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Coral Reef Ecology: Bermuda

Bermuda is a world leader in marine conservation and the perfect place to experience the wonder of coral reefs. Let the Earth Institute's Education Programs and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) be your guides to the world of corals through lecture, lab, and fieldwork.

Your surroundings come to life as never before – corals sway and fish soar in the dazzling panorama that overwhelms the senses and inspires you with the wonder of life. This is the beauty of our planet. This is Earth Institute’s Coral Reef Ecology Program in Bermuda.

You’ll participate in snorkel tours and trips to North Rock, Natural Arches, the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo and more!

Spring Break 2015: Wednesday, March 18 – Sunday, March 22, 2015
Course Syllabus (PDF) | Course Schedule (PDF) | Site Descriptions (PDF)

Coral reef ecosystems around the world contain some of the highest biodiversity on our planet. Not only are coral reefs home to thousands of marine species but are important to our daily lives through tourism, fisheries, carbon sequestration and coastal protection, just to name a few.

The decline of coral reefs is a pressing concern for scientists and managers alike as environmental and human threats to these ecosystems increase. Understanding the complex ecological relationship of coral reefs is a cornerstone to understanding how they will respond in the coming decade. Bermuda is an ideal location for an introduction to Coral Reef Ecology because it is the northern most tropical reef in the world and on the cutting edge in research on the effects of climate change on coral reefs.

The course is an introduction to the coral reef as an ecosystem and some of the many organisms that inhabit and sustain the reef. Students are taught about the basics of corals and their growth, reproduction and recruitment.

Accompanying lectures are hands on snorkels to see up close what the coral species and reef ecosystems of Bermuda look like. Additionally demonstrations will allow for students to become the scientist and learn techniques that marine biologists use to analyze corals and food chains.

Students will also get an opportunity to visit the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo and Nonsuch Island where they will learn more about the various projects being studied on the islands. Students will get exposed to the many threats to these ecosystems and some of the ways that conservation efforts have aided their preservation.

This course is part of the Earth Institute’s Executive Education Certificate Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability. Course tuition is $800. There is also an additional $750 fee for room and board.  Students meet at our field site at BIOS on the first day of the program (airfare is not included – flights are to be booked on an individual basis after you receive additional information regarding arrival and departure times for the program).

If you are interested in signing up for this course please contact Desmond Beirne at djb2104@columbia.edu or 212-854-0149.