Students explore the ecological and socioeconomic aspects of various tropical marine ecosystems, learning how to assess and maintain their health. Students will engage in several field exercises identifying and studying coastal ecosystems and their species, including mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass beds. Students also consider how climate change and ocean acidification may impact TCI’s marine ecosystems.
The spectacular reefs, turquoise waters, and island community of South Caicos serve as the laboratories for studies and field work. Research sites, field exercises, and excursions include:
Exploring coral reefs, fringe and island mangrove ecosystems, and extensive seagrass meadows
Touring current coastal development projects and seafood processing plants
Attending skills workshops, including stakeholder engagement and science communication
Examining anthropogenic impacts to nearshore ecosystems
Valuing ecosystems of TCI for coastal planning decisions