Center for Marine Resource Studies

Marine Fauna

Turks and Caicos Islands
Summer Session 2
4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jul 7 - Aug 5
Waitlist
Program Costs
  • Tuition$6,350
  • Room & Board$2,550
  • Total$8,900
Application Deadlines
Summer 2024
April 15, 2024
Summer Session 2 Program

Marine Fauna

South Caicos Island,
Turks and Caicos Islands

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

Academics

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. Each program combines theory learned during classroom sessions with field-based applications. 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.

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

Courses

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 the
to view a description and download the syllabus.
SFS 3131
Marine Fauna Ecology and Conservation
4 credits
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.
The course will take place on the island of South Caicos, which is at a pivotal time in its development. Until recently, the island’s economy centered around small-scale local fisheries, but a growing tourism industry and recent devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria have meant major changes to the community and marine ecosystem. As climate events continue to perturb the marine environment and the economy and the population grow and diversify, so too do the demands on the marine environment. Marine fauna play important roles in the TCI, both ecologically and economically, making
this the perfect place to take a deep dive into their characteristics, threats, and conservation.

View Syllabus

Core Skills

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).

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.


Other Turks and Caicos Islands Programs

Semester

Marine Resource Studies

15 Weeks
16 Credits
Spring 2024
Jan 30 - May 10
In the Field
Fall 2024
Sep 6 - Dec 15
Open
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - Apr 27
Open

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$22,600
  • Room & Board$7,200
  • Total$29,800
Summer Session 1

Fundamentals of Marine Conservation

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jun 2 - Jul 1
Closed

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$6,350
  • Room & Board$2,550
  • Total$8,900
Summer Session 2

Marine Fauna

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jul 7 - Aug 5
Waitlist

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$6,350
  • Room & Board$2,550
  • Total$8,900

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