Hawaii, Big Island
Application deadline: Apr. 1, 2017 (extended)
This course is an exploration of the ecology of marine ecosystems in the Hawaiian islands. Using ecology, evolution and conservation biology as organizing themes this course will investigate the structure of coral reef communities and ecosystems then focus on the unique characteristics of these ecosystems that make them vulnerable to disturbance. The course will be conducted over a eight-week period including six weeks for online instruction and two weeks carrying out field studies in Hawaii (Big Island). This course combines approximately 180 hours of instruction, online activities and assignments for 6 credits. Through field experiences, lectures by faculty & guests, and class discussions students will learn about the dynamic interactions between marine organisms in relation to biotic and abiotic environments, the life histories of marine organisms and interrelationships within coral reef communities, the role of coral reef communities in marine ecosystems, and conservation issues relevant to coral reef ecosystems in Hawaii. Short lectures will be given by faculty to introduce key concepts. In addition to lectures, we will use a discussion-based format to explore the assigned readings. During these discussions we will highlight key concepts, relate concepts to one another, and relate field experiences to the topic at hand. This course will also cover methods of description and analysis of ecological communities. Students will conduct observational research during frequent field excursions to reef ecosystems and analyze data from several instructor-designed research projects and one student-designed project.
(includes: lodging, ground transportation, excursions, etc.)
Total Program Cost Estimate: $3,895