Michael Desjardins is a geography major and will be graduating in 2014. During the spring semester of 2013 Michael was involved with a research project under the guidance of Dr. Cangialosi of the Biology Department and Dr. Brehme of the Geography Department. Michael used GIS to study the spatial distribution over time of a small patch reef called Coral Gardens off the coast of the Turks and Caicos. Not only did Michael use the data that Dr. Cangialosi provided him, he also got to go to the Turks and Caicos to collect data and learn about the reef.
Although Michael’s work is associated with Keene State College, the research is part of a global organization called Reef Check. This organization works toward monitoring and conserving coral reef ecosystems.
Since the interview, Michael was been awarded a grant to travel back to the Turks and Caicos with the Biology Department of Keene State. During this trip, he collected reef data and conducted interviews with community stakeholders.
Michael hopes to continue his education after Keene State, and has his eyes set on obtaining a PhD in geography. He also hopes to continue researching the coral reef.
UPDATE: After graduating in 2014, Mike was accepted to graduate school in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte where he is pursuing a master’s degree.