Happy New Year’s! It’s already 2019, as we celebrated Roatan Midnight!

It’s 8:29 and we are barely awake as we write this field blog. We learned that previous school groups identified 8 PM as Roatan midnight. So, we have done the same and celebrated New Year’s already! Before we slumber and prepare for tomorrow, we will recap our day.
We started our day with a beautiful sunrise! We began our observations at Bailey’s Key at 6:16 AM and saw the orange sunrise that highlighted Dr. K, before Kathleen got into the water for data collection (see photo below). Champ and Lenca were feisty and we also saw a bit more of Ronnie and French near to our observation areas.
After breakfast, we returned to the RIMS classroom to watch the video collected yesterday morning followed by a dive response lecture. While Kathleen set up her video and laptop, we got 5 minutes of culture when we visited the Roatan museum.
During the lecture, we were introduced to the topic that we’ll have to focus on for our own research projects. Dr. K introduced the topic with a juxtaposition of the following two approaches: behavior dictates physiology vs physiology dictates behavior. We had a lively debate during which we learned it is ok to fail if we learn from our experiences and move forward with knowledge.
Today was also our visit to Maya Key where we visited a replica of the Copan Mayan ruin and also spent time watching animals that were rescued exotics and have found a new home on Maya Key. We also bonded over numerous no-see-um bites as we walked around the island!
After lunch, we returned to AKR and had an afternoon informal discussion about collecting data before, during and after Kathleen collects data in the mornings. We learned about the new data sheets and also asked more questions about what we will be required to do for our own research projects and papers at the end of the week.
Dinner was a new year buffet that presented delicious food for the new year celebration; we got to meet the chef and thank him personally for his effort on our (and the rest of the resort guests) behalf. Thank you very much to Ron for treating us all to virgin piña coladas and daiquiris to celebrate the new year! Just before writing this report, we watched the video from this morning and welcomed AKR staff and a few other guests to watch or video and listen and chat.
Tomorrow will come sooner than we expect but we look forward to another great day of data collection and learning.
the CSU RAMS in Roatan 2019 group!

Shane 31Dec