winter session

Turks & Caicos Islands

Foundations of Tropical Marine Ecosystems


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 and Caicos Islands. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Marine ecology and conservation
  • Climate change and impacts on the ocean
  • Marine protected areas
  • Marine resource management strategies
  • Sustainable tourism and fisheries practices


On the Foundations of Tropical Marine Ecosystems, you will take one 3-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 the course to view a description

SFS 3530 Tropical Marine Ecosystems: Monitoring and Management 3 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: terrestrial and marine biodiversity assessments and survey techniques, species ID and population monitoring, animal behavior observation, species management planning, coral health assessments, protected areas assessments, tourism impact assessments, scientific writing and communication, snorkel skills.

Field Sites

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.

Where You'll Be Living

The Center is a former 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. Get to know the small, historic town of Cockburn Harbour, engage in community activities, and spot the flamingoes, wild horses, and donkeys that call this island home.

  • Dorm living in four to six students per room
  • 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 shed, and small fleet of research boats
  • Volleyball, hammocks, and swimming pool by the ocean