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Biology Immersion Trip to Belize #3

2023 Biology Immersion Trip to Belize, Gallery 3, March 8-9


a group of people swimming under water

Wednesday featured a snorkeling visit to a location know as 'The Aquarium.' Photo of these soft corals by Justin To '23.

a group of fish swimming in a coral reef

For obvious reasons, it got its name because it's a location where you are likely to see plenty of undersea activity, like these French Grunts. Photo by Justin To '23.

a coral reef with plants and fish

The variety of organisms is breathtaking, especially the Sea Plume Coral (center). Photo by Justin To '23.

a group of people swimming under water

Students look over some of The Aquarium's features. Sea Fans and Boulder Coral are among the species featured here. Photo by Justin To '23.

a group of fish swimming around a coral

Yellowfin Grunts seem to love this Staghorn Coral. Photo by Justin To '23.

coral plants and corals in the water

Smooth Star (left), Brain (center rear) and Sea Plume (front) Coral is featured here. Photo by Justin To '23.

a coral reef with fish and plants

What's visible on the sea bed is pretty impressive. Here, an Angelfish (bottom center) inspects the Brown Encrusting Octopus Sponge (right). Photo by Justin To '23.

a coral reef with fish and corals

This Great Star Coral sits in about 20 feet of water at The Aquarium. Photo by Justin To '23.

a group of people swimming under water

Wedenesday afternoon, students had the option to return to the patch reef or tidal pools to continue research for their trip presentations. Dr. Wetzel led the group back to the reef and took this photo.

a coral in the ocean

Brain (right) and Fire Coral. Photo by Eric Wetzel

a school of fish swimming in the water

Even though this immersion trip is focused on invertebrates, it's tough in this environment to escape the presence of fish. Photo by Eric Wetzel

people swimming in the water

Thursday morning, the group snorkeled among the Mangroves in Twin Caye. There are four types of Mangrove: Red, Black, White, and Buttonwood.

a tree roots in a swamp

As the students entered the Mangroves, our guide, Noble, said, 'Above and below there is life. The cool stuff is in the roots.'

a coral reef with fish and plants

Feather Duster worms, like this one, were prevalent.

coral reef with corals and rocks

With sponges like this, plenty of water filtration occurs in the Mangrove root structure.

fish swimming under water

Moving slowly, not to stir the sediment, there is much to see just below the water line.

a fish under the water

Many reef fish grow and develop in the Mangroves before heading to open water.

a coral reef under water

Often, sponges provide a burst of color, like this Green Magic Sponge.

a boat on the water

Twin Caye is a short boat ride from the IZE Belize Research Facility.

a person swimming under water

Before heading back to IZE Belize, the group stopped for more snorkeling at a location known as 'The Sinkhole.' Here Takashi Greiner '24 dives toward the fissure.

a person swimming underwater with fins

The Sinkhole is a relatively new formation, possibly formed due to earthquakes in the region.

a person waving to a group of people swimming in the ocean

Tour guide Noble watches as the students swim toward the boat.

a man wearing snorkeling gear and goggles on a boat

Justin To climbs aboard.

a group of people sitting on a beach

Prior to lunch, students and Dr. Wetzel gather at IZE Belize for a casual conversation and a review of the morning activities.