Spend your summer studying turtles, octopus, rays, and iguanas in the waters surrounding the remote island of South Caicos. In this specialized course, you’ll learn all about the ecology and conservation of marine fauna through classroom lectures, snorkel or dive sessions, and species identification exercises.
Swim, dive, or snorkel nearly every day in the tropical western Atlantic – learn marine species identification and population assessment techniques while visiting coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove nurseries, sand bars, and small uninhabited cays.
Focus on diverse marine fauna of economic, cultural, touristic, and environmental importance –sharks and rays, land crabs, turtles, octopus and more.
Advance your diving skills in the Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification course. Learn more here.
In addition to the SFS program costs listed to the left, students should plan for additional expenses such as airfare, a passport, visas, medical costs, and personal spending.
Check out the Financial Planner below for an estimated breakdown of these costs along with more information about financially planning for your program abroad with SFS.
All students are welcome to apply for our need-based financial aid. Students who exhibit financial need for their program will be offered SFS financial aid. SFS aid is offered through a combination of scholarships, grants and loans.
Pell Grant Match
SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students applying to an SFS semester program.
Many SFS students receive aid through their home institutions or other outside sources, so check with your financial aid office to see what aid may apply to an SFS program.
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
Marine species population health
Large fauna behavior and tracking
Marine protected areas
On the Marine Fauna program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.
Click on each course to view a description and download the syllabus
SFS 3131 Marine Fauna Ecology and Conservation (4 credits)
In this four-week summer course, we will explore the ecological importance and conservation status of macro- and megafauna that are prominent in the coastal waters of the tropics, namely elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), large oceanic and reef fishes, marine and coastal reptiles (sea turtles, island iguanas), and marine mammals and octopuses. The course will consist of lectures, workshops and field-based activities that provide students with an understanding of the diversity and ecological characteristics of these animals.Furthermore, the workshops and field activities will introduce students to the practical techniques that are commonly employed to study and assess marine fauna.
You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS use and applications, tag/recapture, marine population monitoring, habitat and biodiversity assessment, underwater video surveys, use of the I3S suite of programs to identify individual animals based on their natural markings, snorkel and scuba skills, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and PADI Open Water Diver certification (offered at an additional cost, upon request).
You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include coral reefs, mangrove islands, seagrass beds, fishing communities, carbonate platform flats, coastal ecosystems, beaches, marine protected areas, and numerous shallow-water snorkeling sites.
Take back-to-back summer sessions and get the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences of an internship, while also going off the beaten path and exploring the world. Each summer session focuses on a different topic, and you’ll have time to travel independently between sessions.
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 conference
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
Click on the icons below to learn more about our Center in the Turks and Caicos Islands.