This is a field course to be held at South Water Caye, Belize. This course will be an intensive hands on learning experience at the magnificent barrier reef system of Belize. We will spend a majority of our time actually diving on the reef and waters of the lagoon and back reef. Students will experience first hand the great natural biodiversity of the pristine reef system of Belize.
identify local fish, invertebrates and plants typical of Caribbean reef ecosystems
describe patterns of larval recruitment for fish and invertebrates as it applies to reef dynamics
observe and document the biological interactions among members of these communities (competition, predation, symbioses)
explain how abiotic factors regulate populations and communities, and affect ecosystem dynamics
learn and Perform field techniques, including sampling procedures, estimation of population density, and community diversity
compare methods used to study coral reef community ecology
identify major benthic and nektonic coral reef components including fish, invertebrates, and benthic algae
conduct and compare monitoring and census techniques in several reef community types
synthesize and incorporate information from articles in peer-reviewed journals into your individual project, presentation, and report
Prerequisites: Invertebrate zoology, marine ecology, or equivalent. Students will need passports and will be required to pass a swim test prior to departure.
Preparation: The class will meet three times before departing for Belize to provide written material and background on the course. Attendance is mandatory.
The Mission of the Oceanographic Center is to carry out innovative, basic and applied research and to provide high-quality graduate and undergraduate education in a broad range of marine science and related disciplines.