The Daily Herald writes that from January 2 until January 17, eleven students of Samford University in Alabama (USA) are staying on Saba to conduct the Saba Eco Immersion Programme. This project-based adventure programme is to enhance diver awareness of the underwater world. The goal is to spend less time in the classroom, and instead study in practical group-based discovering and learning sessions.
The students were accommodated at Cottage Club during their first week on Saba, and are currently staying at Juliana’s Hotel, both located in Windwardside.
Jennifer Rahn is a geography professor at Samford and has once again taken the students under her wing. Rahn’s research area is broadly called coastal geomorphology. This includes beach erosion, shoreline changes and coral reef spatial analysis. She has extensive experience in the Caribbean, hav- ing visited 13 islands, both above and below water and she has lived on Saba for several years.
The students, ranging from 19 until 23 years of age, will get their Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water diving certificate, including Nitrox certification. They will also go on plenty of hikes and do research in several fields. This year’s programme includes research on landslides, beach erosion and lionfish invasion, and the team will also conduct a fish-count survey. So far, the students have completed their open- water dive training, and are conducting research in all three areas. The programme is presented by Sea Saba, which is among a very select group of dive centres, showing its commitment to education and conservation. Over the years, Sea Saba has customized the Saba Eco Immersion programme, and received PADI Distinctive Specialty approval.