Fall 2019 Travel Courses
Duke Immerse: Oceans, Human and Environmental Health in China
Duke Immerse Course Details
Oceans, Human and Environmental Health embraces the idea that the health of animals, people, and the environment are connected. This DukeImmerse program will focus on human interactions with the ocean and study how those interactions in turn affect human health and food security, as well as the ecosystem services and critical habitat the marine environment provides.
This immersive semester-long experience teaches students the fundamentals of evaluating the health of the natural environment and will include measuring environmental factors and organismal biomarkers that serve as health indicators (e.g. chlorophyll a, nutrients, marine biodiversity, fecal coliforms, pollutants, toxicological biomarkers). In addition to developing a scientific understanding of human and environmental health, this semester will expand students’ understanding of human well-being, health, environmental justice, access to resources, and environmental policy. This program is available to Duke undergraduates.
The semester will be divided into three main parts:
- North Carolina field experiences and laboratory exercises, contextualizing the process of measuring environmental health. Students will engage with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and tour restored wetlands.
- A two-week trip to China to compare and contrast the universal challenges to environmental health and the unique issues specific to the United States and China.
- Faculty-guided team projects. Possible topics include: marine mammals as integrators of human and environmental health, the role of non-governmental organizations in setting environmental policy, or environmental impacts of microplastics in the oceans.
To view course fees, individual course details and application instructions, visit the Duke Immerse website: https://undergrad.duke.edu/programs/dukeimmerse/all-themes/oceans-health
2019 Fall Break Travel Course
Experimental Tropical Marine Ecology – Panama
BIOLOGY 570LA-1. Experimental Tropical Marine Ecology (Panama)
Distribution and density of marine and semi-terrestrial tropical invertebrate populations; behavioral and mechanical adaptations to physical stress, competition, and predation using rapid empirical approaches and hypothesis testing. Offered only at Beaufort, with preparation for fieldwork before, and analysis and presentation of projects after, required one-week intensive field experience on the coast of Panama. Please contact Gwendy Womble for a permission number to register.
- Half credit course offered during Fall Break
- Faculty: Dr. Humberto Diaz & Dr. Josh Osterberg
- Travel Dates: October 5-13, 2019 (The Marine Lab observes one full week for fall break. Fall Break: October 4-13, 2019).
- Course fee: $1,150 – The course fee includes lodging, on-site travel, some meals, and course-related on the ground transportation.
- The course fee does not include airfare. Group airfare will be purchased by the Duke University Marine Lab and added to student bursar bills.
- Spending money: Breakfast is covered by the course fee. Students will pay for their own lunch and dinners. We estimate this cost to be up to $250. Debit cards are accepted throughout Panama.
Tentative Itinerary (subject to change)
Arrival – SATURDAY
- 6:50 am departing from EWN landing in Panama City by 9:30 pm
- Settling at Hotel Wyndham Albrook: https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham/panama-city-panama/wyndham-panama-albrook-mall/overview
Day 1 – SUNDAY
- 9:30 am departing from Panama City landing in Bocas del Toro ± 10:30
- Settling at Hotel Palma Royale https://www.palmaroyale.com/
- 1:30 pm Visit Botanical Gardens at Finca Los Monos (bus ride) http://www.bocasdeltorobotanicalgarden.com/
- 4:00 pm Excursion to nearby beach
Day 2 – MONDAY
- 9:00 am-12:00 pm and 2:00-4:30 pm Herbivory on Rhizophora mangle.
- PM: Observations from videotaped communities
Day 3 – TUESDAY
- 9:00 am Boat ride to Carenero Island: Clibanarius antillensis, responses to waterborne cues.
- 2:00 pm Boat ride to Bastimento Island: N coast, Red Frog Beach, Coenobita clipeatus, responses to airborne cues. Colon Island: Herbivory on Rhizophora mangle. Leaves collection.
- Afternoon, at hotel: Analysis of hermit crab data
Day 4 – WEDNESDAY
- Morning 8:30 am and Afternoon 2:00 pm
- Boat ride to coral reef communities (2 sites Videotaping, snorkeling only)
- After dinner, hotel: Analysis of videotaped communities
Day 5 – THURSDAY
- Morning 8:30 am
- Boat ride to Bird Island: snorkeling
- Boat ride to Starfish beach: Uca, fiddler crabs: courtship and size. Video and manual data collection.
- Afternoon, at hotel: Analysis of Uca data collected
- PM: Boat ride to sea grass beds and coral reefs?
Day 6 – FRIDAY
- Morning: 8:30 am, at hotel: Preparing for presentations
- Afternoon, at hotel: Presentations and discussion of projects results
- 4:00 pm departure for Bocas airport
- 5:30 pm flight to Panama City, Stay at Wyndham Albrook hotel
Day 7 – SATURDAY
- City tour. Visiting the colonial Panama City http://cascoviejo.com
Day 8 – SUNDAY
- Early AM: At Tocumen international airport, to catch a plane back to USA
Spring 2020 Travel Courses
Block A: Biological Oceanography aboard the Marine Lab's R/V Shearwater
BIOLOGY 369LA. BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY at SEA (SOUTH FLORIDA / DRY TORTUGAS)
Discusses patterns of abundance, diversity and activity of organisms in major ocean ecosystems. Identifies major physical, chemical and ecological processes that affect these patterns, and analyzes impact of biology on ecosystems. Uses a ‘flipped’ classroom for enhanced development of quantitative skills to measure these patterns, emphasizing hands-on data collection and analyses, multiple field trips aboard DUML research vessels, and participatory activities to demonstrate core concepts in biological oceanography.
