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  • Locations: Decatur, United States; Roatan Island, Honduras; Sapelo Island, GA, United States;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: ASC applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 09/27/2017 10/11/2017 07/22/2018 08/11/2018
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-Led Housing Options: Dormitory, Hotel - Shared, Student responsibility
Minimum GPA: 2.0 Area Of Study: Biology, Marine Science
Languages Available: English
Number of Credits:
4
Program Leaders: John Pilger Course Prerequisites: Biology course with lab, Faculty permission
Program Description:

COURSE

   

Header - Course Description
The course takes an ecological approach to the study of marine organisms as exemplified in temperate, semitropical and tropical environments. During the spring semester, students will attain an essential understanding of the principles of marine biology as it applies to a broad range of marine ecosystems and learn field study techniques appropriate for comparative study of marine environments. This knowledge and these skills will be used during the field study part of the course in the summer where students will study temperate barrier island beach and salt march ecosystems on the Georgia coast and tropical coral reefs, rocky intertidal and mangrove ecosystems on Roatan Island, Bay Islands, Honduras. Special fees are required for the international travel component and for scuba diving at Roatan. Limited to 14 students.

This course does not meet during the Spring semester. Instead, there is an intensive on-campus program during the summer. See the itinerary for more details.

Fun fact about BIO215: Marine Bio! "One year we swam with a pod of perhaps 200 dolphins jumping and diving around us. We have seen mother dolphins feed fish to their young. On another occasion we jumped in off our boat to swim with a 30 foot-long whale shark." - Dr. Pilger


Header - Requisites

  • Biology course with a lab
  • Additionally, in order to fulfill this application, you must have permission for Dr. John Pilger.


Header - Meet the Faculty
John Pilger
Dr. John Pilger
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biology, Co-director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Click here to learn more about Dr. Pilger!

 

