SENS 226 Coral Reef Ecosystems

Prerequisites: GSTR 210, two terms completed at Berea College, and permission of instructors.

Based on the Honduran Bay Island of Utila, this course will provide a firsthand study of fragile eco-systems. Students will study island and coral reef ecosystems including the organisms that call those places home and their interactions and interdependencies. Current threats to the survival of coral reefs also will be examined and discussed. Students will obtain diving certification (students who already possess a diving certification will take an advanced certification course) and work on skills necessary for conducting surveys. Then students will explore several areas of coral reef ' photographing, cataloging, and studying the behavior of the resident species. The data collected will be submitted to REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and become a part of their international data base. On the surface, students will learn rudimentary bird identification skills, will survey the birdlife on and around the island of Utila, as well as sites on the mainland. The data will be sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology via their website. Students will develop an understanding of how different birds and fish have adapted to their environments and will examine the impact of human development on those environments. International Perspective and Active Learning Experience.


1 to 1.5 Course Credits