- Block A, Spring 2020
- Travel Dates: TBA
- Faculty: Z. Johnson
- Course Fee: $1,500
New for Spring 2020: This course will be conducted as a travel course aboard our new research vessel the R/V Shearwater. The course will be conducted in South Florida/Dry Tortugas in January.
This hands-on intensive class will largely be inverted so that most lectures will be available as online videos. Most scheduled class time will be spent actively generating data (i.e. labs) or answering questions or performing activities as individuals, small groups, or as a class.
Students interested in participating in the Biological Oceanography course are required to:
- Read the course details in their entirety to determine if this is the right course for you. (link below)
- Write a brief essay expressing interest (including any dietary restrictions) stating that you have read the course details document. Please state how the class would contribute to your interests and/or professional goals. Be sure to include how comfortable you are around boats and your level of swimming proficiency. Send your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org. Essays will be considered confidential and only read by the instructor.
Block A: Marine Ecology, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
BIOLOGY 273LA. MARINE ECOLOGY (GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA)
Factors that influence the distribution, abundance, and diversity of marine organisms, including a survey of the major flora and fauna in the marine environment. Topics include physical characteristics of marine systems, adaptation to environment, species interactions, biogeography, larval recruitment, and biodiversity and conservation of communities found in rocky shores, tidal flats, beaches, marshes, mangrove, coral reefs, and subtidal areas.
- Block A, Spring 2020
- Travel Dates: TBA (approximately 14 days)
- Faculty: Dr. Brian Silliman
- Course Fee: $3,782 – does not include airfare, subject to change
Spring 2020: Marine Ecology is being taught as a travel course in Heron Island located on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Tentative plans: Students will need to arrive in Gladstone, Australia together so the group can depart for Heron Island.
Students interested in participating in this course will need to complete the course questionnaire prior to receiving a permission number to enroll. Email responses to email@example.com.
Block B: Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore
BIOLOGY 571A. URBAN TROPICAL ECOLOGY (SINGAPORE)
Experiential field oriented course in Singapore and Malaysia focusing on human ecology, tropical diversity, disturbed habitats, Asian extinctions, and resource management.
- Block B, Spring 2020
- Travel Dates: TBA (approximately 3 weeks)
- Faculty: Dr. Dan Rittschof & Dr. Tom Schultz
- Course fee: $1,500 – does not include airfare, subject to change
Students interested in participating in the Urban Tropical Ecology course are required to respond to acknowledge and sign the Statement of Expectations for the course prior to receiving a permission number to enroll. Email signed forms to Tom.Schultz@duke.edu.
Block C: Community-Based Marine Conservation in the Gulf of California
ENV 528A. COMMUNITY-BASED MARINE CONSERVATION (GULF OF CALIFORNIA)
Experiential education course on community-based conservation. Students learn first-hand about the challenges (accomplishments, failures, and promises) involved in its design and practice in developing countries of high biological diversity. Learn about the unique natural and political history, and social characteristics of the places where conservation takes place. Students link local context to broader perspectives through key readings and class discussions. Travel to biodiversity hotspots in the Gulf of California Required. Consent of instructor required.
- Block C, Spring 2020
- Travel Dates: TBA
- Faculty: Dr. Xavier Basurto
- Course fee: $1,700* – does not include airfare, subject to change
Students interested in participating in the Community-Based Marine Conservation course are required to:
- Read the syllabus in its entirety to determine if this is the right course for you. (link below)
- Write and submit a one page essay (single spaced) stating that you have read the syllabus and describe a) why you want to take the course, and b) how it would contribute to your interests and/or professional goals. I also want to know what is your level of experience camping in remote isolated places, with little privacy, and primitive facilities, and how comfortable you are in and around boats. Also, state what is your level of swimming proficiency and whether you are trained on wilderness first aid. Send your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org. Essays will be considered confidential and only read by the instructor.
*The course fee will be posted on students’ Duke bursar bill and usually includes in-country food, lodging, activity fees, and on-site course-related transportation. There are exceptions. Students should check with the instructor for details.
Block D: Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles in Puerto Rico & St. Croix
BIOLOGY 375A. BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF SEA TURTLES (PUERTO RICO AND ST. CROIX)
Essential biology of sea turtles (evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior, life history, population dynamics) and their conservation needs; emphasis on their role in marine ecosystem structure and function. Basic ecological concepts integrated with related topics including the conservation and management of endangered species, the contributions of technology to the management of migratory marine species, the role of research in national and international law and policy, and the veterinary aspects of conservation.
- Block D, Spring 2020
- Travel dates: TBA
- Faculty: Dr. Matthew Godfrey
- Course fee: $2,032 – does not include airfare; subject to change
Students interested in participating in the Sea Turtles travel course are required to acknowledge and sign the Statement of Expectations for the course prior to receiving permission to enroll. Email signed forms to Matthew.Godfrey@duke.edu.