Photo Gallery

San Salvador Island
Student Activities
Creatures and Habitats on the Island (Terrestrial)
Creatures and Habitats Around the Island (Marine)

San Salvador Island
San Salvador International Airport and Riding Rock Point from the air, with a nice view of a beach and the coastal waters with patch reefs (dark areas). The steep "wall" on the western side of the island is visible as a line where the ocean color changes from light to dark blue in the upper half of the picture. The seafloor plunges from 50 to several thousand feet! Interior view of San Salvador from the lighthouse showing several of the inland brackish lakes.
A view to the north from the lighthouse. The Field Station (by the water tower), Grahams Harbor, and several offshore cays are visible. The Cockburn Town Iguana (with rider).
Rocky intertidal shore at the Bluff on the south-east side of San Salvador. A blowhole along the steep rocky shore at the Gulf on the southern end of San Salvador.
A view across the bay to San Salvador from High Cay, on the south-east corner of the island. Man Head Cay - a small cay on the north end of San Salvador that harbors a population of iguanas.
The lighthouse, photo courtesy of Rob Gersch. Inside the lighthouse: this is the kerosene lamp inside the lenses, photo courtesy of Rob Gersch.
Ruins of "Watling's Castle," an 18th century plantation house Sunrise over San Salvador
Student Activities
Class of '01 on the truck heading out for a day in the field, photo courtesy of Rob Gersch.

Professor Doug teaching the class some of the plants of San Salvador.

Class of '98 in the interior forest along the Hard Bargain trail after sampling vegetation. Doug leads the class on a hike through the forest: in search of the banana hole! Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch.
Taking notes on plants during a hike. Students are responsible for learing to identify many of the common plants of the island. Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch. Hiking along the Reckley Hill Trail, which explores several different plant community types on the island. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch)
Descending into the Lighthouse Cave. The class also explores several other caves on the island. This is the entrance to a dry cave, home to several bat species.
Exploring the ruins of "Watling's Castle," actually an 18th century plantation house. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch) Getting into the blue hole can be tricky! (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch)
Sampling the rocky intertidal at Dump Beach. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch) At the Blowholes for a lunch break. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch)
Class of '01 gathering on the beach of High Cay after a swim from the main island. Dr. Doug ready to hit the water.
Class of '01 on the way down the beach to the Bluffs to sample the rocky intertidal zone there. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch) It's not all work: local musical legends Bernie and the Boys jamming at the Shortstop - with some out-of-town help! (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch)
Creatures and Habitats on the Island (Terrestrial)
A view of some typical San Salvador vegetation from a ridge overlooking French Bay (photo courtesy of Rob Gersch). A bearded cactus.
An epiphytic bromeliad growing from a tree. Banana trees growing in one of the more fertile "banana holes" on the island (photo courtesy of Rob Gersch).
San Salvador's only snake burrows in sand and is blind. The porous limestone of San Salvador has numerous caves, many of which home to bats (photo courtesy of Rob Gersch).
Numerous ponds, fresh, brackish and hypersaline, dot the interior of San Salvador (photo courtesy of Rob Gersch). "Moonrock" near an interior pond is the result of dissolution of the soft limestone rock.
Mangroves grow around many of the brackish ponds. These are red mangroves. Stromatolites, crusts formed by bacterial colonies, can be found in several of the hypersaline ponds.

Creatures and Habitats Around the Island (Marine)

San Salvador has many easily-accessible marine habitats. Island Biogeography students visit and study sandy beaches, rocky shores, a lagoon, seagrass beds, and well-developed patch reefs. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersh) A giant Caribbean sea anemone from a tidepool. Other shoreline residents include.....
a brittlestar (photo courtesy of Rob Gersh), .... chitons, ....
sponges (photo courtesy of Rob Gersh), .... a nimble spray crab, ....
a sea hare, .... a sea cucumber, ....
and a Sally Lightfoot crab. Pigeon Creek, a tidal lagoon on the southern end of San Salvador, contains shallow seagrass beds and is lined with mangroves. (Photo courtesy of Rob Gersch)

The lagoon serves as a nursery for many species of fish: small fish find ample hiding places among the seagrasses and mangrove roots. Invertebrates including..... lobsters, like this Spanish lobster (photo courtesy of Rob Gersh), and ....

gastropods (snails), like this Triton's trumpet, are also common. Away from shore are the coral reefs. This is a large elkhorn coral colony.
Fire coral is common on shallow reefs. A hawksbill turtle.

A small nurse shark sleeping next to a reef ledge. A large spotted eagle ray.
Yes, this is a shark, probably a grey reef shark, spotted and photographed by 2001 students Jess, Ginneh, Stef, and Devin. a Nassau grouper
a filefish a pair of parrotfiishes

squid a cowfish