Studying Marine Ecosystem in Jamaica

Frigid temperatures and howling winds froze New Ulm to 20, 30, even 40 below over Christmas break. But students from MLC, Wisconsin Lutheran College, and Bethany Lutheran College didn’t mind, as they’d escaped to 85-degree Jamaica to take a one-of-a-kind marine ecology course.

At a marine laboratory in the small town of Discovery Bay, students snorkeled through coral reefs and collected creatures to study. “It was incredible seeing so many different creatures living in the same ecosystem,” says Madison Ott (Faith-Sussex WI, pictured underwater). “Pictures of coral reefs just don’t do them justice.”

They also ventured into the lagoon at night. “I saw octopus, barracuda, jellyfish, eels, and stingray,” says Mykenna Schneiter (Faith-Fond du Lac WI). “At first it was unsettling to swim in the dark, but seeing all the creatures was amazing!”

The people that MLC students met along the way also made the experience exceptional. “As Christians, there was an immediate bond among the students from the different colleges,” says Micah Otto (St. John-Baraboo WI). “By the end of the trip, it was hard to believe we’d only known each other for ten days!”

Pictured: WLC students along with MLC students Micah Otto, Mykenna Schneiter, Markus Klingenschmitt (Bethlehem-Lakeville MN), and Andrew Mantz (Good Shepherd-West Bend WI).

This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Spring 2018 issue.