No Walk on the Beach Students to Get Marine Biology Lesson in the Bahamas

By Susnjara, Bob | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 18, 2000 | Go to article overview

No Walk on the Beach Students to Get Marine Biology Lesson in the Bahamas


Susnjara, Bob, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Marine biology is not easily studied firsthand in Illinois, so Warren Township High School administrator Bill Chapin has a simple solution for interested students.

Chapin is planning a third consecutive "eco-adventure" excursion next summer to the Bahamas in which a maximum of 10 Warren students will have an opportunity to explore ocean caves, shell collecting and marine life, ranging from jellyfish to sharks.

"There certainly is an environmental goal on my part," said Chapin, who is Warren's director of educational technologies.

"I have a deep interest in environmental issues and love for the earth and environment," he said.

Students won't be enjoying four-star resort living when they go on the trip. They'll be staying in open-air, screened cabins on the small Bahamian island of Eleuthera, where fast food and other comforts are nonexistent.

Instead of a strict diet of traditional American fare, the urban teens will find themselves eating conch fritters, beans, rice and other foods native to the Bahamas. All food, except for the fish caught in the sea, must be flown to the island.

Before the teenagers can go snorkeling to study marine life, biologists will conduct a classroom session of sorts to show them what jellyfish, sharks and other species look like. Chapin said he observed a baby shark and a harmless nurse shark on last year's excursion.

In addition, the teens will be briefed on sponges and corals before they take the plunge.

When they are finished with their daily dives, the students are expected to record their observations in a written log. They also must write a journal describing underwater conditions, such as visibility.

Students who successfully complete the trip receive credit hours through Warren's summer school program. …

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