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. Partial scholarships may be available to all students.
Please note that applications for 2016 Summer Courses at BIOS are now closed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. Information specific to the 2017 Summer Courses will be available at the end of the year.
Modern Observational Oceanography
July 4th - July 22nd
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, carbonate chemistry and ocean acidification, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and the spatial/temporal scales of physical ocean processes. Students will collect samples and utilize various sensors and instrumentation – locally at the BIOS dock, on a 2-day research cruise aboard the UNOLS vessel R/V Atlantic Explorer, and through a small fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) deployed offshore of Bermuda -- to develop a practical understanding of both the science topics and the techniques used to study them. Throughout the course, students will conduct experiments, 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. SCUBA certification is not required. Follow the link for a more detailed course description and course schedule. Course fee: $4,900 (tuition, room and board). Students can apply to BIOS for scholarships to assist with the course fee.
Coral Reef Ecology: Reef Response to Environmental Change
July 11th - July 29th
The aim of this course is to study the biology of tropical corals and explore their interaction with the environment with a focus on reef response to projected global climate change scenarios. This course covers the biological, physical and biogeochemical processes that determine reef growth and function, ranging from the organism to whole reef tracts. Topics include the processes of metabolism and calcification at the organismal and community scale; determinants of community structure, examining trophic dynamics and species interactions; and reef resilience, emphasizing processes of reproduction and recruitment, response to environmental change, and the economic valuation and management of reefs. Lectures will be complemented with field and laboratory exercises. Students will gain experience in coral reef research methods, including benthic surveys, water quality analysis, assessing recruitment recovery, monitoring bleaching, disease, and invasive species. Laboratory experiments will include coral taxonomy, symbiosis, growth, reproduction and larval settlement.
This course is geared to upper level undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Prerequisites include satisfactory standing in an introductory ecology course and SCUBA certification. Follow the links for a more detailed course description and course schedule. Course fee: $4,900 (tuition, room and board). Students can apply to BIOS for scholarships to assist with the course fee.
Ecology and Evolution of Reef Fishes
August 8th - August 26th
Instructors: Dr. Luiz Rocha (CAS) and Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley (BIOS)
Fishes are among the most conspicuous and fascinating mobile species on coral reef ecosystems with staggering diversity in morphology, behavior, and ecology. As the most observable and diverse assemblages of vertebrates on the planet, fishes are ideal for controlled experimentation and long-term observations. Studies of reef fishes have contributed immensely to our understanding of ecology, behavior, fisheries biology, and conservation biology. This three-week intensive field course examines the ecology and evolution of tropical fishes on the spectacular coral reefs of Bermuda. Located on the most northerly coral reef system in the Atlantic, Bermuda is home to a diverse and healthy assemblage of reef fishes and is an ideal location to study these awe-inspiring creatures. Lectures and laboratories will cover a broad range of relevant topics and ecological principles in reef fish ecology, with a focus on systematics, anatomy, functional morphology, behavioral ecology and community structure. Participants will gain hands on experience in identification, field experimentation, behavioral observation, and molecular techniques, and will attain skills for conducting research underwater. Follow the links for a more detailed course description and course schedule.
This course is open to upper level undergraduate and graduate students. Prerequisites include SCUBA certification and satisfactory standing in a marine ecology course. Course fee: $4,900 (tuition, room and board). Students can apply to BIOS for scholarships to assist with the course fee.
Microbial Oceanography: The Biogeochemistry, Ecology and Genomics of Oceanic Microbial Ecosystems
Course not offered in 2016
Open to all undergraduate and graduate students. SCUBA certification is not required.
Instructors: Dr. Craig Carlson, University of California, Santa Barbara; Dr. Stephen Giovannoni, Oregon State University; Dr. John Heidelberg, University of Southern California; Dr. Craig E. Nelson, University of California, Santa Barbara
The course is offered with two major components: Microbial Molecular Ecology and Microbial Genetics. The Marine Microbial Molecular Ecology course will cover traditional microbiological topics such as physiology, microbial diversity and growth within the context of biogeochemical processes. Lectures will focus on how biological processes and the ecological structure within the water column control the cycling of important elements in the ocean such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. A series of field trips and laboratory experiments will be conducted to investigate microbial processes in the open ocean and in the coral reef dominated waters of Bermuda. The Marine Microbial Genomics course will introduce the types of data that can be obtained from modern genomic methods (e.g., survey sequencing and "meta-" or community genomics of entire ecosystems) and the computational tools useful in the analysis of sequence data.
Nicholas Huynh, a 2013 course attendee said, “This intensive course taught by some of the brightest minds in microbial oceanography has been greatly beneficial to my pursuit of a career in this field and has been influential in the way that I think. It has been an extraordinary opportunity to work alongside an international group of like-minded individuals. I am leaving Bermuda with a stronger sense of how to approach and conduct microbial biogeochemical research as a team member.”
Marine Plankton Ecology Course
Course not offered in 2016
Instructor: Dr. Astrid Schnetzer (North Carolina State University)
Phytoplankton Krill (c) NASAMarine phytoplankton and zooplankton are essential components of all marine food webs and comprise of uniquely diverse and intriguing organisms – from unicellular microalgae to bioluminescent gelatinous jellies . We will examine taxonomy, functional diversity and the roles that phyto-and zooplankton play in marine food webs, from onshore habitats (i.e. coral reef) to the open ocean (Sargasso Sea). Students will gain hands on experience sampling a broad range of plankton types during boat and shore-based excursions and conduct growth and feeding experiments to examine trophic dynamics using observational techniques, traditional microscopy and molecular approaches. Lectures and laboratories will cover a broad range of relevant topics and ecological principles in plankton ecology.
This course is open to upper level undergraduate and graduate students. Prerequisites include moderate to advanced swimming ability and satisfactory standing in marine ecology courses. Course fee: $4,900 (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 firstname.lastname@example.org by April 17, 2016 in order to receive full consideration. Letters of reference may 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 may be available for summer course fees; we do not award scholarships toward travel. 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. For information about scholarships to attend summer courses at BIOS, please visit 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 USA, UK, or Canada may be required for non-US/UK/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 pending insufficient enrollment.