Turks & Caicos Islands

Marine Resource Studies


This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Marine ecology and conservation
  • Climate change and ocean acidification
  • Approaches to sustainable tourism and fisheries
  • Marine resource management
  • Traditional island livelihoods
  • Coral health and resilience
  • Marine protected areas
  • Coastal management


On the Marine Resource Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.

Click on each course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 3020 Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values 4 credits
SFS 3730 Tropical Marine Ecology 4 credits
SFS 3740 Principles of Resource Management 4 credits
SFS 4910 Directed Research 4 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: coral health assessment, marine species identification, underwater transects and quadrats, video and photo tracking, marine survey techniques, habitat and biodiversity assessment, ecosystem services valuation, research design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, research presentation, and PADI Open Water Diver certification (offered at an additional cost, upon request).

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include coral reefs, mangrove islands, seagrass beds, fishing communities, carbonate platform flats, beaches, marine protected areas, numerous shallow-water snorkeling sites, protected wetlands, caves on Middle Caicos Island, a historical plantation on North, and the tourist hub of Providenciales.

Directed Research

In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.

Find Out More
All program components are subject to change.

Where You'll Be Living

The Center is a small converted hotel overlooking the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Spectacular sunsets, open-air facilities, warm sunshine, and a refreshing ocean breeze define this marine field station. A five-minute walk brings you to the small, historic town of Cockburn Harbour, where students and faculty frequently engage in community activities.

  • Dorm living in 4-6 person bunkrooms
  • Small, open campus with direct access to the ocean
  • Air-conditioned classroom and computer lab
  • Open-air dining space, and on-site cooking staff
  • Dock, dive shack, and small fleet of research boats
  • Volleyball, hammocks, and swimming pool overlooking the ocean