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Active - JAN 171: Living in Limestone: Caves and Coral Reefs and Culture on South Caribbean Islands
Arnold, United States; Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles; Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Jan Term
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: SMC-CA applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Jan Term 2018 12/01/2017 12/01/2017 TBA TBA
Program Description:
Course Title:Living in Limestone: Caves and Coral Reefs and Culture on South Caribbean IslandsCourse ID:JAN 171Instructors:Carla C. Bossard and Roy WensleyContact Email:cbossard@stmarys-ca.eduLocation:

The Netherlands Antilles;  Bonaire and Curacao and California caves near Arnold, CA

Course Description:

This course combines environmental biology, geology and anthropology in a study of coral reef and cave ecology, and Caribbean culture.  The first week we will examine three California caves and one in Oregon that contain different biological communities, developing an understanding of how the adaptations of troglodytes allow them to survive in the unusual environmental conditions found in caves. Studying the geological history and development of these cave systems we will learn how sea bottoms become uplifted limestone deposits and limestone deposits become caves. On January16, 2017 we will fly to the islands of Curacao and Bonaire to explore the best coral reefs in the Caribbean. On Bonaire’s reefs we will develop an understanding of reef development, how biogeochemical cycles impact that development, threats to coral reefs, and how the diverse biota of reefs effect each other.  On Curacao, (once a slave trade center) we will examine the fascinating historical and current culture of people in this south Caribbean region. We will also visit a large cave on Curacao comparing its characteristics to our California caves.   Those students who are dive certified or will become so before January 2017 will have preference for this course. Students can do initial certification studies in California and check out dives the first two days in Bonaire. If space is available, snorkelers may also participate.

Division:Upper DivisionPrerequisites:

Permission of instructor, plus any ONE college level course in Science, Anthropology, Sociology, History, religion, collegiate Seminar 123 or 124, Economics. Scuba diving is not a required component of the course, but we will be diving at two locations; students who are or will become certified scuba divers will be given preference in enrollment over snorklers.


Informational Meetings:

Attendance at one of the following meetings is mandatory for enrollment (contact instructor if you have conflicts):

Tuesday 9/6, 5:30-6:30pm, Brousseau 113

Wednesday 9/7, 5:30-6:30pm, Brousseau 114

Wednesday 9/14, 1:00-2:00pm, Brousseau 113

Thursday 9/15, 5:30-6:30pm, Brousseau 113

Reading List:

Caves and Caverns by M. Rowen The Biology of Coral Reefs by  C. Sheppard, S. Davy and G. Piling Coral Reef Communities in the Caribbean by T. Johnson Plus a reader on topics in geology

Basis for Final Grade:

Midterm (32%) and final exam (32%); 6 Word images (30%); Quality of participation (6%).

Course Fee Per Student:$3,550Description of What the Course Fee Covers:

The fee covers air fares, ferry fees, entrance fees for caves and coral reef refuges, accommodations for California/Oregon cave locations and on Curacao and Bonaire, some food, land guides and tours, and dive masters and 7 boat dives and unlimited shore dives for 10 days in Bonaire and land transport costs.

Dates Traveling:

January 10-13 caves near Arnold, CA and in Southern Oregon

January 16 to Feb 2 in Bonaire and Curacao

Dates on Campus:

Jan 9, Feb 3, 2017

Class Schedule:MTuThF, 12:00 - 2:35 PMSpaces reserved for freshmen:No