Jacqui Silva – WWU EdAbroad Video Contest – Winner 2017
This video is a short documentation of our time in the Tropical Marine Biological Research class, which took place in La Paz, Mexico. For one month over the summer, we traveled around the Baja California Peninsula along-side students from a local university and learned about ocean processes, native organisms, and the relationships between them and the environment. We snorkeled mass amounts of coastlines, scaled hilltops, and combed beaches, taking copious amounts of notes and observations along the way. Aside from learning about scientific field techniques, we built relationships among our cohorts and instructors and learned what it took to be a team member in a scientific research setting. In our free time, we were able to explore the city with our new international friends and immerse ourselves in the Mexican culture and cuisine. This was my first experience in a tropical water setting and it was exciting to see the similarities and differences compared to the Puget Sound ecosystem. I can’t speak for my classmates, but this educational endeavor was among the best that I have had so far, allowing me to make professional connections and some life-long friendships. I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this class with the amazing students and instructors of WWU.
Although our study abroad trip was only one week, this was an incredible experience. A special thanks to Gigi Beraldi, our professor on this trip, who arranged a beautiful and educational experience for all of us. As my first time out of the country, this experience really opened my eyes to the culture that many of my friends are from. I absolutely fell in love with the desert, the pyramids, the churches, the handmade tortillas, the language, and of course, the culture. We biked dirt trails, hiked botanical gardens, explored the city, and ate more food than we could handle…and we loved every second of it. Thank you Gigi and Western Washington University and everyone else that made this trip possible – it was unforgettable.