[Coral-List] Marine Biology Field Course in the British Virgin Islands

Sotka, Erik sotkae at cofc.edu
Wed Mar 23 16:59:43 EDT 2011

This program allows students to study the biology, ecology, and conservation of the Caribbean coral reef ecosystem. The emphasis is placed on field methods and labs, including small field experiments to test hypotheses.   Program is limited to 10 students, and most (but not all) slots have been filled.  

The program is conducted aboard a large catamaran sailboat that serves as the accommodations, transportation, classroom, and re- search platform. Each day, the participants will sail to a new island in the archipelago of the British Virgin Islands (including Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Norman, Peter, Salt, Cooper, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Muskmelon) to investigate new habitats. Students will learn the nautical skills (seamanship, navigation, sailing) needed to become a proficient crew member on a research vessel and will earn their PADI Open Water or Advanced Scuba Diver certification during a total of 14 training and research dives. Prior to departure, students are required to complete the classroom portion of PADI’s Open Water Diver or Advanced Diver Course online (www.padi.com). The program will be conducted in conjunction with a non-profit organization called the Marine Science and Nautical Training Academy (MANTA, www.manta-online.org).  Participants will be required to engage in activities such as snorkeling, SCUBA diving, swimming, hiking, sailing, lifting scuba tanks, preparing meals, and vessel upkeep as part of this program. 

The college program is offered through the College of Charleston, where four credits of lower- or upper-undergraduate study can be earned.  Please email MANTA executive director Rusty Day (Rusty.Day at manta-online.org) or Erik Sotka (SotkaE at cofc.edu) with questions.  Also see <http://spinner.cofc.edu/international/downloads/11 Summer programs/BVIs.11.pdf>

Erik Sotka
Associate Professor of Biology, College of Charleston
Grice Marine Laboratory, 205 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC  29412
Office: 843-953-9191
eMail: SotkaE at cofc.edu

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