Coral reefs are among the most diverse, unique and beautiful of ecosystems on the planet. Alas, they are also quite vulnerable to various environmental assaults and most of the reefs on earth are in real jeopardy. In order to gain a more robust understanding of reefs, we will study reefs on site in the Caribbean. Students will learn the taxonomy, identification and characteristics of the animals that live in coral reefs. The course will take place on the island of Grand Cayman. Students will have an opportunity to become certified scuba divers and participate in ongoing research. Students will collect and analyze fish inventory data and submit those data to the environmental organization, REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation). Students will be able to compare their data with prior research. We will also discuss reef ecology with Tim Austin a research scientists with the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment. We will also participate in a beach clean-up activity.
This course will be offered over FWT (Jan. 4-11, 2020). Credits earned will count towards the credit requirements for Spring 2020. Registered students will receive a partial waiver for the number of hours normally required during FWT.
Additional costs will be associated with this course.