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Caribbean Tropical Marine Biology 

Tropical Marine Biology

Tropical Marine Biology


The ocean covers more than 70% of Earth’s surface and contains nearly 99% of the planet’s available living space. Within this realm, many unique and diverse species collectively help to create a complex world of interacting communities. Perhaps the most diverse and beautiful of these marine communities are found in tropical environments. This course will examine the biology and ecology of tropical marine communities and illustrate research techniques and equipment that marine biologists commonly use.

“This was a great trip and a tremendous learning environment for not only marine biology and diving, but other cultures. ” — Susan Freeman, Saratoga, CA


  • Develop a greater understanding of oceans and marine life
  • Develop the ability to identify and describe a diversity of marine life
  • Develop appreciation of the fragility of marine communities and an understanding of the major threats to the health of these communities
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how individuals, populations and communities interact in their physical environment
  • Demonstrate understanding of how marine biologists conduct research in the field and in the lab in order to understand ecological and evolutionary relationships
  • Conduct group research in marine ecology


  • Introduction to the Leeward Islands
  • Ocean properties
  • Marine life origins
  • Primary production
  • Coral reef biology
  • Invertebrate biology
  • Fish biology
  • Fish diversity
  • Reptiles and birds
  • Marine mammals
  • Threats and conservation
  • Marine reserves


  • 25-day live-aboard sailing voyage
  • Take daily water testing samples
  • Fish dissections
  • Learn REEF survey techniques
  • Survey coral cover on surrounding reefs
  • Fish identification techniques
  • Study reef fish behavior
  • Community service
  • 25+ scuba dives
  • PADI certifications: Open Water, Advanced Open Water, U/W Naturalist, Fish ID

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At a Glance

Caribbean Tropical Marine Biology
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Community Service & Academics
  • 5 Hours
  • 3 Credits
Contact Hours
  • 50 Hours
College Credit
  • 3 marine science Credits
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