Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Andros Island, Bahamas; San Salvador Island, Bahamas
  • Program Terms: Jan Term
  • Restrictions: McDaniel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.0
Housing Options: Research Station Areas of Study: Biology, Interdisciplinary
Program Description:
Only approved students may use this application.  To apply email Dr. Morrison at
Jan Term: Tropical Marine Biology - BIO 1172
Jan Term 2020

Bahamas BeachOn this two-week trip, open to all students of any major or interest, we will visit two of the “family islands” of the Bahamas – San Salvador and Andros. San Salvador is a small island on the eastern edge of the Bahamas that is well known for its crystal clear waters and archeological heritage (among such distinctions, it was Christopher Columbus’ first landing site). Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas and has world famous blue holes, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, and its own unique culture. The rich biological resources of these two islands will allow us to compare and contrast complex ecosystems associated with patch and barrier reefs, intertidal zones and estuaries. Study will also include the geological, historical, and cultural history of these islands and the Bahamas as a whole, focusing on ecological and economic problems confronting the entire island chain. Good swimming skills and moderate hiking ability are required. Prerequisite: Interview required.  

The Location and Itinerary
(January 4-18, 2020) 

Week 1: San Salvador
During this first week we will visit all of the sites for which San Salvador is famous. Highlights will include snorkeling many different reef systems to see, photograph, and learn about the fish, coral, turtles, other fascinating creatures that call the reefs home. We will also snorkel other unique ecosystems such as the hypersaline lakes, an estuary, and oceanic walls; explore some of the islands caves and other geological formations; see the globally rare San Salvador Iguana in its natural environment and other terrestrial habitats with their unique plants and animals; and visit some of the important archeological sites including Columbus’ landing site and plantation ruins.
Week 2: Andros
The second week of this trip will be on Andros. There we will snorkel parts of its long barrier reef, tiny off-islands, oceanic blue holes and shipwrecks, as well as make a boat trip to the “tongue of the ocean.” We will also visit a population of native islanders and learn about their culture and society first-hand, take a trip to an island shop were the locals craft Androsia fabric, and visit other interesting sites connected to Andros’ history. Finally, we will hike around some of Andros’ biologically interesting sites, and take the plunge into several of Andros’ world famous “blue holes,” which are fresh water inland lakes connected to the ocean.  

Housing and Meals
Bahamas ScubaOn both islands we will be staying in field stations. On San Salvador, we will be lodging at the Gerace Research Center at the north end of the island right across the road from the ocean. Lodging is dorm style and meals are served in the cafeteria or taken with us into the field. There is a snack bar open on campus in the evenings. On Andros, we will be staying at the Forfar Research Station, a former dive resort that was converted to a field station and is located on the beach. Meals are again cafeteria style, but most lunches we take into the field and some of those we will enjoy on secluded islands. One evening we will go to a local restaurant to for an authentic Bahamian dinner. There is also a snack bar open in the evenings at Forfar.  

This trip is intended for all students of any major and will provide a solid introduction to tropical marine biology, basic oceanography and geology, island plant and animal biology, historical and cultural studies, and photography. For students who are majoring in Biology, completion of this course waives one of the laboratory requirements for the Biology major.

Format: The focus of this course is on-site study. Each day we will visit multiple aquatic and terrestrial sites for exploration and discovery. Besides opportunities for on-site lectures and discussion, each evening we will review the multitudes of photographs (both underwater and land shots) that we have taken to learn more about what we saw and to make connections and draw conclusions about the different plants, animals, ecosystems, geology, and cultures we encounters. Students are encouraged to bring their own cameras, but all students will have multiple opportunities to use one of the several high-end underwater cameras that will be available on the trip. All students will be required to maintain a daily journal to highlight each day’s adventures and sightings. More importantly, though, the journal is the means by which each student can demonstrate an understanding of the similarities and differences between relevant sites, reflect and expand on insights and observations, and carefully summarize overarching themes.  

Bahamas UnderwaterThe estimated cost for this entire program is $3,300. This includes all transportation costs, lodging and meals, and the fitting and purchase of high quality snorkeling equipment that you get to keep after the trip! This cost does not include fees and costs associate with acquiring a passport, personal items, entertainment, snacks, souvenirs, or food purchased in airports.  

Student Experience
Students of any major will benefit from this interdisciplinary on-site study course and travel through the warm and sunny Bahamas. Each day will be filled with snorkeling in crystal clear waters observing and photographing the amazing creatures that inhabit the coral reefs, or exploring archeological ruins, or hiking to some important biological and geological locations, or absorbing the fascinating culture of the Bahamian family islands. Suffice it to say that this is an awesome experience for students, and one they will not soon forget.  

How to Apply
Click "Apply Now" and follow the prompts to log in with your McDaniel username and password.  Note:  Registration in a study tour does not guarantee participation. The faculty leader will provide final approval for all registered students to participate.

Application deadline: May 17, 2019
Drop deadline: September 20, 2019
Max capacity: 16 students
***Students must meet with Dr. Morrison in order to apply***

For more information contact
Dr. Randall Morrison

This program is currently not accepting applications.