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Course Description

This course focuses on the ecology of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests; endangered and invasive species; conservation biology; climate change; and marine policy and management.Field activities include observation of flora and fauna while snorkeling in marine habitats, tide pool exploration, coastal hikes, and examination of marine reserves.  Click HERE to register!!!

Note: MCERC runs the Tropical Marine and Coastal Ecology program every year in addition to a session run in collaboration with University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau) every other May for 3 undergraduate credit hours. For information on how to apply to this program through the UAS and receive credit hours, please write to Mithriel@Marine-Eco.org. The UAS section of this program will be offered in May of even numbered years (next session is 2016) while the next session of this MCERC (non-credit hour) program will be May 2015.

The program is formatted to include a field excursion each day, independent study researching the flora , fauna, and geology of study areas mid-afternoon, and an evening roundtable discussion with instructors. Policy, law and management strategies are incorporated into round table discussions to connect field work with practical applications related to conservation issues.

Participants are provided a selection of publications to read prior to arrival. Preparation is an important aspect of this program. Participants glean maximum value of the intensive format with supplemental reading of related materials.

Paul Humann and Ned Deloach series, “Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas” reef identification 3 book series and a personal computer are required for this program. A camera suitable for underwater photography is optional.

For more information and to Register, click HERE.


  • Ecology of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests
  • Endangered and invasive species: conservation and recovery
  • Climate change and the marine environment
  • Marine policy and management


  • Snorkeling in near shore marine habitat of the Caribbean Sea
  • Tide pool exploration: flora, fauna, and oceanography
  • Exploration of Caja de Muertos and/or Tres Palmas Marine Reserves
  • Evening round-table discussions of current issues in marine and coastal ecology
  • Field study design

This program is run 1-3 times per year with 6 students per session. If a session is scheduled to run as a collaborative effort through with MCERC and University of Alaska, vacant spots may be filled from applicants who do not wish to have university credit hours. A second 9and possibly third) session will be scheduled in the same year a course is run with a university collaboration for participants interested in this experience without the fees associated with credit hours.

What to Bring

  • Participants are required to bring:
  • Laptop computer
  • 2 GB USB drive
  • Earphones or ear buds
  • Type 1 personal flotation device a (Type V vest or collar is acceptable)