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OverviewCome study abroad on the Caribbean island of Bonaire and make one of the most diverse marine habitats on earth your classroom.Through interaction with scientific, and conservation organizations, and collaboration with fellow students and instructors, you’ll learn about the challenges facing coral reef ecosystems and ultimately – take part in their conservation.Study abroad in Bonaire and you will:
Focus on coral reef ecology and ecosystems on a living Caribbean coral reef Log up to 50 scientific dives for class and independent research Collaborate on research projects with the Bonaire National Marine Park, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, and CIEE Research Station Bonaire Present your research findings to the public in Bonaire Publish the results of your research in the student scientific journal Physis: Journal of Marine ScienceThe CIEE DifferenceField WorkEnroll in a unique, integrated academic experience the involves extensive field, and lab research.Spend your days in the water discovering “The Enchanted Braid” of life that makes up a coral reef ecosystem. With a focus on scientific diving methods and dive safety, you’ll design and conduct experiments that may lead to the discovery of new species, a better understanding of how species are conserved, or how to effectively restore a damaged coral reef.Activities and ExcursionsIn order to explore the island’s diverse ecosystems firsthand, you’ll travel to a number of different sites of environmental importance such as Washington Slagbaii National Park, Lac Bay where you can try snorkeling, and mangroves where you can spend some time in a kayak. You’ll explore important cultural sites like Rincon, the oldest town in the Dutch Caribbean, and huts dating back to the African slave trade.Community EngagementWant to have a real impact on the environment? In Bonaire you’ll have the chance to volunteer for projects based on the needs of the community and focused on marine conservation and reducing the human impact on the island’s environment. Help to host a children’s festival to educate local kids on marine ecology Create and place markers at the best shore diving entry points to decrease the impact shore divers have on the area Participate in underwater and beach cleanups on the uninhabited islet of Klein BonaireCreditTotal recommended credit is 17 semester/25.5 quarter hours.Contact hours range from 15 to 60 hours and recommended credit is 1–4 semester/1.5–6 quarter hours for each course. See individual course descriptions for details.Program RequirementsStudy abroad students are required to take all of the courses offered: Coral Reef Ecology, Cultural and Environmental History of Bonaire, Tropical Marine Conservation Biology, Independent Research Project in Marine Biology and Ecology, Advanced Scuba, and Marine Ecology Field Research Methods.About BonaireLocated in the Dutch Caribbean, Bonaire is a desert island located 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Bonaire has a diverse topography with volcanic hills in the north and salt pans, that lay atop ancient coral reefs, in the south. Claimed by Spain in 1499, the Dutch took possession in 1633; subsequently creating a plantation island using African slave labor. Environmental awareness on the island has led to a ban of spear fishing, protection of sea turtles, and the development of the Bonaire National Marine Park. Bonaire’s most important asset is the coral reef that nearly surrounds the island, which is so close to the water’s edge that divers can drive to a dive site and walk right in.Where You’ll StudyThe CIEE Study Center and Research Station is located one block from the sea and consists of a residence hall with a dive locker and a lecture/laboratory building with faculty offices. Downtown is a 5 minute walk along the waterfront and the prevailing weather conditions, with trade winds 90 percent of the year, result in comfortable air temperatures most of the time. The Study Center is located on the leeward side of the island, so the sea is calm and the water is crystal clear providing excellent diving conditions nearly year around. CIEE uses the Yellow Sub dive shop, which is on the waterfront just 1 block from the research station. The dive shop has a pier that is used for boat dives and it houses the CIEE dive tanks and provides discounts on dive gear for students.Housing & MealsThe CIEE Research Station is located one block from the waterfront in the northern part of the capital, Kralendijk. The hospital, drug stores, restaurants, and shopping are within five to 15 minutes walking distance. Housing and 14 meals per week are included in the study abroad program fee. Students are responsible for breakfasts with the exception of Sundays, when brunch is provided. The residence hall has seven air conditioned suites, each with a private bath, providing shared accommodation for CIEE students. There is a large, fully-equipped kitchen, dining areas inside and out, a living room, TV/lounge area, laundry facilities, rinse tanks, outdoor showers and a dive locker for storing student scuba gear. Study desks are located in each suite and throughout the residence hall. The Lecture hall Lab building is located across the street from the residence hall and has two lecture rooms, a large laboratory, and faculty offices. Both buildings have wireless Internet and telephones.Academic ProgramThe CIEE Study Center in Bonaire began as a summer study abroad program in 2005. The semester program began in 2006 and is open to biology majors who have completed an introductory biology sequence (2 semesters) and an upper level biology course such as ecology, invertebrate zoology, marine biology, vertebrate zoology, ichthyology, or the equivalent. With its setting in the southern Caribbean sea, the program provides a unique, integrated academic experience involving class work, field research, and lab research and offers a full semester of upper-level courses for biology majors. As requirements vary between schools, students should contact their study abroad office for course equivalents and credit toward their degree. All courses are taught in English.Academic CultureThis program is offered for CIEE study abroad students only and contains extensive experiential components. The program integrates lectures, field experience, student group work, and readings. Professors prepare students in the classroom and accompany them on field trips. Diving is an integral part of the program, and given the number of dives and island excursions required, students should expect an intense, yet rewarding experience. Emphasis is placed on hands-on field observation of ecological processes, as well as human-nature interactions and their application to the conservation of natural and cultural resources.Physis: Journal of Marine Science is the scientific journal produced each semester by CIEE students. Each student’s final scientific paper for the Independent Research course is included in the Journal.http://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol1.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol2.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVolume3.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol4.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol5.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol6.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol7.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol8.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol9.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol10.pdfhttp://www.ciee.org/uploads/PhysisVol11.pdfTo learn more about what happens on site at the CIEE Study Center in Bonaire, please visit www.cieebonaire.org.