This Spring Break program presents biological, chemical, geological and physical coastal systems concepts to help students make observations and draw conclusions about the dynamics of coastal environments within the context of sustainability and human interactions with those systems. Students will apply the scientific method to a variety of hands-on learning experiences, including labs, field studies and service learning projects. They will also evaluate human impacts and conservation strategies relevant to earth and water resources, both at home in the Midwest, and abroad in the Caribbean’s Virgin Islands.
Students will spend 8 days on the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. Each day will consist of two 3 hour sessions – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – in which students will participate in field studies, research, service learning projects, lectures, and/or cultural studies activities. Each day will also include 1-3 hours of recreation time for students to explore the local surroundings or work on their projects. Recreational activities may include guided snorkeling, swimming, or kayaking, beach relaxation, visits to local cultural and historical sites, and/or guided hikes. A 1-2 hour structured instructional activity (discussion, lecture, group project work, video) will occur each evening after dinner.