Born and raised on St. Croix, Akeem McIntosh is a graduate of the University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen Campus Class of 2016. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and Social Sciences with which he hopes to educate and improve the consciousness of the Virgin Islands public.

Mr. McIntosh has been an intern and volunteer with the National Park Service since June of 2015. During his time working with the National Park Service he has had the opportunity to work with a number of professionals in various disciplines from archeology and archiving to geomorphology and biology.

He has developed an intimate relationship with the National Parks in St. Croix. As a result, Mr. McIntosh used Fort Christiansvaern, the main feature of the Christiansted National Historic Site, as the focus of his study. His project collected visitor opinions on the significance of the Fort to determine if visitors’ regional identity affects their opinions of the Fort.

The three groups surveyed were visitors of the Fort who identified themselves as either Virgin Islanders, United States Mainlanders, or Danes. The project measured three variables which were Historical Significance, Historical Appreciation and Historical Knowledge Gained. The result of each variable was analyzed for each of the three groups, then compared to determine which group had the the highest levels of Historical Significance, Historical Appreciation and Historical Knowledge Gained. The results provided enough evidence to conclude that regional identity significantly affects public opinions.

img_0047

Lionfish have become a documented problem in the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans. Certain locations have higher populations of this invasive species and one of these focus points is the Florida coast line. Biscayne National Park, located off of Miami, Florida, has created a unique partnership to help control and learn about the highly reproductive invasive species. The University of Miami has been able to utilize National Park resources since 2011 to perform important research and conduct active removals in the control of the species within National Park boundaries.

Nicole Besemer, a current graduate student, will be presenting on the lionfish program and research at BNP. Nicole is a Seasonal Biological Science Technician at Buck Island Reef National Monument. She came to the park with experience at Biscayne NP where she completed the terminal phase of her Masters Degree studying lionfish during a 7 month internship. Previously a native of Allentown, PA, she relocated to Miami to pursue a career in Marine Biology and is in the process in completing her degree in Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management.

The lecture will be held from 5:30 – 6:30 pm in the Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse, Company Street, Christiansted. The Fort parking lot will be open till 7 pm.

A meeting of The Friends of the St. Croix USVI National Parks will meet at 5 pm just before the lecture in the same location. Memberships now available! Brochures with applications will be available at this event.