- Caribbean, Caribbean; Cul De Sac, Sint Maarten
- Program Type:
- Study Abroad
- Degree Level:
- Program Description:
A hands-on marine science program in the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands. Trade lecture halls for reefs, dramatic pinnacles and sheer walls. This program is an eye-opening exploration of the biology and ecology of marine communities. Living aboard a 45-foot yacht and hopping from one diverse island to another, gives us the freedom and flexibility to discover the unparalleled diversity of ecosystems found in this tropical region of the world. Learn under the guidance of professional marine biologists. Tackle marine conservation. Understand the biochemical nature of marine environments. Learning is always active, experiential and enlightening — never boring.
Students can earn up to 4 credits in marine science through an experiential course which combines hands on marine studies, learning underwater research techniques, collecting data for the REEF Fish Survey Project, and completing a research project. Explore diverse Caribbean islands on a live-aboard voyage and earn multiple PADI scuba certifications (from beginner to advanced) all while learning about general marine biology, fish behavior, marine conservation efforts and future prospects.This course will examine the biology and ecology of tropical marine communities and illustrate research techniques and equipment that marine biologists commonly use.
Program costs include tuition, housing, meals, excursions, orientation, airport pick-up & drop off, and student support throughout the entire program. It does not include international airfare.
- Setting Description:
- Any marine biologist who has ever spent time researching in the Leeward Islands, will attest to the fact that few ecosystems can match its abundance and variety of coral and marine life. From the minute we cast off from St. Martin, we’re struck by the natural beauty of green volcanic peaks towering out of translucent blue waters. As we chart a course to Ile Fourche, sneak a peek overboard and catch a glimpse of the sea turtles, rays, anemones, and sponges we will soon study. You could spend a lifetime just mapping the diversity of fish found at the St. Barts Marine Park, a jewel of the Caribbean, but alas we only have 25-days and many more islands to cover. As we head into the mangroves and turtle grass of St. Kitts and take a half day to hike into the crater of “The Quill,” a dormant volcano on the Dutch isle of Statia, we start to form clearer understanding of how this entire island chain functions as a single ecosystem. As our surveying techniques get stronger and our understandin