This program will not be running in 2020. For information about 2021, please contact the program director.
Tropical Marine Invertebrates and Ecosystems Field Study
If you can imagine waking up in the morning, grabbing a cup of coffee and then going snorkeling to study anemones, corals and other organisms in the marine environment, then this is the course for you. The Key Largo Marine Research Laboratory, located on Florida Bay, will be the home base for the course. We will get to know some of the common invertebrates found in the local tropical marine environments (Everglades, mangroves, seagrasses, coral reefs), learn about these ecosystems, and explore the animal’s and plant’s basic biology and ecology. All students will enhance their research skills by developing a research project that can be completed in about a week, starting with formation of hypotheses and experimental design, through data analysis, submission of a scientific paper, and an oral presentation. Please contact Dr. Fitt for more information.
The program is located in Key Largo and the Florida Keys, FL.
William Fitt, Professor & Graduate Faculty
UGA Odum School of Ecology
Office: (706) 542-3328
Fax: (706) 542-3344
Biological Sciences building, Rm. 305
ECOL/BIOL/MARS 4330/4330L - Tropical Marine Invertebrates and Ecosystems
Covers the main invertebrates living in mangroves, seagrasses, or on coral reefs. The course will take place in Key Largo, Florida and include a trip to the Everglades. Topics include: ecology, physiology, global climate change, evolution, what species made reefs in the past, what species will survive the future.
- Prerequisite: science major
- 4 credits (meets the Organismal or Lab requirement for Biology majors!)
Housing and Meals
There are several bedrooms with from 1 to 4 beds per room.
The unit has 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, screened porch for meals and lectures, a beach and dock, with plenty of water to swim/snorkel in!
Maymester: May 16 – May 31, 2020:
Saturday May 16 6AM: drive to Key Largo, go for a swim, dinner, orientation (chores, organization)
Sunday May 17 AM: “Coastal marine ecosystems”, review goals for the course, field trip: what lives in Florida Bay?
PM: Lecture: “Light”
Eve: Lecture on invertebrates of Florda Bay, talk about projects, hypothesis testing
Monday May 18 AM: “Mangroves”, Field trip: Little Buttonwood Bay, “Cut” experiment
Eve: Lecture 1
Tuesday May 19 AM: “Seagrasses” Field trip: Anne’s beach
PM: Cassiopea (Aki)
Eve: Lecture 2
Wednesday May 20 AM: “Nutrients on coral reefs”, Field trip: Florida Bay seagrasses, seagrass experiment
Eve: Lecture 3
Thursday May 21 AM: “Florida Bay”, Submerged plants, calcarious algae and animal species
PM: Monitoring Florida Bay for 24h Projects
Eve: Lecture 4
Friday May 22 AM: Monitor Florida Bay
PM: Monitoring Florida Bay
Eve: Lecture 5
Saturday May 23 AM: “Coral reefs”
PM: work-up data, present data!
Eve: Discuss results of 24h monitoring of Florida Bay
Sunday May 24 AM: Field trip: Dry Rocks, Horseshoe Reefs (endangered species)
PM: “Florida corals” Field trip: Florida Bay, Siderasteria radians, Soleraster hyades
Eve: Lecture 6
Monday May 25 Field trip: Florida corals – Admiral Reef (2010 cold-kill)
Eve: Lecture 7
Tuesday May 26 AM: Lecture Everglades Field trip: Grecian Rocks
PM: Lecture: Cassiopea (Dieter)
Eve: Lecture 8
Wednesday May 27 Field trip: Everglades National Park (all day)
Eve: Lecture 9
Thursday May 28 AM: Everglades: the human impact, “Aligator Farm”, airboating
Eve: Lecture 10
Friday May 29 AM: Lecture TBA Reef trip: Little Grecian (a research reef)
Eve: Lecture 11
Saturday May 30 AM: Lecture: “Fossil Reefs” Reef trip: Fossil coral reef
PM: Lecture Cassiopea wrap-up
Eve: Projects overview, clean-up, pack up
Sunday May 31 Drive home!