Field Course in Coral Reef Science

turtle soaringspotted eel 


This course will take place on the island of Grand Cayman, British West Indies (Latitude 19° 23’ N, Longitude 81° 24’W) for one week in January 2014.  Students will have an opportunity to become certified scuba divers and gain first hand experience with the taxonomy, identification and characteristics of the animals which live in coral reefs as they dive and snorkel in the extraordinary fringing reefs of Grand Cayman.

<>Time: off campus for one week in January 4-11, 2014


Intent to Enroll
Travel Release



Permission of Instructor.   Preference will be given to students who have some familiarity with biodiversity (e.g. How Do Animals Work; Comparative Animal Physiology, or other biology classes).  Due to the additional expenses of off-campus study, students will be required to pay an additional fee for diving, room, board, and tuition; a sufficient number of students must enroll in order for this course to be offered. 


Medical Form for Dive Training

REEF-join REEF; it's free and we will submit fish diversity data and you will need a REEF ID #
    learn the names of the fish
    Fish quizzes
    Buy Reef Starter Kit for Western Tropical Atlantic

Download these papers:

    Projecting Coral Reef Futures Under Global Warming and Ocean Acidification (2011)
    Grouper as a Natural Biocontrol of Invasive Lionfish (2011)
    Coral reefs: a primer (2007)
    Confronting the coral reef crisis (2004)
    Fishery-Independent Data Reveal Negative Effect of Human Population Density on Caribbean Predatory Fish Communities (2009)
    Shifting Baselines, Local Impacts, and Global Change on Coral Reefs
    Impacts of recreational scuba diving…Grand Cayman
    Environment and development in coastal regions
    Sex-change strategies
    Learning to see underwater

Additional papers
    Female nest defense
    Cleaning symbiosis