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It’s official. I’m now a radio superstar. (Not really)

This week I was welcomed onto the UVI radio station to talk about the work I have done while here and, of course, the greater topic of aquaponics. I was not the original guest but a tag-along as I have been working alongside the main guest, Don Bailey. Mr. Bailey is a research specialist at the Agriculture Experiment Station on the St. Croix campus of UVI where he directs the aquaponics project. He is also the main instructor of UVI’s International Aquaponics and Tilapia Aquaculture course that is open to the public and one of the most famed curriculums for those who want to plan and design a deep water raft culture aquaponics project, especially on a commercial scale.

It seems that Don has been doing a great job teaching the course participants because during my stay, I conducted an online survey to get feedback from participants from the course. Whereas I wasn’t able to draw much conclusive evidence for my paper per se, I did get some valuable information that might help the future development of the course. I learned A LOT about surveying and what one could expect about response rates and willingness of respondents to share. The experience was important because I realized how and where I would have had to tweak my questions to get more definitive qualitative data for my research. All in all, it was a very gratifying experience.

Aside from the usual care of the system (harvesting, transplanting and seeding), my other task this week was to paint and drill the rafts that float in the deep water culture hydroponic subsystem. The foam is drilled with the amount of holes needed to grow plants which depends on the size and type of the plants. An experiment with zucchini will soon take place at UVI so I was drilling boards with 12 holes, as to give the bushy plants lots of room to flourish. Below you can see the different stages of plants as they make their way through the aquaponics system. As well as a picture during the radio show and some amazing butterflies as I hiked to get a great picture of the Crucian coast line.

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