This summer Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) will once again offer its popular summer field courses on coral reef ecology and management at Bonaire's Captain Don's Habitat. The courses will teach scientific techniques for assessing coral reef health, and monitoring reef fish populations.
While each course will be offered for college credit, unlike the past, this year will include a noncredit option for lifelong learners. There are no course prerequisites for the noncredit option.
"In addition to our regular students, this year we're responding to requests by divers who aren't interested in academic credit, but do want to have a much more in-depth understanding of how coral reef operate, and the challenges they face," said FKCC Marine Science Professor Alex Brylske. "Our three successful years of prior experience at Captain Don's has shown that this would be an ideal opportunity and location to make this unique educational experience available not only to college students, but to any interested diver."
The courses and dates include:
• OCB 2107C: Monitoring Caribbean Reef Fish
The course begins online (May 12) with a thorough training in Caribbean Reef fish identification and rapid visual census methods (i.e. Bohnsack-Bannerort Protocol) and then concludes with a one week field experience in Bonaire in the Netherland Antilles (June 7-14) comparing fish populations between marine protected areas and nonprotected areas. The course is co-taught by Patrick Rice, a fisheries biologist and FKCC dean, and Michael Feeley, also a fisheries biologist with the National Parks Service.
• OCB 2262: Assessing Coral Reef Habitats
The course runs concurrently with OCB 2017C. This course is technology enhanced, so all course materials are available online or in a face-to-face learning environment and concludes with a one week field experience in Bonaire from June 14-22. The course is co-taught by Dr. Alex Brylske, professor of marine science at FKCC, and world-renown coral reef ecologist Dr. Judy Lang, formerly of the University of Texas.
FKCC is the only college located within a National Marine Sanctuary and is just five miles from the only living barrier coral reef in North America. The college currently offers associate degrees in marine environmental technology and diving business and technology, in addition to four diving certificates that cover a range of disciplines within the diving industry. Certificate options include commercial/work diving, professional research diving, professional dive instruction and diving medical technician.
For information, including full course syllabi, call Brylske at 305-809-3148, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.