Greetings From Cuba: Students Dive Into Research Expeditions

This past summer animal behavior major, Kara Watts, and ocean engineering master’s student, Erin Walters, checked off items from their bucket lists for course credit…for free.

Travelling to Puerto Rico and Cuba, Watts and Walters, spent their summer diving coral reefs, spotting sea turtles and octopi and taking in the historic sites of Cuba – all for course credit.

How did they pull it all off?

They took a summer research course which was covered by their financial aid.

“If you have financial aid and you are able to get paid to go on this trip, you have no reason not to go,” said Watts.

Every summer, wanderlust students like Watts and Walters dust off their passports and traverse the globe – all in the name of research.

Taking a break from the classroom, they get out in the field, way out. Galapagos, England, Spain, Netherlands, Antarctica, Puerto Rico and Cuba have all provided once-in-a-lifetime experiences for Florida Tech students, from engineering to psychology.

Each location has a different research objective, with this year’s trips to Cuba and a separate expedition to Puerto Rico, both focused on learning the tricks of the research trade.

“It’s an experience under my belt that I get to move forward with. It absolutely, 100% solidified my decision to do scientific field research because I am just in love with it,” said Watts.

Check out some footage and insights form Watts and Walters’s trip to Puerto Rico and Cuba.

If you are looking for a recommendation on whether to choose the Puerto Rico or Cuba trip, good luck with that. Watts and Walters went on both trips and couldn’t decide which one was better, so they suggested just do them both or you’ll regret it.



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