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Marine biology students head to the Bahamas PDF Print E-mail
Friday, June 20, 2014 8:00 PM

BY NANCY SPENCER

DHI Media Editor

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DELPHOS — As Northwest Ohio sat under dark clouds and threatening skies, 23 students and adults made their way to the sunny Bahamas Friday for eight days of discovery.

The trip is nothing new for teachers Jeff Rex of Jefferson High School and Jeff Jostpille of Fort Jennings, who have taken dozens of students to Andros Island for a week of snorkeling, geology, marine biology, geography and historical and cultural immersion. Andros Island is approximately the size of Delaware at 104 miles long and 40 feet wide and is home to the world’s largest collection of blue holes.

“While Andros Island is the biggest in the Bahamas, it’s also the most remote and rustic,” Josptille explained. “The kids will experience a change in lifestyle. The things we take for granted and see as necessity are not where we will be. One thing they will notice right away is there is no ice. All drinks are warm. The power is also iffy.”

Students have already completed classroom work for the trip, meeting for an hour two a week.

“We do our homework before we go on these trips. The kids have been learning identification keys for plants, animals and marine life,” Rex said. “The class work and the trip count as a half-credit in Marine Biology for the students but they’ll learn so much more.”

Jostpille agreed.

“As much as this trip is about marine biology, it’s a cultural experience,” he said. “The people they meet are poor by our standards.”

While on the island, the student will see basket weavers, wood carvers and sponge farmers; sleep in cabins and be on the ocean every day, either snorkeling or out on a boat.

The group is also traveling light. The flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will be on a standard-sized airplane but the last leg of the journey is on a small plane with a weight limit of 40 pounds of luggage per person, including backpacks, etc.

Students on the trip from Jefferson include Claire Thompson, Logan Hamilton, Austin Carer and Trey Miller. Fort Jennings students are Kyle Hellman, Chad Wurst, Mark Metzger, Erin Osting, Sarah Hellman, Keri Eickholt, Emily Klir, Alyssa Wiedeman and Lindsey Trentman.

 

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