Marine Resource Studies
August 27 - December 5
January 28 - May 8
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The SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies is a leading destination for students looking to immerse themselves in marine studies. Students and faculty at the Center work in collaboration with the South Caicos community and TCI authorities to conserve diverse marine resources and establish a sustainable economy for island residents. The Center is located in close proximity to coral reefs, uninhabited cays, mangroves, seagrass beds, and shallow shoals, offering abundant snorkel and dive sites as well as opportunities for a variety of research.
August 27 - December 5
January 28 - May 8
June 4 - July 4
July 9 - August 8
SFS Turks & Caicos Spring '09
My semester abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands with SFS definitely helped me get where I am today.
As a fisheries research technician for the U.S. Geological Survey based at the Great Lakes Science Center, you’ll find me driving a 28-foot research boat out on the water for most of the year. I conduct larval fish tows, which is collecting the tiny baby fish swimming at the surface, and I do demersal egg sampling, or gathering eggs that fish are depositing on the riverbed. Our team also builds…READ MORE
The charismatic fauna of the Turks and Caicos Islands include more than 300 species of fish, many elasmobranchs such as the spotted eagle ray and lemon shark, as well as sea turtles and humpback whales. Seagrass beds, mangroves, sandy shoals and reefs lend a patchwork appearance to the shallow blue water around our Center. Most local residents depend upon marine resources for their livelihoods, and tourism has placed increased strain upon these resources.
Research at the Center for Marine Resource Studies focuses on documenting the current status of local marine resources as well as the social and economic conditions of South Caicos, and quantifying any changes that may occur. The Center shares its research findings through local media, meetings and technical reports, facilitating increased environmental awareness among stakeholders and enabling local policymakers to make scientifically based decisions for management of local resources.
Through this research completed by faculty and students, several key research topics are addressed, and the exploration of these topics adds to both the local and global corpus of scientific knowledge.
Henderson, A., Jourdan, A., & Bell, K. (2016). Assessing the incidental value of a marine reserve to a lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris nursery. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26(3), 482-491.
Baker, S., Paddock, J., Smith, A. M., Unsworth, R. K. F., Cullen-Unsworth, L. C., & Hertler, H. (2015). An ecosystems perspective for food security in the Caribbean: Seagrass meadows in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Ecosystem Services, 11, 12-21.
Hind, E. J., Alexander, S. M., Green, S. J., Kritzer, J. P., Sweet, M. J., Johnson, A. E., Amargós, F. P., Smith, N. S., & Peterson, A. M. (2015). Fostering effective international collaboration for marine science in small island states. Frontiers in Marine Science, 86(2), 1-7.
Tilley, A., Carter, E., Wassermann^, S., & López-Angarita, J. (2015). Enhancing management effectiveness of invasive lionfish using distance sampling and detection probability. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.
My choice to study abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I never thought I would have such incredible experiences doing research, but here the ocean is our lab and it’s truly surreal.Kayla Anderson
The community of South Caicos has hosted SFS for more than 25 years. During that time, staff and students have integrated into the small community on multiple levels. We are dedicated to helping the community conserve its natural resources and develop sustainably, and enjoy being a part of the Caribbean culture and island lifestyle of South Caicos. Students tutor and mentor local children, provide swimming and snorkeling lessons and lead a ‘research club’ to teach marine biology. Collaborative efforts with local NGOs have led to beach clean-ups and other service projects, and open research presentations provide an opportunity for the Center to share its findings with members of the community.
The SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies is located just steps from a crystal clear ocean classroom, adjacent to Cockburn Harbour and the island’s 1,200 residents. Our field station sits about 40 feet above the water, looking directly out to sea. Within a three-mile radius are coral reefs, mangrove islands, sea grass beds, and carbonate platform flats offering abundant snorkel and dive sites.
April 20, 2018