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Island School Graduates First Bahamian Enviro Steward Scholars
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Posted by:Jul 3rd 2008, 11:29:22 am
Fig Tree News TeamBESS is a work study opportunity that enrolls Bahamian high school graduates in a semester at The Island School and a semester for an internship at a conservation-minded organization. The program is supported by the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, the Lyford Cay Foundation, and The College of The Bahamas.

In fall 2007, Brown and Burnside attended The Island School for a 14-week semester that included rigorous academics, intense research, expeditionary programs, and community-minded living. With the completion of the school component, Brown and Burnside transitioned to The Island School’s research affiliate, the Cape Eleuthera Institute, to focus on research and education in aquaculture. The six months of hands-on experience culminated with a poster presentation of their data, methods, and results.

“I became interested in aquaculture when I began to study problems with the fish stock and the declining fish populations here in The Bahamas,” Burnside explained, “As we continue to support an increasing human population, we need viable options to acquire fish as a food source while not depleting the fish population—aquaculture offers a sound alternative to going out and fishing the seas every day.”

“This aquaculture project has definitely prepared me for the next step—going to college—as I received great first-hand experience performing advanced research,” said Brown about his experience with the BESS program, “Not only did I learn about how to raise fish, I also learned how to write research papers, create a science-specific presentation poster, and improve my public speaking skills.” Burnside also added, “We implemented everything we learned into our research by doing a reading or acquiring information and then immediately putting our knowledge into action. This was an incredibly satisfying experience. You have no idea how much it’s going to change you.”

If you are interested in more information about the BESS program, please contact Michael Edwards at or check out the BESS link on The Island School Web site.


The Island School is a three-month semester leadership program for high school students. Participants have come from over 300 schools to study the tropical marine environment and take place-based courses in math, history, English, and art. The Cape Eleuthera Institute is a marine research facility that works with universities to model sustainable systems and find solutions for resource management. For more information visit and Both programs are supported by the Cape Eleuthera Foundation.

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