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Coral grows wild off the coast of the Bahamas, in large bulbous mounds and stumpy, upwards-reaching branches.
Fish in all shapes, sizes and colors swim among the blue waters of the Caribbean.

Program overview

Marine and Island Ecology of The Bahamas is an upper-level undergraduate course open to students currently enrolled in an ACCA school. This course will introduce general ecological concepts pertaining to marine and island ecosystems as well as our relationship to these systems. Conservation management as it relates to island ecosystems will also be covered. The course will build on resources within Shedd Aquarium – including its collection and expert staff – along with guest speakers working in the field of marine conservation.

Program description

Classes are held on seven Saturdays in February and March. The course will be offered completely remotely, though optional hands-on activities will take place at Shedd and in the field. Student-led activities (in-class discussions and presentations) are also a key component of the course. Students will engage with Shedd Aquarium researchers as well as their collaborators. Work done as part of the class will directly contribute to conservation projects on corals, grouper, and sharks.

Program outcomes

After taking this class, students will

  • Learn about subtropical marine and terrestrial ecosystems and conservation through lecture and hands‐on learning.
  • Incorporate system thinking and problem-solving involving subtropical marine and terrestrial habitats and issues.
  • Understand and apply ecological dynamics of various tropical marine systems to past, current, and future issues.
  • Apply scientific knowledge in an authentic environment.
  • Comprehend and utilize the scientific literature, through graphical interpretation and summaries.
  • Gain awareness for individual and societal role in marine ecosystems and gain global perspectives.