The next few weeks will feature blog posts written by our students who spent their Spring Break doing research on the islands of Curacao and St. Lucia.
My name is Stephanie Hibberts. I am a senior geology major at Clemson University. As part of a Creative
Inquiry, I was able to spend Spring Break on the amazing island of Curacao.
Our first day in Curacao was a good one. We got to do a bit of geology right on the side of the road and
explore some old coral reefs. Right from our first stop we got images of coral heads beautifully preserved
While in Curacao we were able to explore the desert island, and let me emphasize the desert, but also
the ocean. One morning we got up early and hopped on a boat. Within two hours we were on the island
of Klein Curacao, after a short visit by some dolphins.
Our first part of the morning was spent exploring the place, setting out to a shipwreck on the northern
shore. On the way we were able to image an old lighthouse. This place was awesome, and the cloudy
sky made for some spectacular shots.
Finally we made our way to the wreck, but not before we were able to learn about the erosion evident
on the island, from the large coral boulders left behind as the smaller sediment was blown away in the
strong winds. This also made the northern shore full of high energy waves crashing on a reef flat, where
the ship lay.
After sampling sand around the boat, we were able to grab lunch and hit the water for some snorkeling
time. The water was crystal clear and the fish were not scared of all the people swimming, but the
highlight of the snorkel was a visit by two turtles.
Not long after that our time on Klein Curacao wrapped up and we headed back to the mainland. The rest
of our time there did not disappoint. We were able to not only put more together with the geology of
the island, but also collect multiple cores for studying potential storm deposits.
This means some of our time was spent in the lab, logging and sampling the cores. Towards the end of
the trip we were in late one night, but got a surprise visit from a crab INSIDE the core. He was not happy
he had been trapped in the core for a couple days, but he got a nice new home on the beach. Which is
more than we could say as we went back to the winter in Clemson.