Students snorkel, study marine biology in Tahiti

By Morganne Ramsey

Over the course of two weeks, students studied marine biology hands on during visits to Tahiti, Moorea and Rangiroa. Among activities were scuba diving and immersion into the culture of the French Polynesian islands.

To learn about Tahitian culture, students took Tahitian dance lessons, attended a feast where they helped prepare traditional Tahitian dishes like mahi mahi and poisson cru and visited an ancient temple. Much of the trip was spent in the ocean observing different marine species. Lizette Medina ’14 said students snorkeled multiple times with eels, stingrays and sharks, and even boated in a sea of dolphins.

In one instance, students swam with black-tipped reef sharks during their feeding hour.

“I saw shark frenzy,” Medina said.

Students also visited UC Berkeley’s field station, the Gump Station, in Moorea. In Rangiroa, students went farming for black pearls. Two students flew home early due to illness.