Too bad the class had to come to an end. The experience I gained was incredible. The experience we all gained was unforgettable. I'll have to say though, the last two weeks of class did everyone in. Not in a bad way but it just exhausted us! I would say in a great way. Learning about the history of beaches around the area made me change my view on how we treat beaches. Seeing where Ponce De Leon first landed ship in what he ended up calling Florida was phenomenal. Being able to see what he may have seen when he landed made you think about the history of the area. Hopefully the Guana lake and river reserve stays put for a long time. Humans may end up ruining what Ponce De Leon once came across.
The 24 hour research day was awesome. Other than the lack of sleep, it was awesome to see the changes in water quality and species abundance throughout the day and night. Our class was even featured in the FIO videos on their Facebook!
Kelly Smith did an amazing job this week keeping us all involved along with not letting anyone lag behind. I'm glad we didn't end the last week on a lackadaisical note and ended it strong with the 24 hour study and a day of driving and walking to learn about the beaches. Protecting the natural aspect of the beaches is extremely important. I wish I could stress that subject on the world.
Overall, this class was the best experience I've ever had throughout college. I learned much more than I ever have throughout my almost four years of school. To be honest, I would do it again next summer. So many great things came out of this class and so many great people along with it. I am beyond happy I was able to spend it with the group I could spend it with. Our grad assistant Corey was awesome and the other 14 people were great too. I hopefully made some life-long friends in these 5 weeks. I now feel like I have gained much more experience than a lot of people in this major and I cannot wait to show my newly gained knowledge. Thank you FIO for imprinting an amazing time into my mind. I'll keep this with me forever!