Academic and Professional Development

The ACP partners with universities, the BZS, and the BAMZ to conduct courses for university students on conservation research and management.

Flagler College Study Abroad - Bermuda Coastal Ecology Course

Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, has partnered with the ACP to offer an undergraduate course at the BAMZ. In 2013, the school launched their Coastal Environmental Science programme that is designed to give students hands-on research experience, including opportunities overseas. Through lectures and fieldwork, the course covers marine conservation biology, geology and sustainability challenges.

Bermuda is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 700 miles east of the United States coast. Many people mistakenly believe the island is part of the Caribbean. In fact, Bermuda is hundreds of miles north of the Bahamas. It supports the northernmost coral reef system in the world and has a rich diversity of subtropical habitats. Students who come here to learn will find the environment interesting and will enjoy many opportunities for discovery, understanding and appreciation.

The Bermuda Study Abroad Program is offered only during the summer session, to provide an unparalleled opportunity to gain meaningful experience in the field, encompassing both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This course provides students with the opportunity to learn methodologies and skills necessary to conduct ecological experimental and monitoring fieldwork – such as field observations, data collection and analyses, and taxonomic identification of communities and species. Students are introduced to the ways in which ecologists pose questions (hypotheses) and how they go about gathering the data needed to support or refute their proposed hypotheses. Students will then conduct field-based science with emphasis on full implementation of the scientific endeavor, from choosing a research or monitoring topic all the way through the concluding analyses of data, and preparation of a scientific report and presentation.

Two courses are combined: ‘An Introduction to Sustainability’ and ‘A Marine Biology Field Experience’. Students explore the issues of sustainability by trying to answer the questions of how to provide water, energy, and food, while managing the wastes of a growing population in a place that is land and resource limited. They also explore how a growing population is impacting the surrounding marine resources. Field experiences for the week-long course include snorkeling and scuba diving excursions, visits to Nonsuch Island – Bermuda’s “Living Museum”, and local waste facilities, including Tyne’s Bay Incinerator and the Material Recovery Facility. Local experts and scientists serve as lecturers and guides, and lesson plans are designed so that the BZS boat Endurance can be used as a ‘floating classroom’.

The goal is for students to visualize the struggles and successes involved with sustainability in both Bermuda and the US. Each place has its unique issues, but there are lessons to be learned from looking at how other communities approach the topic.



For more information about Flagler College or the Bermuda Study Abroad Program / Summer Semester contact

Department of Natural Sciences
Flagler College
(904) 819-6229