Rosalie Bay Resort recently hosted students from the Principia College in Illinois while on their trip to the Nature Island to study biology and conservation.
Students Visit Rosalie Bay
The study abroad trip was arranged by biology professors Dr. Scott A. Eckert and Dr. Chrissy McAllister. Dr. Eckert and his wife Dr. Karen Eckert are, respectively, Director of Science and Executive Director of WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network).
Dr. Scott and Dr. Karen Eckert initially helped resort owner Beverly Deikel develop Dominica’s first sea turtle conservation program at our eco-boutique resort.
The students spent a day at Rosalie Bay and met with the founders of the island’s first conservation initiative, resort owners Beverly and Oscar. They received an overview of Dominica’s tourism industry, resort activities and environmental efforts and, of course, our turtle conservation program.
The students also learned about Dominica’s economic and social context, because it is through this framework that biological conservation is most successful.
Part of the students’ on-island research efforts included data collection from lizards in various areas of Dominica. After learning about the sea turtles that nest and hatch at Rosalie Bay, students spent the afternoon studying the Dominican Anole (Anolis oculatus) lizards.
According to Dr. Scott Eckert, “While Anoles are common throughout the Caribbean, this species is found only in Dominica, meaning that it is endemic. There is another recently introduced species called the Puerto Rican Crested Anole (Anolis cristatellus cristatellus), which has rapidly begun to colonize the island, predominately on the west coast, although one was captured at Rosalie Bay.”
The students hypothesized that lizards would have different traits depending on their environment, and their goal was to find correlations showing that lizards adapt to their surroundings.