2015 Spanish Virgin Islands

The Project

The Spanish Virgin Islands are a group of 23 islands and cays located in the center of the Caribbean Sea. They were restricted to visitors for decades and have only recently been opened back up to tourism. With very little information available on this beautiful archipelago, it was the purpose of the 2015 research group to explore and conduct research on the islands in order to publish a regional guide. Research topics included geography, the natural sciences, cultural history, GIS, marine life, political science, and economics. Two teams of researchers made up of students from universities across the US were organized throughout the winter of 2015 and during the June of that year two field expeditions were lead to conduct the research. 


Meet the Researchers

  Ella DiPetto:  Ella attends Virginia Polytechnic and State University with a major in Wildlife Conservation. She enjoys diving and visiting the ocean. 

Ella DiPetto: Ella attends Virginia Polytechnic and State University with a major in Wildlife Conservation. She enjoys diving and visiting the ocean. 

  Liz Moraites:  Liz is from Park Ridge, New Jersey and is pursuing a Bachelor's in Anthropology at Montclair State University. In her free time. In her free time Liz enjoys painting, poetry, hiking, and live music performances. Liz is eager to explore more nature through adventurous expeditions! 

Liz Moraites: Liz is from Park Ridge, New Jersey and is pursuing a Bachelor's in Anthropology at Montclair State University. In her free time. In her free time Liz enjoys painting, poetry, hiking, and live music performances. Liz is eager to explore more nature through adventurous expeditions! 

  Patrick Greaney:  Patrick Greaney is from Upstate New York in a small town called Hornell. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He also is on the Men’s Varsity Swim Team. This is the first time that he has done a research trip and hopes to do more in the future.

Patrick Greaney: Patrick Greaney is from Upstate New York in a small town called Hornell. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He also is on the Men’s Varsity Swim Team. This is the first time that he has done a research trip and hopes to do more in the future.

  Lydia Stebbins:  Lydia was born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing degrees in French and Anthropology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. After college she plans to attend graduate school with the hopes of one day becoming a translator or interpreter. She loves traveling and exploring different places and cultures.

Lydia Stebbins: Lydia was born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing degrees in French and Anthropology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. After college she plans to attend graduate school with the hopes of one day becoming a translator or interpreter. She loves traveling and exploring different places and cultures.

  Weston Birkeland:  Weston is pursuing a B.S. at Montana State University-Bozeman. He loves doing anything that will get him outdoors such as kayaking, backpacking, camping, and fishing. Weston also enjoys immersing himself in other cultures and participates in mission trips when possible.

Weston Birkeland: Weston is pursuing a B.S. at Montana State University-Bozeman. He loves doing anything that will get him outdoors such as kayaking, backpacking, camping, and fishing. Weston also enjoys immersing himself in other cultures and participates in mission trips when possible.

  Andrew Fullerton:  Andy Fullerton is from Tampa, Florida and is a Biology major and Environmental Science minor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Andy has spent time snorkeling in places such as Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Galapagos islands, and the Florida Keys and was very excited to add the Spanish Virgin Islands to that list. 

Andrew Fullerton: Andy Fullerton is from Tampa, Florida and is a Biology major and Environmental Science minor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Andy has spent time snorkeling in places such as Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Galapagos islands, and the Florida Keys and was very excited to add the Spanish Virgin Islands to that list. 

  Caroline Myers:  Caroline is attending pre-veterinary program in NY. In her free time she enjoys playing volleyball and working at an equine facility. 

Caroline Myers: Caroline is attending pre-veterinary program in NY. In her free time she enjoys playing volleyball and working at an equine facility. 

  Shana Rock:  Shana is from Culpeper, Virginia. She is currently attending George Mason University and pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecological Sciences. She enjoys being outdoors, hiking, and playing soccer.

Shana Rock: Shana is from Culpeper, Virginia. She is currently attending George Mason University and pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecological Sciences. She enjoys being outdoors, hiking, and playing soccer.

  Mitch Klee:  Mitch Klee is from Chaska, Minnesota and is persuing a B.A. in Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. In his free time he likes to cook, fish, ski, wake board and research the ever changing curve of modern technology and computing. His ultimate goal is to live next to the ocean and continue to enjoy the opportunities of life.

Mitch Klee: Mitch Klee is from Chaska, Minnesota and is persuing a B.A. in Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. In his free time he likes to cook, fish, ski, wake board and research the ever changing curve of modern technology and computing. His ultimate goal is to live next to the ocean and continue to enjoy the opportunities of life.

  Jennifer Ye  is currently pursuing a degree in economics at Penn State University. She also enjoyed volunteering at the boys and girls club in Philadelphia.

Jennifer Ye is currently pursuing a degree in economics at Penn State University. She also enjoyed volunteering at the boys and girls club in Philadelphia.

  Angela LaCroix  is currently pursuing a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology with a minor in American Sign Language and Deaf studies at the University of North Dakota. She loves to be outdoors! Hiking is one of her favorite things to do as well as traveling to places she's never been.

Angela LaCroix is currently pursuing a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology with a minor in American Sign Language and Deaf studies at the University of North Dakota. She loves to be outdoors! Hiking is one of her favorite things to do as well as traveling to places she's never been.

  Kali Vander Maten:   Kali Vander Maten attends the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She is a member of the University of Minnesota Community Engagement Scholars Program, as well as section leader for the College of Liberal Arts First Year Programs. A fun fact about Kali is she likes to think of herself as a conesuier of ice cream.

Kali Vander Maten:  Kali Vander Maten attends the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She is a member of the University of Minnesota Community Engagement Scholars Program, as well as section leader for the College of Liberal Arts First Year Programs. A fun fact about Kali is she likes to think of herself as a conesuier of ice cream.

  Sasha Miller:  Sasha Miller hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, with an endless passion for worldly cultures, travel, and music.  She is currently earning her degree in Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  When she isn't djing for her local radio station, Sasha spends all her time traveling, trail-running, and adding to her vinyl and book collections.  These were the first ocean waters that Sasha has ever sailed and she wouldn't mind getting salty again.

Sasha Miller: Sasha Miller hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, with an endless passion for worldly cultures, travel, and music.  She is currently earning her degree in Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  When she isn't djing for her local radio station, Sasha spends all her time traveling, trail-running, and adding to her vinyl and book collections.  These were the first ocean waters that Sasha has ever sailed and she wouldn't mind getting salty again.


Expedition Leaders

Jen Herdina: Jen works as an Instructor for a Univeristy in Minnesota as well as an Expedition Leader and academic director with Global Treks and Adventures. Jen loves getting out hiking with her Siberian Husky every chance she can get. 

 

Kyle Herdina: Kyle works as the Program Director and Expedition Leader for Global Treks and Adventures. In his free time he loves anything that will get him out on the water such as sailing, swimming, water skiing and kayaking. 


Expedition Pictures