The biodiversity of coral reefs has been declining rapidly in the last 20 years due in large part to human activities. In this field course students will have an opportunity to confront this problem directly and contribute to our understanding of reef biodiversity. This course will take place on the island of Grand Cayman, British West Indies (Latitude 18 23′ N, Longitude 81 24′ W) for one week during January or February of 2014. Students will have an opportunity to become certified scuba divers and gain first hand experience with the taxonomy, identification and characteristics of the animals that live in coral reefs as they dive and snorkel in the extraordinary fringing reefs of Grand Cayman. Students will also engage in underwater research and contribute fish diversity data to an international repository for such data.
This course will be offered over FWT (January 4 – February 11, 2014). Interested students should register for this course in spring 2013; credits earned will count towards the credit requirements for spring 2014. Registered students will receive a partial waiver for the number of hours normally required during FWT, and will be expected to work a minimum of 160 hours (at least 140 at a primary site) during FWT 2014.