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Fiji Shark Behavior & Conservation 

Shark Behavior and Conservation

Earn & Learn Options

Fiji Shark Behavior & Conservation offers 3 marine science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 8 hours of documented community service and may pursue 4 certifications.


Course Description
This course is a survey of the natural history, biology, behavior, ecological and social importance, and conservation of sharks. Coursework will consist of both academic discussions and field work designed to introduce you to the methods and equipment that researchers commonly use for shark research. Although the characteristics and ecology of local shark species will be stressed, we will also examine global populations and their relationships with humans.

Course Objectives

  • Examine sharks and their relatives from an interdisciplinary perspective that will include comparative anatomy, physiology, ecology, animal behavior, conservation and related international policy
  • Survey similarities and differences among major shark groupings and what characteristics distinguish them, including a side-by-side comparison of differences between bony fishes and cartilaginous fishes
  • Understand the importance of diversity and apex predators in maintaining “top-down control”, and thereby the ecological health of these tropical marine ecosystems
  • Examine the use of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), with a specific focus on the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR), in shark conservation and the importance of connectivity of marine habitats for the protection of mobile marine animals
  • Understand the importance of sharks and their role in Fijian culture


During this 25-day marine science course, students will enhance their diving skills by completing 24+ scuba dives, for which they may earn multiple certifications including:

  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • PADI Fish Identification
  • PADI U/W Naturalist
  • PADI Shark Conservation


Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. In Fiji, work with our partner organization in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji's first MPA dedicated to researching and preserving a local shark population. Collect data for the marine reserve’s database, which is used for ongoing research in areas such as population dynamics, species interactions and shark conservation biology. The projects give you the opportunity to become engaged members of the community by working with local stakeholders and neighboring villages for a common goal.

  • Collect and input data for Shark Reef Marine Reserve database
  • Contribute to our partner organization's long-term conservation of sharks
  • Volunteer at a local primary school and with a local animal rescue center

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At a Glance

Fiji Shark Behavior & Conservation
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Earn & Learn More information about credit >
  • 3 College Credits
  • 4 Available Certifications
  • 8 Community Service Hours
Contact Hours
  • 50 Hours
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