Feedback about the experience from Prof. Veronica Ponce: I returned late last night from a truly incredible week in the Bahamas. The trip exceeded by far my expectations. Words actually cannot describe our adventure. It was a success on all levels: the students not only learned so much more about the environment than they would have in a class setting, but also developed strong bonds with each other (and myself) and grew as persons in ways I could not have foreseen. We saw ecosystem relations “live” during the numerous snorkeling outings we did, saw dolphins in the ocean, learnt about a variety of marine species, participated in dishwashing and sailing rigging chores on the boat, and shared some truly wonderful moments. All of the students transcended their own limits and fears in numerous ways. Several of the passengers on the boat (friends and staff of Ecomaris) participated in class discussions in a very enriching way. The whole experience was truly moving. This past week was the most intense and rewarding I have ever experienced as a teacher in 15 years of teaching.
Sure, you can take a course on the environment and sit in class and learn theory. Or you can actually apply theory not just in a real-world context but on a sail boat that accommodates 25 people!
“Water and Environmental Ethics: The Boat Course” is a new offering at Marianopolis and an innovative way to learn about various environmental issues facing our planet’s water. After studying at the College for seven weeks, students spend an intensive week on a boat in the Bahamas. They conduct scientific research on ocean health, explore ethical theories and learn basic navigation skills. They will be deciding where they will be sailing to on a daily basis (which is way, cool!). The group will be landing on different islands – and the islands in question are not populated by humans. They will thus take in natural scenery, but not cultural elements.
“The Boat Course” is just one of many cool and creative classes at Marianopolis. This Humanities course is open to second year students in most programs.