Bahamas: Tropical Marine Biology and Shark Ecology

CFAN 3502/5502

Estimated Program Dates:
August 7 - 14, 2020

Application Deadline:
March 1, 2020

Application link coming soon.



Few dwellers of the deep incite as much fear and curiosity as the shark. Where better to learn about the many shark species – as well as several marine ecosystems (mangroves, coral reefs, sandy and rocky inter-tidal zones – than at a biological field station on the island of South Bimini, the Bahamas, in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean? Much of your days will be spent in a swimsuit and a snorkel, underwater or on a beach, in the lab or on a boat. You will gain a basic understanding of the major habitats of tropical marine waters (sea grass meadows, rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs, mangrove forests, etc.); the organisms which inhabit them (sharks, fish, invertebrates, algae, etc.); the principles which underlie these relationships (zonation, competitive exclusion, origin of eukaryotes, etc.); and some of the policy issues which affect them (settlement of the Bahamas, marine protected areas, etc.). The days will be long and strenuous, but if you're interested in learning about marine science at the Bimini Biological Field Station (and original "Sharklab") and a typical relatively isolated and undeveloped West Indian island, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


CFAN 3502/5502 (2 credits)

*Fulfills the Environment theme liberal education requirement.  

For complete information, see the course syllabus.


Students with a strong interest in tropical marine biology and ecology.


First Step Sessions give basic information about programs, services, and resources available through the Learning Abroad Center. You do not have to reserve your spot, just show up to 230 Heller Hall, West Bank. You can also complete the First Step Session online

Please note: Because we cover so much information in a short period of time, if you are more than 5 minutes late you will have to attend a different First Step Session.



$4500. The final 2020 program cost will be posted in fall of 2019.

The program cost includes program excursions, lodging, airfare and transportation, international health insurance, administration, orientation, and most meals. In the event that you are not a full time student, or are a non-University of Minnesota student, you will also be charged for tuition. 



Peter Sorensen is a professor in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. His expertise is in fish physiology and behavior including migratory marine species. Dean Grubbs, the primary instructor, is a member of research faculty at Florida State University. His expertise is in shark biology, fisheries science and natural history. Samuel H. Gruber is an adjunct professor in the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He is the founder and administrator of the BBFS.

Short-term Programs

Bahamas Photos

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