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Quick Info

By Term

  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Spring 2015
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Dates:
08/23/2014 - 11/29/2014
Deadlines:
04/01/2014
Credit:
17 semester / 25.5 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
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Dates:
01/18/2014 - 05/03/2014
Deadlines:
11/01/2013
Credit:
17 semester / 25.5 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
TBA
Deadlines:
11/01/2014
Credit:
17 semester / 25.5 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
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Study Abroad in Kralendijk
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Program Overview

Program Overview

Come study abroad on the Caribbean island of Bonaire and make one of the most diverse marine habitats on earth your classroom.

Through interaction with scientific and conservation organizations, and collaboration with fellow students and instructors, you’ll learn about the challenges facing coral reef ecosystems and ultimately take part in their conservation.

Study abroad in Bonaire and you will:

  • Focus on coral reef ecology and ecosystems on a living Caribbean coral reef
  • Log up to 50 scientific dives for class and independent research
  • Collaborate on research projects with the Bonaire National Marine Park, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, and CIEE Research Station Bonaire
  • Present your research findings to the public in Bonaire
  • Publish the results of your research in the student scientific journal Physis: Journal of Marine Science
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The CIEE Difference

The CIEE Difference

Field Work

study abroad in Bonaire

Enroll in a unique, integrated academic experience the involves extensive field and lab research.

Spend your days in the water discovering “The Enchanted Braid” of life that makes up a coral reef ecosystem. With a focus on scientific diving methods and dive safety, you’ll design and conduct experiments that may lead to the discovery of new species, a better understanding of how species are conserved, or how to effectively restore a damaged coral reef.

Activities and Excursions

In order to explore the island’s diverse ecosystems firsthand, you’ll travel to a number of different sites of environmental importance such as Washington Slagbaai National Park, Lac Bay, where you can try snorkeling, and mangroves where you can spend some time in a kayak. You’ll explore important cultural sites like Rincon, the oldest town in the Dutch Caribbean, and huts dating back to the African slave trade.

Community Engagement

Want to have a real impact on the environment? In Bonaire you’ll have the chance to volunteer for projects based on the needs of the community and focused on marine conservation and reducing the human impact on the island’s environment.

  • Help to host a children’s festival to educate local kids on marine ecology
  • Create and place markers at the best shore diving entry points to decrease the impact shore divers have on the area
  • Participate in underwater and beach cleanups on the uninhabited islet of Klein Bonaire
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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition and housing
  • Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
  • Full-time program leadership and support
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program
Application Due
Start Date
End Date
Costs
Fall 2014 (14 wks)
04/01/2014
08/23/2014
11/29/2014
$21,150

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, national park entry fees, scientific equipment, local transportation, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$17,223
Housing ***
$3,525
Insurance
$102

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes most meals

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$750
International Airfare
$750
Books & Supplies
$150
Personal expenses
$1,500
Other *
$1,365

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* (1) Dive Insurance, $65 (www.diversalertnetwork.org). (2) Four Open Water Dives (PADI Open Water Certification), $200. Cost only applies to students that are not certified and need to complete the Open Water Certification. A PADI referral from your local dive shop is a pre-requisite (3) CIEE recommends that students purchase dive gear for use during the program (est. $1000). Rentals are available form a local dive shop bu the rental price will exceed the purchase price. Required dive gear: BCD, regulator with first stage and octopus, open heel dive fins, dive boots with sole, mask, snorkel, full length wet suit (3/2 mm), underwater flashlight, weight belt, whistle, and gear bag. (4) Dive & EFR Certificates, $100 (Optional)

More Information
Spring 2014 (15 wks)
11/01/2013
01/18/2014
05/03/2014
$21,150

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, national park entry fees, scientific equipment, local transportation, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$17,223
Housing ***
$3,525
Insurance
$102

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes most meals

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$750
International Airfare
$750
Books & Supplies
$150
Personal expenses
$1,500
Other *
$1,365

