Dauphin Island Sea Lab's University Programs to hold information sessions for coral reef ecology and biology course

Published: October 28, 2022

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The Dauphin Island Sea Lab's University Programs will offer two opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to learn about the Coral Reef Biology and Ecology Course.

Kenneth Hoadley will lead the information sessions on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, at 6 p.m. CST. Students interested in learning more about the course should email Hoadley for the Zoom link.

The Coral Reef Biology and Ecology Course will explore the ecology and evolution of coral reef communities with a view to understanding what is happening on reefs today.

This four-credit course will begin with self-paced online course lectures and activities available beginning April 1, 2023. The online portion can be taken alone but is required for participation in the field component. In May, students will travel to San Salvador in the Bahamas and stay at the Gerace Research Center.

While there, students will have access to numerous coral reef and seagrass/mangrove systems to explore and conduct short experimental projects. The field component of this course will expose students to field research techniques and specialized tools for assessing coral health and biology.

Overall, the course will cover energy flow across reefs, biogeochemical cycling important for continual reef development, microbial Interactions that govern the flow of carbon and nitrogen through coral reefs and current threats from climate change.

Both the online and field course technically ends on May 20, 2023, but it is encouraged that students complete most of the online course prior to the start of the field component.

There is no assigned textbook, and most readings will be research articles posted prior to the lecture.

The prerequisite for the course is two semesters of general biology or the equivalent. A general ecology course is recommended.

*Special fees apply and will be determined by the number of participants in the course (approximately $1,400 plus travel expenses). Round-trip flights from Miami to San Salvador are available through Bahamas Air (approximately $500 round trip). To reduce travel costs, interested students can travel as a group to and from Miami (departing from DISL via van). A trip deposit (1/2 – excluding travel) is due on March 15, 2023, with the remaining portion due on April 29, 2023. The fee is nonrefundable unless the class is canceled.

Submitted by: Angela Levine