked with water before I even jumped in the ocean - the tropical rain was on and off this morning, going from pounding storms to clear skies in a matter of minutes. After our rainy boat ride and early morning dive, we came up for a light snack on the boat again. Instead of Island Cookies, however, we had some watermelon and hot chocolate! I never would have considered drinking hot chocolate while laying in the sunshine, around 82 degrees, as the sun reflected off the ocean making it sparkle, but I have to say it was one of the best cups of hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted.
On our second dive, we saw some really unique animals, including a Spotted Eagle Ray, an eel, a large black sea urchin, and a couple of barracudas! We explored along a rock wall which was covered in corals and other organisms before fighting the water surges and swimming back to shore.
After our second dive, I was lucky enough to take a nap in the sunshine and somehow managed to be one of the least sunburned people on the trip so far! One of my favorite things is to watch everyone’s faces and shoulders get more and more red as the trip goes on. We wear wet-suits every time we dive (which range from full-body suits to “shorties” with legs that go down to the knee and sleeves that end around the elbow), but the head and humidity has everyone wearing the least amount of clothes as possible any time we’re out of the water. Here, swimsuits constitute as everyday attire and are acceptable at any time or place.
At the end of the evening, everyone from the trip socializes and spends time together. There isn’t much in the way of entertainment here on the island, so we’ve been lucky enough to have live music before dinner, and various games such as pool or ping pong. As time goes on, we’re bonding with each other as we lay in the sunshine, starting simple conversations with those around us in order to get to know one another. There are lots of card games and board games provided as well, and none of us have spent very much time on our phones or computers. It seems like we’ve all been enjoying living in the moment and dreading the day that we have to leave this beautiful place.
-Rachel Harvey ’22
About the Honduras Study Tour
THE TRAVEL DATES
Jan. 11-23, 2020
Biology Prof. Scott Hegrenes
Sociology Prof. Bill Miller
Neuroscience Prof. Dan Miller
In this course, students will be able to study the diverse ecology of a Caribbean coral reef, while learning about the evolution of neurobiology of marine life to humans. Students will have the opportunity to be scuba-certified before diving in to explore the tropical reefs. They will get first hand experience of what Honduran culture is like during their stay, explore the Copan ruins, an archaeological site of the Maya civilizations, and visit the island of Roatan.