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* (1) Dive Insurance, $65 (www.diversalertnetwork.org). (2) Four Open Water Dives (PADI Open Water Certification), $200. Cost only applies to students that are not certified and need to complete the Open Water Certification. A PADI referral from your local dive shop is a pre-requisite (3) CIEE recommends that students purchase dive gear for use during the program (est. $1000). Rentals are available form a local dive shop bu the rental price will exceed the purchase price. Required dive gear: BCD, regulator with first stage and octopus, open heel dive fins, dive boots with sole, mask, snorkel, full length wet suit (3/2 mm), underwater flashlight, weight belt, whistle, and gear bag. (4) Dive & EFR Certificates, $100 (Optional)

More Information
Spring 2015
11/01/2014
TBA
TBA

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
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Eligibility
2.75 Overall GPA

Eligibility

  • Overall GPA 2.75
  • 2 semesters of college-level biology required
  • Upper-level coursework in ecology and/or zoology recommended
  • Nationally recognized SCUBA certification or PADI referral (Professional Association of Diving Instruction; see www.PADI.com)
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Recommended Credit

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit is 17 semester/25.5 quarter hours.

Contact hours range from 15 to 60 hours and recommended credit is 1–4 semester/1.5–6 quarter hours for each course. See individual course descriptions for details.

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Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Study abroad students are required to take all of the courses offered: Coral Reef Ecology, Cultural and Environmental History of Bonaire, Tropical Marine Conservation Biology, Independent Research Project in Marine Biology and Ecology, Advanced Scuba, and Marine Ecology Field Research Methods.

Diving

Scuba Certification

study abroad in Bonaire

Non-certified students who choose to participate in the program must have an Open Water referral. An Open Water referral has two components—knowledge development and scuba skills development. Students must arrange, complete, and pay for the referral prior to arrival in Bonaire. The fee varies depending on the dive shop, so students should check with their local dive facility. Students must bring a completed Open Water referral form (proof of passing the course and completing the pool work) to Bonaire. CIEE staff will finalize the course by taking the non-certified student on the required four open water certification dives and will collect the fee for this in Bonaire. (Please see the Costs section of our website for the fee amount.) When the students complete their certification, they will receive a C-card that certifies them as an open water diver. A C-card is a requirement to dive at most locations around the world.

Dive Physical and Dive Insurance

The CIEE Study Center in Bonaire is an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS –www.aaus.org). All dive activities adhere to a set of standards recognized as the “standard of practice” within the scientific diving community. Students dive extensively with CIEE Study Center staff and, in accordance with AAUS standards, must complete a dive physical before arriving in Bonaire. The physical includes a medical history, complete physical exam, with emphasis on neurological and otological components, urinalysis, and any further tests deemed necessary by the physician. Students must also purchase an inexpensive, yet comprehensive, dive medical insurance policy from Divers Alert Network (DAN).

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About the City

About The City

Located in the Dutch Caribbean, Bonaire is a desert island located 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Bonaire has a diverse topography with volcanic hills in the north and salt pans, that lay atop ancient coral reefs, in the south. Claimed by Spain in 1499, the Dutch took possession in 1633; subsequently creating a plantation island using African slave labor. Environmental awareness on the island has led to a ban of spear fishing, protection of sea turtles, and the development of the Bonaire National Marine Park. Bonaire’s most important asset is the coral reef that nearly surrounds the island and is so close to the water’s edge that divers can drive to a dive site and walk right in.

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Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Staff Image

Rita Peachey

Dr. Rita Peachey is the Resident Director of the CIEE program in Bonaire and the Director of the CIEE Research Station Bonaire. She received her B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Zoology from the University of South Florida and her Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of South Alabama. She teaches Independent Research and the Cultural and Environmental History of Bonaire. Dr. Peachey has conducted research in Hawaii, Australia, the US Gulf Coast from Florida to Louisiana, the Pacific Northwest and several islands in the Caribbean. Her research interests include the effects of ultraviolet radiation on marine invertebrate larvae, environmental analysis, fish behavior, invertebrate taxonomy and reproduction in lionfish.

