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Island Biogeography

Location: San Salvador Island, Bahamas

Course: BIOL 240

Biogeography is the scientific study of the patterns and causes of the distribution of organisms using a combination of ecological and evolutionary theory, geology, and geography: what species are where, and why? Islands have been the subject of important biogeographic work and have contributed substantially to existing biogeographic theory. The course covers the important elements of biogeographic theory within the context of islands using the marine and terrestrial flora and fauna of San Salvador Island. Students spend three weeks in residence at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador Island. Class activities include hikes through the rugged scrub-forest communities in the island's interior; snorkeling trips to coral reef, sea grass, and mangrove lagoon habitats; plant community analysis; rocky intertidal community sampling; a swim to an offshore island inhabited by iguanas; night snorkeling; and a descent into a water cave. Students are also exposed to the history and culture of the island.

Instructors: Professor of Biology Douglas Hamilton and Associate Professor of Biology Mark Kuhlmann
Length of program: 21 days

Bruce Anderson ’63

J Term experiences have a major impact on students and that’s very powerful. It’s frustrating that many students can’t afford this kind of study abroad. I wanted to do something.

- Bruce Anderson ’63

Gives to support student J Term experiences; endowed a scholarship in the name of his parents
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