The application deadline for all summer courses is April 30.
Each summer, BIOS offers a suite of courses for both undergraduate and graduate students that capitalizes upon the expertise of our faculty and visiting scientists. These courses, listed below, provide many students the opportunity to study topics in marine science that might not be offered within the curricula of their home institutions. Each course comprises lectures, laboratory exercises, and complementary field components that build upon what is learned in the classroom.
Coral Reef Ecology: Functional Ecology of Coral Reefs
August 3 - 21, 2020*
The overall aim of this course is to study how environment impacts reef benthic communities and the fundamental processes of photosynthesis and calcification. Production of organic and inorganic carbon underpins growth and maintenance of the reef ecosystem. These processes are strongly influenced by environmental parameters including water chemistry, hydrodynamics, light availability/capture, and temperature, as well as the taxonomic composition of the community itself. Reef geomorphological and ecological zonation demonstrates that benthic communities have adapted to (and influence) their prevailing environmental conditions. At the same time, conditions are never static, and communities must acclimate to short- and long-term changes in their environment. A vitally important question is how global change will impact this baseline of reef function. These complex and dynamic interactions between reef communities and their ever-changing environments comprise the topics covered by this course.
This is an intensive course, aimed at upper-level undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs. Course logistics include readings, lectures, discussions/presentations, and extensive laboratory and field work. Next to gaining a solid understanding of coral reef ecology and reef functional processes, students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques for collecting and analyzing reef community and environmental data: building underwater photomosaics, measuring current profiles, characterizing the underwater light field, determining nutrient concentrations, and quantifying rates of primary production and calcification.
Prerequisites include satisfactory standing in university-level biology and ecology and/or marine science. Although not a strict requirement, the ability to work comfortably underwater while SCUBA diving is highly advantageous for field work. Similarly, some experience with scientific programming is beneficial for data analysis although not mandatory. Course fee: $4,900 (tuition, room and board). Students can apply to BIOS for scholarships to assist with the course fee.
*If the August 3 - 21 course is over-subscribed we will offer an additional Coral Reef Ecology summer course between July 6 - 24. When applying please advise your availability in July.
Modern Observational Oceanography
June 24 - July 14, 2020
Modern oceanography combines increasingly large and diverse datasets to further our understanding of biogeochemical and physical processes in the marine environment. How are these data obtained and used? The aim of this course is to provide students with a broad introduction to and practical experience in the field of observational oceanography utilizing a variety of state-of-the-art technologies and methods.
During the 3-week course, a combination of lectures, laboratory training and fieldwork will introduce students to current research questions and observational methods used to investigate them. Themes will include carbon and nutrient cycling and the processes that affect biological production in the ocean, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and the spatial/temporal scales of physical ocean processes. Students will develop a practical understanding of both the science topics and techniques used to study them through participation in a range of activities, including: a 2-day research cruise aboard the UNOLS vessel R/V Atlantic Explorer, working with Oceanic Flux Program sediment trap data, piloting autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) deployed offshore of Bermuda in conjunction with zooplankton tows, and learning about ocean observations collected by the commercial container vessel Oleander. Throughout the course, students will work with real data sets, participate in round-table discussions, give presentations and produce a short report – all of which will provide opportunities for hands-on learning and a basis for evaluating student progress and performance.
This course is open to senior undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in oceanography programs. Adequate standing in university-level physics and chemistry courses is required. Matlab will be used for analysis and visualization of data, but prior experience is NOT required. SCUBA certification is also not required. Course fee: $4,900 (tuition, room and board). Students can apply to BIOS for scholarships to assist with the course fee.
Marine Larval Ecology: Environmental Stressors and Developmental Plasticity
June 29 - July 17, 2020
Instructors: Dr. Justin McAlister (College of the Holy Cross) and Dr. Scott Santagata (Long Island University - Post)
The larval developmental stages of many marine invertebrates are unique to organisms that effectively link benthic ecosystems with pelagic ecosystems. Larvae are highly diverse in form, function, and life histories and can be particularly sensitive to various kinds of environmental stressors. Developmental plasticity can occur at both molecular and morphological levels in response to natural and anthropogenic stressors such as elevated ocean temperatures, increased ocean acidity, and patchily distributed phytoplankton food resources, as well as from exposure to pollutants like petroleum, heavy metals, and microplastics. For many organisms, “normal” developmental patterns are not well known, let alone how development may vary in response to single or multiple interacting environmental stressors.
This course will examine the ecology, evolution, and development of marine invertebrate larvae, their roles as part of the meroplankton, and their responses to environmental stressors at multiple biological scales. Students will gain hands-on experience collecting various marine invertebrates from local habitats (mangrove, coral reef, pelagic open water) during boat and shore-based excursions. In the laboratory, the focus of the course will be on learning to spawn adults, obtain and fertilize gametes, culture larvae, and conduct empirical studies of larval development under conditions of current and potential future environmental stress. Modern physiological, molecular, and microscopy-based methods will be used throughout the course. Lectures and laboratories will cover a broad range of topics and principles relevant to larval biology and developmental plasticity.
This course is structured for upper level undergraduate and graduate students. Prerequisites include satisfactory standing in marine biology (or other relevant) courses. Snorkeling and diving opportunities will be available to those students having moderate swimming abilities and training. Course fee: $4,900 (includes tuition, room and board). Students can apply to BIOS for scholarships to assist with the course fee.
Application Instructions & Financial Aid Information
The Summer Course Application Form, along with complete instructions, can be found here. Please download the form to your computer (e.g., save it to your desktop), complete it, save it, and send it along with all supporting documents as listed on the application to email@example.com by April 30 in order to receive full consideration. Letters of reference should be sent directly to the BIOS education email by referees. Late applications will be considered until the courses are full. Forms filled out in browser mode (i.e., in preview) may not save appropriately.
Partial scholarships are available for summer course fees. We do not award scholarships toward travel costs. To apply for a scholarship please fill out the appropriate section at the end of the application form and submit a statement of need along with the core application documents. All students accepted into a BIOS summer course are eligible to receive a partial scholarship from BIOS scholarship funding. Information on summer course scholarships, generally, as well as eligibility for specific scholarships, can be found on the scholarships page. Dalhousie students may apply for scholarships to attend BIOS summer courses through the Dalhousie-BIOS Experiential Learning Fund; please refer to the Dalhousie-BIOS Application for Undergraduate Scholarships for the deadline, more information and how to apply.
Please read the Course Payment Schedule & Refund Policy, as well as the note about Course Dates and Academic Credit before making your travel plans. Foreign nationals traveling to Bermuda do not require an entry visa. However, proof of residency or a valid Multi Re-Entry Visa for the U.S.A., U.K., or Canada may be required for non-U.S./U.K./Canadian citizens, depending upon your country of origin. Please review Immigration Information to check the Bermuda Department of Immigration requests.
Please note that BIOS may cancel a summer course if there is insufficient enrollment.