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For the tenth consecutive year, Bonaire was voted the Best Destination Overall and was voted the Best Shore Diving for the 19th consecutive year in the Atlantic/Caribbean region by Scuba Diving Magazine. The CIEE Study Center in Bonaire provides a program for Biology majors who want to learn about the biology, ecology, and conservation of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in a living classroom - the Bonaire National Marine Park. The island of Bonaire has distinguished itself as a world leader in marine conservation by placing the conservation of nature, above and below the water, at the forefront of its economic plan.

The program focuses on how science is used to understand and protect nature. Spend your days in the water discovering “The Enchanted Braid” of life that makes up a coral reef ecosystem. You’ll design and conduct experiments that may lead to the discovery of new species, a better understanding of how species are conserved, or how to effectively restore a damaged coral reef; your experience culminates in a presentation of research to the local community and publication of your work in a scientific journal. In Bonaire you’ll interact with the scientific, management, and conservation organizations working in Bonaire, along with your fellow students and instructors, to learn about the challenges facing coral reef ecosystems and ultimately – their conservation. Join us and learn how to make a difference!

— Rita Peachey, Resident Director

Staff Image

Enrique Arboleda

Dr. Enrique Arboleda is the Coral Reef Ecology Faculty for CIEE and co-teaches Independent Research and Marine Ecology Field Methods. He is a Marine Biologist from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University (Colombia), holds a specialization on Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Valencia (Spain) and obtained his PhD at the Stazione Zoologica di Napoli (Italy) working on photoreception of sea urchins. He worked as a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (Austria) investigating chronobiology on marine invertebrates before moving to Bonaire. Dr. Arboleda’s research interests include adaptation, plasticity upon disturbance, competition, reproductive strategies and how ecological, molecular and physiological responses, like those associated to an abrupt climate change, can drive evolution by natural selection.

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Astrid de Jager

Dive Safety Officer

Astrid de Jager is the Dive Safety Officer at CIEE and owns a dive training center called No Dive No Life. She came to Bonaire in 2009 as a Dive Master and has been working in dive industry ever since while training as an SDI Instructor Trainer, Padi Staff Instructor and IAHD instructor. Astrid is also a Divers Alert Network Oxygen First Aid/Basic Life Support/First Aid instructor. At her training center she instructs students at all levels from beginning divers to instructors.

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Patrick Lyons

Tropical Marine Conservation Biology Faculty

Dr. Patrick Lyons is the Tropical Marine Conservation Biology faculty for CIEE and co-teaches Independent Research and Marine Ecology Field Methods. Patrick received his B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University. His research broadly focuses on the behaviors that coral reef animals employ while interacting with competitors, predators, prey, and mutualist partners. His goal has been to describe these behaviors and clarify their evolutionary basis. Patrick’s main line of research has been on the fascinating mutualism between alpheid shrimp and gobiid fishes.

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Amy Wilde

Amy Wilde is the Administrative Assistant for CIEE. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration and a M.S. degree in Management and Administrative Sciences in Organizational Behavior from the University of Texas at Dallas. Amy provides accounting and administrative support for staff and students at CIEE and she is the Student Resident Hall Manager.

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Where You'll Study

Where You'll Study

The CIEE Study Center and Research Station is located one block from the sea and consists of a residence hall with a dive locker, and a lecture/laboratory building with faculty offices. Downtown is a five minute walk along the waterfront and the prevailing weather conditions, with trade winds 90 percent of the year, result in comfortable air temperatures most of the time. The Study Center is located on the leeward side of the island, so the sea is calm and the water is crystal clear providing excellent diving conditions nearly year around. CIEE uses the Yellow Sub dive shop, which is on the waterfront just one block from the research station. The dive shop has a pier that is used for boat dives and houses the CIEE dive tanks. It also provides discounts on dive gear for students.

