Coral Reef Biology and Ecology

Prerequisites: 2 semesters of general biology or equivalent required, general ecology course recommended.

This course will explore the ecology and evolution of coral reef communities within a rapidly changing climate. This 4-credit course will begin with self-paced online course lectures and activities beginning in late spring (April).

In May we will travel to Long Key in Florida and stay at the Keys Marine Lab where we will have access to numerous coral reef and seagrass/mangrove systems to explore and conduct short experimental projects. The Florida Keys are experiencing unprecedented change in their ecosystems and contain reef systems in various states of health. This area also has significant restoration efforts in play which we will explore from ecological and conservation perspectives.

Overall, this course covers 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.

Special fees apply and will be determined by the number of participants in the course (approximately $1300.00 + food expenses). To reduce travel costs, interested students can travel with us to and from the Keys (departing from DISL via van on May 6). A trip deposit (1/2) is due on March 15, 2024, with the remaining portion due on April 29, 2024. The fee is nonrefundable unless the class is canceled.