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Students and Faculty Capture the Wilderness of Ossabaw Island (Summer 2012)

Photograph of UNCP students and faculty on Ossabaw Island

Eight graduate science education students and two undergraduate students and Drs. Rita Hagevik and Lisa Kelly spent four days this summer (June 9-13, 2012) exploring the estuarine and marine ecosystems of Ossabaw Island, a heritage nature preserve off the coast of Georgia. The four day primitive camping and exploration trip was part of a Summer I course called  “Science in the Natural Environment”, which included four pre-trip meetings, a four day camping trip to Ossabaw Island to study first-hand the biological complexities of the estuarine and fresh water wetland environments, and one post-trip meeting on campus.

Photograph of dunes on Ossabaw Island, Georgia Photograph of students and faculty who have just arrived on Ossabaw Island Photograph of vegetation on Ossabaw Island

Highlights of the experience included an aquatic WILD workshop in High Point, NC, as a pre-trip activity, while on the island a day trip to the tabby slave cabins and to the middle island artist colony, bird watching and turtle watching as well as finding many eggs from many different species, and upon returning to campus a seafood celebration with the sharing of the participants’ podcasts, nature collections, and nature journals.

Photograph of fungi on Ossabaw Island Photograph of the Ossabaw group enjoying a community dinner Photograph of a tree being buried by sand on Ossabaw Island

You can view podcasts of the UNCP students’ adventure at: and

When asked to summarize the experience, Ursula Adams said “The trip made me look at nature and life differently. I had forgotten how simplified life can be.  Everyone should go to Ossabaw Island and experience the pristine beauty of the natural world.  I will never forget the experience and can’t wait to go back.”

James Sanford wrote, "I just wanted to thank you [Dr. Hagevik] for all of your help, your encouragement, and for introducing me to such an incredible place on the earth. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I feel that I learned an incredible amount in such a short period. I am glad to have been your student on this adventure!!!!"

Nature Journal Entries:

Photograph of a page from a student's nature journal Photograph of a page from a student's nature journal Photograph of a page from a student's nature journal

The course (BIOS 5770) is offered in the summer of even numbered years and carries 3 credit hours.

Start planning now to participate in 2014. Contact Dr. Rita Hagevik at for more information.

Photograph of an estuary next to Ossabaw Island Photograph of a sunset on Ossabaw Island Photograph of a toppled live oak tree and UNCP people on Ossabaw Island

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Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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