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Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

The CIEE Research Station is located one block from the waterfront in the northern part of the capital, Kralendijk. The hospital, drug stores, restaurants, and shopping are within 15 minutes walking distance. Housing and 15 meals a week are included in the study abroad program fee. Students are responsible for breakfasts, with the exception of Sundays when brunch is provided. The residence hall has seven air conditioned suites, each with a private bath, providing shared accommodation for CIEE students. There is a large, fully-equipped kitchen, dining areas inside and out, living room, TV/lounge area, laundry facilities, rinse tanks, outdoor showers and dive lockers for storing scuba gear. Study desks are located in each suite and throughout the residence hall. The lecture/laboratory building is located across the street from the residence hall and has two lecture rooms, a large laboratory, and faculty offices. Both buildings have wireless Internet and telephones.

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Orientations

Orientations

You'll begin your study abroad experience in Bonaire even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Meeting with students online, the resident director shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple—to help you understand more about the program, and to identify your objectives so that you arrive well-informed and return home having made significant progress towards your goals.

A mandatory orientation session conducted at the beginning of the program introduces you to the country, culture, academic program, staff, and program logistics. Course syllabi, readings, and other expectations are presented. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis by CIEE staff throughout the program.

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Internet

Internet

You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. You'll have have access to wireless Internet at the resident hall as well as the CIEE lecture/laboratory building. There are also a few desktop computers for student use in both buildings.

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Culture

Culture

Cultural Activities and Field Trips

In order to learn about the cultural history of Bonaire, the study abroad program includes excursions to significant cultural activities such as Carnival, Queen’s Day, and the Harvest Festival. The environmental history of Bonaire is closely tied to the culture of the people on the island, and there are a number of field trips to areas of cultural or environmental importance such as the slave huts, Washington Slagbaai National Park, Lac Bay, Klein Bonaire, Rincon (the oldest town in the Dutch Caribbean), caves, salt pans, flamingo sanctuaries, mangroves, prehistoric cave paintings, and seagrass beds. In addition, you'll have free time to explore Bonaire on your own.

Volunteering

study abroad in Bonaire

Previous study abroad students have participated in volunteer projects involving marine conservation and generating community involvement in reducing human impact on sensitive environmental areas on the island of Bonaire. The projects change based on needs of the community and, in the past, have included hosting a children’s festival with a marine ecology theme and using painted rocks to mark the best shore diving entry sites and decrease the impact of shore divers by directing them to a specific entry area. Students have also participated in underwater cleanup dives and beach cleanups on Klein Bonaire. The volunteer service projects have had excellent participation from the local community and recognition from the Bonaire National Marine Park.

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Academics

Academics

The CIEE Study Center in Bonaire began as a summer study abroad program in 2005. The semester program began in 2006 and is open to biology majors who have completed an introductory biology sequence (two semesters) and an upper level biology course such as ecology, invertebrate zoology, marine biology, vertebrate zoology, ichthyology, or the equivalent. With its setting in the southern Caribbean sea, the program provides a unique, integrated academic experience involving class work, field research, and lab research, and offers a full semester of upper-level courses for biology majors. As requirements vary between schools, students should contact their study abroad office for course equivalents and credit toward their degree. All courses are taught in English.

Academic Culture

This program is offered for CIEE study abroad students only, and contains extensive experiential components. The program integrates lectures, field experience, student group work, and readings. Professors prepare students in the classroom and accompany them on field trips. Diving is an integral part of the program, and given the number of dives and island excursions required, students should expect an intense, yet rewarding experience. Emphasis is placed on hands-on field observation of ecological processes, as well as human-nature interactions and their application to the conservation of natural and cultural resources.

Physis: Journal of Marine Science is the scientific journal produced each semester by CIEE students. Each student's final scientific paper for the Independent Research course is included in the Journal.

To learn more about what happens on site at the CIEE Study Center in Bonaire and read the student journal - Physis, please visit www.cieebonaire.org.

Nature of Classes

Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only.

Grading System

Student learning is assessed through quizzes, written exams, laboratory reports, a detailed field notebook, presentations, and participation. Letter grades of A through F are given with pluses and minuses.

