2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM

Bermuda; An International Venue for Undergraduate Geological Research

RUEGER, Bruce F., Department of Geology, Colby College, 5806 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME 04901-8858, bfrueger@colby.edu

For 40 years, Bermuda has served admirably as a site for international research opportunities for undergraduate geology students at Colby College. During this interval, students have been directly involved in varied opportunities on Bermuda including Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), semester-long, multi-course experiences, intensive January term courses and summer field sessions. Analyses of geologic problems on Bermuda have produced results at many levels. These include theses and projects performed as part of specific courses, the most recent of which was a group effort that led to the initial development of a field guide to some of Bermuda's National Parks. Results from most of these projects have led to presentations at national (Bermuda and the US), regional and state geologic conferences.

The base of operations for these investigations has been the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and/or the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ), both excellent facilities with professional staffs. Research on Bermuda has also included collaboration with scientists and personnel at BIOS, BAMZ, the Bermuda Ministry of Environment, the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) and the Geological Survey of Canada. All have put undergraduate students in direct contact with scientists performing cutting edge research in geology, marine geoscience and geochemistry, Quaternary paleoecology and global climatic change. Examples of specific projects include investigations of the fire history of Bermuda as recorded in peat sediments, atmospheric fallout of Saharan dust on the island, carbonate contributions to Bermuda via Sargassum, carbonate producing organisms, determining the composition of constituents in the limestone bedrock and pairing Colby undergraduates with Bermudan secondary school students to enhance geoscience education. Government and private organizations on Bermuda have been extremely forthcoming in their support by supplying resources, personnel and equipment for these varied research projects on the island and surrounding ocean.