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Cape Eleuthera Institute

First-Ever Bahamian Lionfish Jewelry Making and Awareness Workshop a Huge Success

The lionfish, an invasive predator from the Indo Pacific currently wreaking havoc on Caribbean and South American coral reef fish populations, was first introduced to the region through the exotic aquarium trade.  These beautiful carnivorous fish have characteristic orange and red stripes, spotted and striped pelvic and caudal fins, and flamboyantly colored wide-spreading pectoral fins, which they use to corral prey.  These fins, though possibly to blame as the instigators of the devastating invasion, are now offering a new way to help control the rampant spread of the predatory fish. IMG_1758

Last week, in collaboration with CEI, the Eleuthera Arts and Cultural Center hosted a Lionfish Jewelry Making and Awareness Workshop, the first of its kind in The Bahamas. Local artists Shorlette Francis and Sterline Morley joined the Arts and Cultural Center’s Audrey Carey and CEI’s Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick of the Lionfish Research and Education Program to put on the event.  The collected attendees, a mix of professional artists, handicraft enthusiasts, and interested community members, learned about the arrival of the fish in the Caribbean in the mid-1980’s and its subsequent spread.  After sampling fried lionfish and perusing lionfish crafts and jewelry by local artists for inspiration and construction techniques, the group tried their hand at creating wearable pieces from the fish’s unique fins.

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Participants rolled up their sleeves and got creative, making beautiful necklace and earring pieces.  Fins were varnished in their natural state or painted for more varied coloration; they could be trimmed, layered, or beaded.  Enthusiasm about the finished products and the versatility of lionfish fins as a material led to many questions about where to get more of them, and will hopefully work to increase local demand for the fishing of these problematic fish.  Be on the lookout for more jewelry workshops around Eleuthera, and for beautiful lionfish pieces to purchase. Do your part against the invasion by eating and wearing lionfish!

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Island School Students Invade CEI

For the Island School summer term, six students had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick researching invasive lionfish. In one day, the students became professionals at cast netting, dissecting lionfish, conducting behavior observations, and data analysis. They dissected fourteen lionfish, with body fat ranging from% 0.58- %2.1 and the discovered of various prey items in the stomach including crabs, grunts, and blue headed wrasse. Shockingly, there were twelve fish in one stomach; proving the voracious eating habits of the lionfish. The students are now knowledgeable invasive lionfish researchers. Of course, the students love to eat lionfish and recommend everyone do their part to stop the invasion by eating them.

Students help conduct lab observational experiments.

The Island School is on Google Maps Street View!

The Island School is excited to announce the launch of Island School Street View!  You can now take virtual tours of The Island School, Cape Eleuthera Insitute, and Center for Sustainable Design campuses, as well as iconic locations around the Cape as if you were there!   To move througout the tours, pan around the "photosphere" and click on the hovering arrows or circles located on the screen.

The Island School Campus Tour has six locations throughout the tour: The Flag Circle, Entrance, Boathouse, Dining Hall, Boy's Dorm, & Boy's Dorm Beach.
Cape Eleuthera Institute has four locations: CEI Entrance, The Wetlab, CEI Walkway, & Hallig House.
The rest (DCSM, The Sand Bar, The Offshore Aquculture Cage, Cathedral Rock, Scuba Class on the Cobia, and Weirda Bridge) can be found on main Island School profile page on Google Maps.

Click to see what it's like to dive The Cage!

Gap Year Fall 2013 Graduation

Team Gap Year, Fall 2013The idea of a Gap Year is to take a step back to view the big picture. To take a step back to look at where you’ve come from, where you’ve gone and see where you’d like to go. To take a step back so you can take the right steps forward. The program here came to an end last week, culminating in the students Demonstration of Learning and Graduation ceremony. Over the past nine weeks Eryn, Ryan and Jordan have made profound change in their own lives and of those surrounding them.

Diving with the Lionfish team for the last timeAll of the things that were accomplished by these amazing individuals are difficult to quantify with words, however a list of all the things we delved into over the program might suffice:

  • Taking marine ecology classes
  • Teaching an environmental issue class of their own
  • Taking a human ecology class
  • Community service projects
  • Down Island camping trip, experiencing a sense of place on Eleuthera
  • Community outreach at the Deep Creek Middle School
  • Conducting the Fall 2013 shallow water conch surveys
  • Adventuring on 5 day Kayak expedition
  • Being part of a research team as an intern for three weeks
  • Getting both Open Water and Advanced Scuba certified
  • Presenting their learning to the wider community

Ryan presenting Jordan with his dipolmaThey have each proved themselves in both a personal and professional setting, being part of the community family and involved with the research facility. During the student’s demonstration of learning it was clear how much they are taking from the program. The diverse learnings of each student are a testament to each of their personal challenges and growth.

We would like to wish the Gap Year Team of Fall 2013 all the luck in the world as they move onto other endeavors and experiences, we hope you take what you learned here and build upon it. You are the game changers.

If you're interested in joining the Gap Year Team of Spring 2014 or learning more about the Gap Year program in general, you can find out more on our website; http://www.ceibahamas.org/gap-year.aspx.