Language of Instruction

English

Faculty

All courses are taught by local faculty and CIEE staff.

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Course Description

Course Description

All Courses

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.

CIEE Study Center Syllabi

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.

BIOL 3001 BONA/INDE 3003 BONA

Independent Research in Marine Biology and Ecology
Students carry out a project in a topic of their choice in one of the subject areas: coral reef ecology, human ecology, marine conservation management, scientific diving, or another subject matter accepted by the instructors. The project culminates in a research paper that is published in the CIEE journal Physis: Journal of Marine Science, and a presentation of their project in a public forum. Students learn the basic steps of the independent research process: finding a topic, formulating a research question and seeking answers, verbalizing research findings, and presenting findings to an audience. Contact hours: 60. Recommended credit: 4 semester/6 quarter hours. Instructors: Dr. Rita Peachey and TBA

ECOL 3001 BONA

Coral Reef Ecology
This course introduces students to basic ecological principles such as competition, diversity, symbiosis, disturbance, adaptation, reproduction, and trophic relationships, as well as basic identification of the major taxa living in coral reef ecosystems. Students also examine the importance of sea grass and mangrove ecosystems. In-water observations and research accompany the majority of the lectures and are essential to the learning process. Contact hours: 60. Recommended credit: 4 semester/6 quarter hours. Instructor: Prof. Caren Eckrich

ECOL 3003 BONA

Cultural and Environmental History of Bonaire
A strong conservation ethic has been developed on the island of Bonaire, which has a distinctive and interesting multicultural heritage. The Cultural and Environmental History of Bonaire investigates the environmental and cultural changes in Bonaire from pre-history through the present. Bonaire is examined from a historical vantage point, including an examination of its indigenous roots and the impact of colonization, slavery, the salt industry, and tourism on the island. Bonaire’s ongoing social, political, and environmental issues are examined in order to help students deepen their insights into the interplay between culture and environment. Topics include sustainable development, eco-spirituality, environmental valuation, consumerism, natural resources, and violence and the precautionary principle. Contact hours: 30. Recommended credit: 2 semester/3 quarter hours. Instructor: Dr. Rita Peachey

ENVI 3002 BONA/MARI 3003 BONA

Tropical Marine Conservation Biology
This course examines the properties of tropical ecosystems, fundamental relationships between species, dynamic biological, ecological, physical, and chemical properties of the marine environment, marine animal ecology, management challenges the marine environment poses, human impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and roles of marine reserves and protected areas in conservation and participatory management in conservation. Examples and case studies are drawn from around the Caribbean, particularly Bonaire, to illustrate concepts in the conservation and management of tropical marine ecosystems and species. Topics include invasive species, restoration ecology, overfishing, reserve design, collaborative and community-based management, population ecology, coral disease, and nutrient enrichment. The class participates in collaborative field research with the Bonaire National Marine Park and Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire. Contact hours: 45. Recommended credit: 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours. Instructor: TBA

MARI 3004 BONA

Advanced Scuba
Students expand their understanding of scuba diving beyond the recreational level in order to fully participate in the scientific dive program in Bonaire. Students learn techniques that improve their diving skills, and learn to respond to medical emergencies in and out of the water. By completing the course, students gain certifications in open water diving, advanced open water diving, rescue diving, emergency rirst responder, and diver’s alert network oxygen first aid. Contact hours: 15. Recommended credit: 1 semester/1.5 quarter hours. Instructors: Prof. Caren Eckrich and Dive Instructor Anouschka van de Ven.

MARI 3005 BONA

Marine Ecology Field Research Methods
Students apply internationally recognized field research methods in an inquiry-driven approach to understanding coral reef ecology. The course focuses on training students in field observation, data collection, record keeping, and data analysis in order to study coral reef populations and communities. During the course, students conduct fieldwork with scuba, and are involved in ongoing research projects in collaboration with the Bonaire National Marine Park and Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire. Contact hours: 45. Recommended credit: 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours. Instructor: Prof. Caren Eckrich

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