New course Announcement:“Biodiversity and Conservation Genetics of a Caribbean Coral Reef Community”

Jose Lopez lopez at
Tue Jul 1 13:27:25 EST 1997

A new course entitled “Biodiversity and Conservation Genetics of
a Caribbean Coral Reef Community” (BIOL 575, 4 credits) will be taught
at the Bahamas Environmental Research Center (BERC), on Andros Island,
June 1- 12, 1998.  This course intends to immerse students in the
fundamentals of biodiversity and conservation genetics research by way
of in situ habitat surveys, taxonomic inventories, and practical
demonstrations of molecular genetic techniques and analyses currently
being applied in ecological, evolutionary and systematics studies. 
Major organismal focus will be on  invertebrate fauna of the reef (third
largest barrier reef in the world) and surrounding habitats (mangroves,
blue holes). SCUBA diving will be offered as an optional activity but
will not be required. The primary instructor will be Dr. Joe Lopez
(George Mason University, New Century College; currently at Harbor
Branch Oceanographic Institution) along with the possibility of several
invited faculty expert in marine biology and biodiversity (to be
announced). A $200.00 non-refundable deposit are currently being taken
to reserve a place in the course.

       George Mason University and The College of The Bahamas jointly
operate the BERC on Andros Island, Commonwealth of The Bahamas.  BERC
provides classroom and laboratory space, equipment, vehicles and boats
in support of courses offered by both institutions, their graduate
students and independent researchers.  BERC is also a member of the
Organization of Biological Field Stations. 
Located in Staniard Creek, a Bahamian out-island, the BERC operates as a
member of the local community, providing opportunities for cultural and
information exchange between visiting students and residents.  Situated
within minutes of one of the world’s largest coral reefs, unique
blueholes and mangrove estuaries, BERC offers access to thriving,
relatively pristine tropical ecosystems.  Other courses offered include
field biology, microbial ecology, botany, marine ecology, field mapping
techniques, cultural anthropology, and art.   A typical class is 3 or 4
semester credits, has 10-17 people and lasts two weeks on the Island.
Courses are open to students outside of GMU and Virginia at low tuition
rates.  For example, total costs of a typical course including all
tuition, round trip transportation from Virginia, all food, lodging, and
transportation in land rovers and
boats costs about $2,000.  Upon completion of the course, you will
receive a graded GMU transcript.  Please investigate our web site: or contact us at The Center for Field Studies,
George Mason University, MSN 5D3, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444;
lbrow4 at at  (703) 993-1436 for more information.

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