2014 field course podcasts

2014 field course podcasts with students posing on a jetty as a background.

Are you unknowingly killing corals?

By Katelyn Adley

Could something as simple as applying sunscreen to ourselves kill corals in tropical locations? Science has proven that the compounds found in sunscreen can cause coral bleaching in tropical locations, which has a huge negative impact on the fish ecosystems as well. Listen to this 3-minute podcast to learn the effect that you may be having on corals, and how you can change this simple habit to prevent coral bleaching.

Music credits: Intro is field recording by Katelyn Adley, and outro is sound from xserra

Cultures of Community: Life Hacks

By Rachael Chong

As the management of Jamaica’s Special Fishery Conservation Areas demonstrates, interpersonal and intergroup conflicts can pose significant barriers to achieving even very well-envisioned initiatives. Strategic ways – “life hacks” – to engage marginalized communities exist, and the Oracabessa Fish Sanctuary seems to have taken hold of these in who they hire as wardens. However, it is important to understand that even these “life hacks” may not be flawless solutions.

Music credits: “Papaloko” by Axial (royalty free music)

Jamaica’s Coral Reefs: In Hot Water?

By Geena Duquette

Jamaica’s reef cornerstone, Staghorn coral, has been devastated by hurricanes, overfishing, tourism activity and pollution. Staghorn is now a critically endangered species and restoration projects in Jamaica are working to bring the species back, but with increasing ocean temperatures, more frequent and stronger storms, and increasing human related impacts, is there really a hope for successful Staghorn coral restoration? Should a different species be used? How can the success of restoration projects be measured?

Music credits: Geena Duquette

The Climate Change Reality

By Melissa Gerrard

On September 8th 1988, Hurricane Gilbert developed from a tropical wave east of Barbados. Making landfall in Jamaica and across the Caribbean, Gilbert wrecked havoc, impacting the economy, community resiliency, and functioning of key ecosystems such as the coral reefs. Increasingly severe and intense storm events are a key symptom of climate change, alongside other manifestations including ocean acidification and sea level rise. Curious about the ramifications that these climatic changes are having socially, ecologically, and economically in coastal Jamaica? Want to know how communities are starting to adapt? Press play on this podcast to dive into the reality of climate change!

Music credits: “Aydio” by Deltitnu

Can local conservation efforts help prevent further decline of sea turtles in Jamaica?

By Sierra Gillies

Green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead. These were four species of sea turtles that regularly nested on Jamaica’s beaches. Now there is only one, the hawksbill. Of the six species of sea turtles that live in the Caribbean Sea all are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. In 2011 the United Nations Environment Programme and the Caribbean Environment Programme developed a Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Jamaica. They identified several main threats to sea turtles at the local level but there can also be local conservation efforts to combat these threats. Currently sea turtles are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act in Jamaica but enforcement is lacking. Individuals are taking personal action to help sea turtles along some of Jamaica’s beaches and are showing great success in protecting these animals.

Music credits: Field recordings by Sierra Gillies

Restoring the Reef in Jamaica

By Jessica Marina

This podcast provides a brief introduction to the importance of the coral reef ecosystem, highlighting some of its vital functions as well as some factors that are negatively impacting the reef system, particularly in Jamaica. Given the importance of the sea for the livelihoods of the Jamaican population, this podcast discusses various coral restoration projects that are currently underway in order to alleviate the stresses imposed on the reef. Personal observations and field work followed by an analysis related to the effectiveness of these projects is presented.

Music credits: Major Lazor feat. Amber Coffman

Building Ecological Armor: Artificial Breakwaters and Coral Restoration in Jamaica

By Mary McConnell

Breakwaters are a solution that is under great consideration in Jamaica due to the two major economic industries (fisheries and tourism) that are at risk from coral reef deterioration and beach erosion. With the decline in reef health and the slow natural regeneration of coral, increasingly there is nothing to reduce wave power before hitting the shoreline. This makes beaches more vulnerable to erosion and reducing beach size all over the island. Coral restoration on Breakwaters can serve as a solution to these problems.

Music credits: Field recordings by Mary McConnell

Depletion of Coral Reefs Affecting Jamaica’s Fishing Industry

By Jordan Minos

As the coral reefs become more depleted each year, fish abundance decreases as well. This creates a problem for the fishermen of Jamaica who rely solely on their catch for income. With a decrease in fish, the fishermen have to adapt, usually resulting in them finding another job. Fortunately, the fishing community has come together to form organizations to bring the coral reefs back through the establishment of fish sanctuaries. Although this may take many years to bring the fish back, it is possible and the Jamaican people still have their pride and hope in the sea.

Music credit (intro/outro): The Dolphin Therapy – Sounds of Dolphins (performed by Nederica Stepan)

An Unexpected Link: Jamaican Coastal-Marine Systems and Bauxite Mining

By Curtis Mosier

When most people think of Jamaica they picture scenic coastlines, marine life, and brilliant blue waters. Very few of us picture excavators, mining, rust red soil, and cargo ships. Bauxite mining has had a major presence in Jamaica for the past 70 years, and the fishing industry an even longer one. Find out how Jamaica’s coastal systems and mining operations have an unexpected link.

Music credits: Michael Fesser

Eat it to Beat it: A Novel Approach to Managing Marine Invasives in Jamaica

By Brandon Szalony

First spotted off the coast of South Florida in 1995, the Lionfish invasion has spread rapidly throughout the entire Caribbean, with severe effects to the coastal marine ecology of the region. “Eat it to Beat it” is a campaign by the government of Jamaica that has been well received by the countries citizens, which attempts to manage Lionfish locally through education and marketing the fish as a source of income for fishermen and food for the public.

Music credit (intro/outro): Patient Love by Mike Rosenberg (performed by Passenger)