It has only been day 3, yet us nauts have finished a ton of science! Every day we learn something new, something exciting, and something “unbelizeable” that will last us forever. For instance, last night we were blessed with a clear sky (one without rain) and were able to look up…up into a night sky like no other. Above our heads we could see a deep, black blanket with thousands of clustering stars twinkling down at us. Thanks to Carlie and her i-pad, we were able to locate the Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), the Polaris (the North Star), and other constellations, such as Virgo. Our nights are just as interesting as our days.
Today, we were given the challenge to learn about the Glover’s Reef marine reserve and what exactly made it up. To start things off, a reserve is a given area protected by a government where nature can do what it does best, unharmed with little human interaction. Glover’s Reef has been maintained by the Wildlife Conservation Society for three decades by a group of very hardworking people. In order to protect the reefs in the reserve, people are not allowed to fish unless they have a permit and poaching is out of the question. Although tourists can visit the research station here in Belize, there are certain areas that are restricted. With good reason too, because according to a staff member here, a major reason for this station was to help restore Nassau Grouper in the vicinity. A few of us have already fleetingly seen some and that’s the way we’d like to keep it. Who knows what we will be able to see tomorrow?