TRAVEL

Header - Itinerary
  July 22 - August 12, 2018
July 22-27
Intensive on-campus workshop.
July 28
  • 10:00 am Meet at Bullock Science Center parking lot. Pack bus.
  • 10:30 Depart for Sapelo Marine Lab. (~275 miles, ~5 hr.) Lunch along the way.
  • 4:30 pm Arrive Meridian, GA ferry dock
  • 5:30 Ferry to Sapelo Island and transfer to UGA Marine Institute. Unload ferry, load truck. Settle into dorms.
  • 6:30 Dinner
  • Evening
  • Salt marsh overview and walk. Prepare materials for marsh transect
July 29
  • 7:45 am Breakfast
  • 8:15  Organize/load field gear for work on beach transect. 
  • 8:30  Nannygoat Beach transect (low tide 1:04pm, -0.6). Beach seine. Swim and relax a bit.  
  • 12:00  Return to dorms for lunch 
  • 1:30pm  Sample analysis and specimen identification in wet lab. 
  • 5:30  Dinner
  • Evening 
  • If needed, return to lab to finish beach sample analysis and specimen study (e.g. sediment analysis, extract meiofauna, specimen identification, data organization, etc.). Turtle nesting watch on Nannygoat Beach? (No white lights, red only!)
July 30
  • 7:45 am Breakfast.
  • 9:00  Truck to ferry dock. Board R/V Spartina for trawling and plankton sampling offshore, in Doboy Sound and a tidal creek. Set L/D bottles at PO Creek.
  • 12:00pm  Lunch 
  • 1:30  Analyze Spartina trip plankton. Compile data from trawls. Zonation study at ferry dock. Fouling organism community (Post Office Creek); Return and collect/record productivity data. 
  • 5:30  Dinner 
  • Evening 
  • Night plankton sample and analysis.  
July 31
  • 7:30 am Breakfast
  • 8:30  Set bottles in lab tidal creek for L/D primary productivity study.  Organize for afternoon work. Recover and process L/D bottles from creek. Lab tidal creek plankton sample collection and analysis. 
  • 12:00pm  Lunch
  • 1:30  Salt Marsh transect at “Salt Pond”. Salt marsh sample analysis and data summary work in lab.
  • 6:00  Dinner 
  • Evening 
  • Finish marsh transect sample, plankton and L/D data compilation and analysis  
August 1
  • 8:00 am Breakfast
  • ~9:00 Maritime forest walk, light house visit. Island tour with Cabretta Beach walk and inlet and beach dynamics observation.
  • 12:00 pm Lunch in field. Swim. Return to lab; finish data organization, packing for departure
  • 6:00  Dinner 
August 2
  • 6:00 am Snack breakfast. You MUST be up early and ready. The ferry will not wait!
  • 6:15 Load personal and lab gear into truck
  • 6:30 Depart for ferry dock; Load gear to ferry
  • 7:00 Ferry to Meridian dock
  • 7:30 Transfer gear to our van and return to Atlanta
  • 12:00 Breakfast/Lunch en route
  • ~1:30pm Arrive ASC. Unload lab gear and distribute items for trip to Honduras.
August 3 Day off to clean up, reorganize and rest. Prepare for Honduras
August 4
  • Time and details for meeting the Delta flight to be announced.
  • Welcome to Anthony’s Key Resort and orientation to the Institute for Marine Sciences. Lunch at AKR
  • Unpack and get settled
  • 3:00pm Orientation to RIMS
  • 4:30 Reef Fish identification workshop (RIMS Classroom)
August 5
NOTE: Itinerary at while at IMS may vary depending on weather and sea conditions.
  • 7:00 am Breakfast
  • 8:00 Rent dive equipment as needed. Check out dive and equipment adjustment.
  • 9:00 Board boats for trip to West Bay Beach for lagoon and back reef snorkel from beach.
  • 12:00 Lunch at resort
  • 2:00 Snorkel to fore reef slope, buttress, barren and breaker zones. Collect plankton sample on return trip.
  • 3:30 Plankton study (Laboratory)
  • 4:30 Lecture: Coral identification and Coral reef ecology (RIMS classroom).
  • 7-9pm Dinner
  • Night plankton sample (identifications in lab)
August 6
  • 7:00 am Breakfast
  • 8:00 Roatán Marine Park: Sustaining Roatan’s Reefs (RIMS classroom)
  • 9:30 Board boats for trip around the island to south side. Snorkel on fringing reef.
  • 12:00 pm Lunch at Maya Key – visit animal sanctuary and rehabilitation facility and learn about AKR’s animal conservation efforts.
  • 2:00 Scuba dive opportunity. Others have time for snorkeling, projects, etc..
  • 5:00-6:00 Dolphin Biology lecture: Anatomy, physiology and senses (RIMS classroom)
August 7
  • 8:30 Depart for Man-O-War Key. Lagoon and back reef transect study
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 1:30 Meet in lab to work up lagoon/reef transect data.
  • 5-6:00 Dolphin lecture: Communication, cognition and conservation
  • 6:45 Night snorkel
  • ~8:30 pm Dinner
August 8
  • 7:00 am Breakfast
  • 8:30 Depart for Man O' War Key. Snorkel trip to study mangrove communities and zonation on red mangrove prop roots. Return to lab to analyze the sample.
  • 12:00 pm Lunch
  • 1:00 Finish prop root zonation analysis and data representation.
  • 2:00 Scuba dive opportunity. Others have time for projects or free time.
  • 4:30 Comparison of mangrove root and pier zonation from Sapelo.
  • 8:00 pm Dinner. Barbecue on Anthony's Key; indigenous dancers, crab races and limbo contest.
August 9
  • 7:00 am Breakfast
  • 8:30 Project work and scuba/snorkel opportunity.
  • 12:00 Lunch on the Key
  • 2:00 Rocky shore zonation. Bailey’s Key. Comparison of transects from our three sites.
  • 6:30 Night scuba dive
  • 8:00 pm Dinner
August 10
  • 7:30 am Breakfast
  • 8:30 Last scuba dive opportunity. Options for others: projects, horseback riding, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, reading or relaxing.
  • 10:30 Dolphin swim at Bailey’s Key. Meet at lab dock.
  • 12:00 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 Finish work on projects as needed. Clean up in lab. Distribute lab equipment to individuals for packing with personal gear.
  • 3-5:00 Bus trip to Coxen Hole (Roatan City) or West End. Shopping opportunity.
  • 5-7:00 Pack personal items and lab gear for return flight to Atlanta
  • 7:00 Dinner
August 11
  • 7:30am Breakfast
  • Flight to Atlanta
  • Course ends

Itineraries are subject to change.

