Akumal, Mexico (Summer 2007)

I studied and worked in Akumal, Mexico in the Mayan Riviera during the summer of my junior year of college. This was a research-driven program, focusing on the influence of nutrients on nearshore seagrass communities. The work schedule was similar to that of Lizard Island, Australia, only the data collection and analysis was much more rigorous. The work, however, was quite enjoyable, and it was not uncommon to find myself surrounded by sea turtles, while in the midst of a sampling run. When not working, I took full advantage of the pristine parts of the coastline, where jungle meets the sea and did quite a bit of leisure snorkeling to investigate some of the more cryptic residents of the seagrass beds. This area’s beauty is unfortunately contingent on man’s intervention–the more the coastline is exploited, the less likely this area will remain a haven for unique and valuable creatures of the sea and the scientists who love them.

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