Students in Santa Catalina's Marine Ecology Research Program started their summer break with a trip to Hawaii. Here's a dispatch from the middle of their expedition, from teachers Lisa Marrack and Christian Reilly.
"Things are going very well so far in Hawaii Nei. We are just starting Day 4 and have already had a fabulous snorkel experience in Kona at Kahalu'u Beach Park. Day 2 led to a hike of to a 3,000-foot elevation between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, where we explored a native rainforest surrounded by lava.
"Since then we have been at Kapoho at a house right on the water (75 feet from the ocean). We have been learning about the coral and fish species that make up the reef, have done our first coral disease transects, have swum in Champagne cove, have had some long discussions about island biogeography and the development of species, and have eaten well since the girls are taking turns being in charge of the menus and dinner meals. Today we are starting with an early morning swim and then up to Volcanoes National Park to hike into Kilauea Iki Crater.
"The girls are so positive, eager to experience and learn, and all getting along so well. On to the next experience."