Gearing Up!

Catesby and his father during the meeting.

Dr. Rena Koesler, Longwood University

Getting Terrence over the poison vine!

Falling……. Fall on!!

Mr. Newcombe and Mrs. Trovato, Fuqua School

John, Woody, Terrence, Josh, Rena, and Amy

We are getting geared up for the 2005 Sistema Camilo expedition to Akumal, Mexico. For the fifth year in a row, the Cambrian Foundation will be surveying, mapping, and collecting hydrogeological data in this submerged cave system 60 miles south of Cancun. With rapid urbanization along the Riviera Maya and the absence of surface waters in this region, groundwater is an extremely important resource to the people of Akumal. Helping them to understand patterns and pathways of groundwater flow are not only important in finding clean drinking water, it is necessary for ensuring their survival.

This is the second year that students from the Fuqua School in Farmville, Virginia, will be joining us as part of our international research team. This year also marks the fourth time that Fuqua students have participated on Cambrian Foundation expeditions, and we are excited and fortunate to have such a successful partnership with Fuqua School.

In an effort to share with the Fuqua School student body, faculty, and staff, Terrence and Amy spent Friday, February 11, 2005, presenting two programs – one for the 4th-8th grade students and the other for the high school students. The students learned about the importance of water conservation, the history of the Cambrian Foundation, hands-on applications of environmental science, technical research diving, and neat and interesting career opportunities in the study of our planet’s water systems.

On Sunday, February 13, 2005, we met with Team Fuqua and their parents to gear up for the Akumal 2005 expedition! This year’s team members include: Bethany Barton, Breanne Bryant, KO Donkor, Taryn Eggleston, Jessica Langlois, Hope Morton, Cara Robertson, Catesby Saunders, Mr. Shane Newcombe, and Ms. Stephanie Trovato. We were also joined by Fuqua School graduates and Cambrian Foundation veterans John Boswell, Woody Dunkum, and Josh Owen (recipient of the 2004 Legare R. Hole, III, Memorial Scholarship), who will be joining us as Cambrian Foundation team members on this year’s expedition. After a brief meeting, we headed for the Longwood University Ropes Course to meet Dr. Rena Koesler for some teambuilding, group dynamics, and problem-solving exercises.

Our adventure began with some creative introductions and ice breakers, followed shortly thereafter by mini-trust falls – where we learned to trust and count on each other – and then it was time for our first problem. Dr. Koesler challenged us with many different scenarios including a sinking ship, a poisonous vine, a trip-wire course, and various other simulations that required teamwork and critical thinking. The ropes course ended with the team members participating in trust falls from a tree stand. All of these skills will soon be put to use with the challenges awaiting us in Mexico!

Thank you to Dr. Koesler and the Longwood University Recreation Department. This is going to be an exciting adventure for all!

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