January 2- 22, 2006
The study of coral reefs, intertidal zones, seagrass meadows and mangroves.
This class will bring students to the tropical nation of Jamaica to explore the ecology of coral reef ecosystems. The goals of this class is to teach students about the ecology of the tropical coral reef environments through lectures, field trips, snorkeling trips, SCUBA diving trips and student designed research projects. The first half of the course will be devoted to twice-a-day formal lectures, demonstrations and instructor-led field trips to provide students with a basic knowledge of the common organisms and the roles they play in various the coral reef ecosystem. For the second half of the course, lectures will be once per day and faculty will work with students to develop individual research projects examining organismal ecology of coral reefs. Students will write a research proposal and experimental design and faculty will work with students to develop a project which is scientifically thorough, and which considers the ecology of the reef. Thereafter, on a daily basis, much of the students time will be devoted to making field observations and collecting data for their research projects. Students will deliver oral progress reports to the class, allowing for students to get feedback from both the faculty and other their peers. Final progress reports will be written and will serve as the basis for their final papers.
Drs. Chris Gobler and Bradley Peterson are marine scientists with complementary expertise in such fields as marine ecology, phycology, icthyology and invertebrate biology. They are experienced in tropical environments and have strong academic interest in tropical marine ecosystems. Dr. Gobler has run this course several times through Southampton College.