Header - Considerations
Itinerary Considerations
  • This program requires good physical conditioning, lifting boxes, hiking on moderate terrain in warm and humid environments. Swimming in the open ocean with moderate currents. Surface diving while snorkeling.
  • Bugs, large lizards, tarantulas are regularly seen but never a problem. Students must be able to swim and snorkel in open ocean water, often with moderate currents, and at night in a more enclosed area.  They will encounter exotic invertebrates, fish, sea turtles, marine mammals (dolphins) and occasional sharks. These are safe encounters, we don't take chances and students are not forced to go beyond their comfort level.
Passport
Apply for a passport if you don’t have one. If you have one, check the expiration date, and renew your passport unless it is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. You will need to present your passport number by the stated deadline (no exceptions). Allow at least three months for passport application or renewal. YOU MUST HAVE A VALID PASSPORT BY FEBRUARY 1, 2018!


Entry Visa
  • Included in cost of flight. Travelers to Honduras will receive the visa upon arrival. 

Header - Accommodation
  • Students are responsible for own accommodation for on-campus portion of this program
  • Dorm-style accommodation while at Sapelo Island
  • Shared hotel accommodation while in Honduras

DEADLINES


Header - Deadlines 
Requirement Deadline 
Application Deadline - including deposit/application fee 27 September
Award Application Deadline 27 September
Decision date for Program and for Awards 11 October
Deadline to commit/decline your placement
This is financially binding
17 October
Accepted Students Meetings - mandatory for participation 15 November
First Payment Installment due 29 November
Final Payment Installment due  7 January
Passport Information due - no exceptions
All additional paperwork in Carta - no exceptions
1 February
Entry Visa Information due (if required) Variable

Header - App Requirements
In order for your application to be considered, you must complete the following prior to the above indicated Application Deadline:
  • Application for Faculty-led Programs
  • Letter of recommendation
  • $50 non-refundable deposit
  • Acknowledgement of Passport Requirement
  • Faculty-led Programs Agreement and Release
  • Award Application (optional)
Applications that do not have these requirements completed will not be considered for review by the faculty or the Center for Global Learning.

Header - Policy
As a faculty-led program participant, you will be expected to take responsibility for not only your coursework, but also the additional requirements that come with participation in group travel:
  • Complete all course work in keeping with the course's syllabus and maintain attendance throughout the on-campus course
  • Submit information and meet deadlines established by the Center for Global Learning. 
  • Be a full-time, degree-seeking students in good standing at Agnes Scott College.
  • Have completed one year or 24 credit hours at Agnes Scott prior to the experience abroad.  
  • Meet any program-specific requirements, including co- and pre-requisite courses.
  • Once accepted to the program, students are required to attend a mandatory Accepted Students Meeting in the Fall semester and pre-departure orientation session in the Spring.
  • Graduating seniors are eligible to apply, but are not eligible for awards. They cannot be dependent on the credits of this course for graduation.
 

PROGRAM FEES

Header - Program Fees
$3,640 per person

Header - Inclusions
  • Flights
  • Transportation as detailed in itinerary
  • Activities included in itinerary
  • All meals (combination of group meals and meal allowance)
  • Rental of dive lights

Header - Exclusions
  • Cost of passport
  • Any immunization cost
  • Scuba gear or fee
  • Personal items
  • Shopping 
 

AWARDS

Header - Awards
As part of your application to a faculty-led program, you will also have the opportunity to complete an award application, due at the same time. The Center for Global Learning will use your application to find available awards for which you are eligible based on the requirements (e.g. GPA, major, or level of financial need) of the various awards for faculty-led programs.  A Committee will review all applications for content and eligibility. The decision on acceptance to the program and award amounts will be communicated at the same time. 

Awards vary based on both need and merit.  The maximum amount anyone can receive is $3,000.

Click here for a full explanation of the Awards for Faculty-led Programs.