Welcome to the class web page for UNIV 392. In summer 2015 we are striking out for the Cook Islands to experience the local culture and environment of the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
View our class blog at cooks.piratelab.org
We’ll have three days on the island of Rarotonga to participate in the Cook Islands Constitution celebrations, including two nights at the Te Maeva Nui cultural singing and dancing competitions. We’ll have the opportunity to meet with local scientists, policy makers and local environmental groups and we will test out our snorkeling skills on a tour of the lagoon.
The rest of our trip will be spent on the almost-atoll of Aitutaki, where we will be dividing into teams to survey land use and vegetation, sandy beaches, lagoon ecosystems and coral reefs. In addition we will be mapping the islands and coastal systems.
CSUCI students will be surveying coral reefs, lagoon habitats and sandy beaches on Aitutaki. We will use band transects to study reef and lagoon invertebrates and fishes, and we will use our standard sandy beach protocol to assess beach health and sand grain size. We will also assess macro- and micro-plastics on Aitutaki’s beaches.