31 March 2023

Research Assistant Specialist

Written by: Felisha Felix

As a RAP Intern stationed on St. Croix and being a local resident, I have an advantage of being familiar with the islands and its landmarks. I finally got the privilege of visiting Estate Thomas Experimental Forest. Estate Thomas is a special place. It was tranquil, filled with mahogany trees and soulfully peaceful. It truly is a gem in the territory. Estate Thomas is used primarily for research and conservation education. However, I visited the site with the land manager and the idea of utilizing the space for future student research, and data collection was a revisited vision for our territory. Estate Thomas is a valuable location for studying long term effects of specific soil, environmental, and ecological changes as needed to preserve and protect our natural lands. Not only that, being in the Caribbean we have the unfortunate effects of natural disasters and other impacts on plant and wildlife ecosystems. One impact worth noting and should be studied is the introduction of the red tail boa that is now evident on the island of St. Croix with a growing population. We need to know the ecological impact and changes that may be occurring with the introduction of the new snake population. Hopefully students and researchers alike can utilize the space with future federal agreements, because there's a lot to learn and share in order to preserve our beloved islands. 

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