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Maymester in Jamaica: Ecology of Coral Reefs

For over 25years, students and faculty from Coastal Carolina University have traveled to the University of the West Indies Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (DBML), in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.  Here students learn about and gain firsthand experience with coral reef ecosystems. Students participate in a three credit course,  MSCI  477:  Ecology  of Coral  Reefs,  where  they  learn  about  reef structure, productivity,  and diversity,  and they get to directly observe what they learn while diving on the reefs.  The students also prepare an independent, faculty - supervised research project that fulfills three credits of MSCI 499: Directed Undergraduate Research.  

The students prepare for the trip, which happens in May, by spending time during the spring semester researching and putting together their projects.  Once at DBML, students take part in diving, researching, learning, and enjoying the tropical coral reefs. They meet the natives, learn the culture, and get a real taste of Jamaica. 

Jamaica Maymester Group PhotoJamaica Maymester - students Jamaica Students Underwater

PROGRAM INFORMATION 
Location: Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Program Dates: May 15 - June 1, 2014
Instructor(s): Erin Burge, Ph.D.
Program Fee (not including Tuition): $3,700
Tuition Fee: $350/credit hour 
Courses Offered:

MSCI 477 (Ecology of Coral Reefs) - 3 credits
MSCI 499 (Directed Undergraduate Research in Jamaica) - 3 credits

Prerequisites:

MSCI 477: Permission of the instructor, successful completion of MSCI 111/111L and MSCI 112/112L, and internationally recognized SCUBA certification (i.e.: NAUI, PADI, SSI, etc.). It is strongly recommended that students have also completed MSCI 302/302L. As part of the research portion of this course students, enroll for an additional 3 credit hours of MSCI 499, Directed Undergraduate Research.  

MSCI 499: A contract must be approved by the instructor and the department chair by the time of registration.  

Do any of the course(s) satisfy core curriculum requirements? No 
Is a Passport required? Yes, students must have a valid passport to participate on this program.
Are vaccinations needed to participate? Coastal Carolina University adheres to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.  Please visit the website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ for your destination.

 Jamaica underwater

Course Descriptions

MSCI 477 (Ecology of Coral Reefs): This course is designed to highlight the organization, structure, productivity and biological diversity of the coral reef ecosystem, with special attention to their sensitivity to environmental and anthropogenic disturbances. This course is implemented as a “research travel” opportunity for marine science majors/minors. Prerequisites include permission of the instructor, successful completion of MSCI 111/111L and MSCI 112/112L, and internationally recognized SCUBA certification (i.e.: NAUI, PADI, SSI, etc.). It is strongly recommended that students have also completed MSCI 302/302L. As part of the research portion of this course students enroll for an additional 3 credit hours of MSCI 499, Directed Undergraduate Research. Exceptional research projects may be adapted into honors theses, undergraduate publications or peer-reviewed publications.‌

MSCI 499 (Directed Undergraduate Research in Jamaica): Structured undergraduate research projects conducted with faculty direction and participation, or within the context of an approved off-campus internship. Projects explore marine or related problems using the scientific method. One conference and no less than five laboratory or field research hours per week. Prerequisites: A contract must be approved by the instructor and the department chair by the time of registration.

About the Program Leader

‌‌‌Erin BurgeDr. Erin Burge has been involved with the Jamaica coral reef ecology program since 2007. He has been a certified SCUBA diver since 1988 and completed over 200 scientific dives in and around Discovery Bay. His research interests include environmental immunology, molecular physiology, and molecular biology of marine invertebrates and fishes. At Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Burge has participated in projects ranging from using underwater videos to study grouper populations, molecular tools to detect parasites, and evaluating ecological changes on Caribbean coral reefs.  ‌

 

 

Apply Now

Maymester/Short-Term Online Application

Be prepared to supply the following information at the time you apply: 

- Statement of purpose (a Word document or PDF)
- An academic reference
- Copy of your transcript
- A health form and participation fitness certification

For More Information, Please Contact:

The Office of International Programs & Services
Ms. Lori Patterson, M.P.S.
Coordinator/Advisor, Study Abroad 
843-349-2684 / lori@coastal.edu
Singleton Building 119