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Bahamas Marine Biology 

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Itinerary

+/- explore reefs on marine biology summer camp in the Bahamas

Day 1-4

Behold your underwater classroom

Settle in to Andros and explore your new home, the Forfar Field Station. Built by hand with native limestone and Caribbean pine in the 1960's, the Forfar Field Station is named after it's founder, a famous deep sea diver. The center is surrounded by beautiful freshwater blue holes, mangrove channels, gorgeous beaches and vast seagrass beds just waiting to be explored. Hop into the warm, turquoise blue water and get ready to learn how to dive if you’ve never done it before, or go on some refresher dives if you’re already certified. Snorkel through the estuary at Stafford Creek to see the mangroves firsthand, then dive into beautiful Turtle Reef, where coral patch reefs support a variety of fish and invertebrate life including barracudas, parrotfish and butterflyfish.

+/- snorkel above coral on teen scuba camp

Day 5-8

Learn about coral reefs on coral reefs

Ready to dive into the fundamentals of marine biology? The best way to learn about corals is up close and personal in the water. The reefs of Andros have a rich variety of life that we can explore on both shore and boat dives, giving us the best of both worlds. Observe coral species you've studied in class at various snorkel and scuba sites. Examine rare pillar and fused staghorn corals. Learn how to diagnose coral diseases and colonies experiencing bleaching and algal overgrowth. Analyze and discuss the feeding habits, life cycles, symbiotic relationships and ecological concerns of a coral reef system. As your skills in the water progress, head out on some wall dives. Keeping your eyes peeled for big fish and sea turtles, descend into deeper waters to survey different growth forms. Then investigate the well preserved fossil reefs of Andros, once underwater, that you can now explore on land to learn about marine creatures of the past.

+/- scuba summer programs for high school students

Day 9-13

The ultimate spot to earn your PADI Specialties.

After a quick transfer, we arrive at our new home for the duration of the program, the Gerace Research Station on the sun-soaked island of San Salvador. Need a break after cramming your brain with coral knowledge for the midterm? Trips to Cockburn Town and other island settlements provide a welcome distraction. Get to know friendly locals as you shop for souvenirs and explore community markets. Back in the water, focus on earning PADI specialties, Advanced Open Water and go on exhilarating night dive to discover the magic of bioluminescence and the marine world’s nocturnal metamorphosis. Complete your deep dive as part of your Advanced Scuba course and earn PADI Specialties such as Coral Conservation, Underwater Naturalist and Project AWARE. Take a day to kick back and relax with a fun-filled afternoon of watersports at Club Med and a trip in the skiff out to Green Cay to see rare rock iguanas scramble over the rocks while terns and frigates soar above.

+/- marine biology high school summer abroad program

Day 14-18

Get up close to the creatures you study

The next phase of the course comprises reef fish ecology. Over a hundred species are found in the waters surrounding San Salvador, each with unique behaviors and habitat preferences. After some introductory ichthyology lessons, you'll focus on the details of different fish families. Sea basses, parrotfish, stingrays, puffers…cover these and many more. Visits to shallow patch reefs and deeper walls get you up close to the creatures you've been studying. Learn how to hover upside down to find ledge-dwelling basslets and hamlets as you become master fish finders. Soon you can tell related species apart with no more than a quick glance. These skills will soon come in handy! And of course, no visit to San Salvador is complete without a climb to the top of Dixon's lighthouse for a magnificent view of the island. Investigate archaeological sites and the ruins of abandoned sugar, citrus and sisal plantations. Bodysurf and play football at Grotto Beach, an idyllic spot surrounded by clear bright blue waters.

+/- marine biology summer programs for high school students

Day 19-23

Officially a marine-biologist-in-training

We spend our final days as professional marine-biologists-in-training completing our research projects, conducting a beach cleanup service project and learning more about the threats to the ocean and what we can do to help. Design and carry out underwater fish count surveys for REEF and help with monitoring projects. Preparation and teamwork are essential for these scuba-based studies, but you're ready! We celebrate the final night and all we have done as a group by a beach bonfire. In this beautiful setting, marvel at how much you've learned, explored and accomplished. Not to mention how fast three weeks can fly by when you’re having fun.

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