Summer Courses at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
About the organisation
Since modest beginnings as a seasonal field station in 1903, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences has grown into an internationally recognized center for ocean science, atmospheric research and environmental monitoring and mapping. By investing in top-tier resident scientists and robust infrastructure—including R/V Atlantic Explorer, our UNOLS-compliant oceanographic research vessel—BIOS stands as a fact-based voice in a crowded conversation around the state of our planet’s ocean and climate.
The researchers at BIOS are committed to using their science to benefit people and communities around the world, providing resources and knowledge that can be used by government representatives, environmental management officials, community leaders, and individual citizens to make the planet a better place to live
About the courses
The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) is accepting applications for three summer courses scheduled for 2023.
This popular suite of university-level summer courses, designed to immerse an international cohort of students in an intensive 3-week program of coursework and research that is unique in marine science education. Founded in 1903, BIOS is a world-class ocean science research and education facility. These courses, listed below, provide participants with the opportunity to expand their studies into subtropical environments and/or to investigate topics in ocean science, which are not offered within the curricula of their home institutions. BIOS has quick and easy access to a diverse array of subtropical marine habitats and ocean locations which, combined with lectures, discussions and integrated field work and laboratory exercises, provide an optimal environment for experiential learning.
Applicants of all nationalities are eligible to apply for scholarship funding towards course fees, which include 3-weeks tuition, campus accommodation and meals (scholarship funding does not cover travel related expenses or medical/travel insurance). Successful student applicants are advised to arrange for independent study credit through their home institutions. Suitably qualified professionals working in relevant fields are also welcome to apply.
Research Diving Methods
Instructor: Kyla Smith (BIOS Dive Safety Officer)
The Research Diving Methods (RDM) course aims to familiarize participants with the fundamentals of scientific diving, both theoretical and practical. Research methods and practices are taught in class and then subsequently rehearsed on SCUBA during open-water sessions in the field. Underwater research techniques include: navigation, search and recovery procedures, rescue diving, proper usage of lift bags and mapping techniques. A series of introductory science lectures provide the basic understanding of why and how marine scientists study communities using SCUBA. These lectures are integrated with field work to practice data acquisition using a range of methods and equipment, such as: underwater photographic surveys to measure coral communities, coral condition monitoring to measure coral bleaching and disease, coral recruitment surveys, reef fish counts, seagrass surveys, common restoration techniques and underwater cementing, blue water diving to study planktonic communities, and marine archaeology. By the end of the course, participants will be trained to the standards defined by the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, of which BIOS is an organizational member. Future renewals will be subject to AAUS requirements. During the course, participants will also have the option to elect into further specialist PADI qualifications, such as Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver.
This course is aimed at all SCUBA enthusiasts who are looking to expand their experiences and skill sets whilst being immersed in marine science. In addition, given the usefulness and increasingly common employment of SCUBA as a research tool for marine science, students possessing underwater research training will enjoy a competitive advantage. The course syllabus and further information can be found here.
Tropical Marine Ecology
Instructor: Dr. Samantha de Putron (BIOS)
The Tropical Marine Ecology (TME) course covers the ecology, physiology, and behavior of a wide variety of marine organisms in a series of tropical habitats. The course begins with an introduction to the tropical marine environment and life in the open ocean and then focuses on the dynamic and diverse coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats, as well as marine ponds and tropical rocky shores. Field work explores the Bermuda platform, our ‘natural laboratory’, with easy access to all these habitats that are within close proximity of each other. The biology and ecology of the dominant inhabitants are examined, with a focus on invertebrates and fish communities, as well as their interactions, trophic levels and energy transfer within and between these habitats. Marine ecological principals are taught combining lectures and discussions with hands-on surveys and laboratory experiments. The essential services provided by these marine environments and their inhabitants are discussed, as well as threats and conservation biology.
This is an intensive course including lectures, readings, discussions, extensive field work and laboratory exercises. The laboratory and field work provide experience in commonly used marine ecological sampling and analysis techniques and equipment. The class data are synthesized into group presentations to provide experience in communicating science. The course syllabus and further information can be found here.
Coral Reef Ecology: Functional Ecology of Coral Reefs
Instructor: Dr. Eric Hochberg (BIOS)
The overall aim of this Coral Reef Ecology (CRE) course is to study how environment impacts reef benthic communities and the fundamental processes of reef metabolism. 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. This course provides fundamental background in reef functional ecology, as well as training in the measurement and interpretation of reef processes and environmental parameters.
This is an intensive course – a semester of material condensed into three weeks. 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, including building underwater photomosaics, measuring current profiles, characterizing the underwater light field, characterizing water quality, and quantifying rates of primary production and respiration using traditional and advanced approaches. The course syllabus and further information can be found here.
Research Diving Methods prerequisites: Participants must already be SCUBA certified (minimum at the PADI Open Water Diver level, or internationally recognized equivalent). Per AAUS guidelines, participants are expected to provide all of their own equipment as well as proof of recent gear servicing (regulators and BCD) within the last 12 months prior to arrival at BIOS. To be permitted to dive at BIOS, students must complete, and return to the Dive Safety Officer, various forms and meet certain medical safety standards, which will require physical examination from a health practitioner. The student dive information package (SDIP), including all such forms and supplemental information, will be provided after notification of acceptance on this course.
Tropical Marine Ecology prerequisites: University Introductory-level Biology and Ecology. The course will require boat work and the ability to work comfortably in the water with a mask and snorkel.
Coral Reef Ecology: Functional Ecology of Coral Reefs prerequisites: University-level biology and ecology; marine science and oceanography desirable. The course will require boat work and the ability to work comfortably in the water with a mask and snorkel. Those who are SCUBA certified* (minimum at the PADI Open Water Diver level, or internationally recognized equivalent) will be able to undertake fieldwork underwater and learn scientific diving skills.
* To be permitted to dive at BIOS, students must complete, and return to the Dive Safety Officer, various forms and meet certain medical safety standards, which will require physical examination from a health practitioner. The student dive information package (SDIP), including all such forms and supplemental information, will be provided after notification of acceptance on this course.
US$5,000 (includes 3-weeks tuition, campus accommodation and all meals)
Research Diving Methods: June 26 – July 14
Tropical Marine Ecology: June 26 – July 14
Coral Reef Ecology: Functional Ecology of Coral Reefs: July 17 – August 4
How to apply
The Summer Course application form is available here. The deadline for receipt of completed applications and required supporting documents is April 30. All complete applications received by the closing date will be considered in the first round of admissions and scholarship allocations. Late applications will be considered until the courses are full.
Questions? Please contact us at email@example.com