Coastal Ecology (in Belize)

This course explores the biotic and abiotic factors that affect coastal communities. Students will investigate the main coastal habitat types in depth, focusing on physical factors, tropic levels, and the flora and fauna that inhabit these ecosystems. Human influences and effects are discussed for each habitat type and the overall health of coastal environments, as well as their long-term conservation and protection. Field work will be conducted at the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S.) research station in the Central American nation of Belize. Students will contribute to terrestrial research projects including neotropical bat surveys and herpetology studies. Students will also help monitor the manatee population and collect data on coral reef health by conducting tropical fish population assessments while snorkeling. You must be able to swim to enroll in this course.

Students earn 1 credit in science and fulfill their service requirement. IB diploma candidates will be able to use this experience for their Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) project. A travel-abroad course, it requires parental consent.

This course is cross-listed as SCI990C (Science).