Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation

Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation is an intensive, experiential systems-ecology course that covers a ten-day timeframe and includes classroom, field, and laboratory components in both terrestrial riparian and marine ecosystems.

Other Courses

This course can be combined with similar courses for a comprehensive four week summer session in Belize
Watershed Ecology
Lake Ecology
Wildlife Health
Primate Ecology

Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation

Through this course we combine studies in terrestrial riparian ecology with marine ecology by examining the influence of watershed systems, focusing on their impacts and ecology, as they move downstream into the coastal zone and overlap with sea or ocean influences. In the broadleaf riparian forest zone, students explore human societal practices upstream and their resulting impacts on flora and fauna biodiversity and how this impacts coastal and offshore marine systems such as coastal mangrove forests and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Field and laboratory work focuses on the evaluation of human activities that have lasting ecological impacts in aquatic systems. These concepts will be explored hands-on through community use surveys, biodiversity surveys, habitat characterizations and assessments, and development of inter-connectivity diagrams that allow students to fully understand the interrelatedness of humans and their environment and how this impacts local conservation in the developing nation of Belize.

Winter 2017-2018 session will run from December 26th 2017 to January 8th 2018, with our special Primate Research courses running before and after the winter classes. Application deadline for winter is October 30th.

Application deadline for summer 2018 is March 15th 2018. We have 4 course sessions in summer. Section A: May 12-26. Section B: May 26-June 9. Section C: June 9-23. Section D: June 23-July 7.

To request more information about this course, tap here. To apply online, tap here.

Study Marine Ecology and Conservation

Belize Barrier Reef, A World Heritage Site

Belize's Barrier Reef is a series of coral reefs straddling the coast of Belize. The Belize Barrier Reef is a 300 kilometers long section of the 900 kilometers long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. It is the second largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling.

The Belize Barrier Reef is home to a large diversity of plants and animals and is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world. It is comprised of 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish, and hundreds of invertebrate species. With 90% of the reef still needing to be researched, it is estimated that only 10% of all species have been discovered.

  • Day 1

    Course Introduction: Human Impacts and Watersheds

  • Day 2

    Riperian Ecology

  • Day 3

    Community Based Watershed Conservation

  • Day 4

    Water Biofilms

  • Day 5

    Interconnections of surface waters and hyphoreic zones

  • Day 6

    Free time

  • Day 7

    Travel the Hummingbird Hwy stop at Blue Hole then to Tobacco Caye Marine Station Introduction to snorkeling

  • Day 8

    Introduction to Belize Coral Reef & Marine Communities

  • Day 9

    Salt Marsh Ecology, mangroves, shallow-water subtidal benthic associations

  • Day 10

    Belize Coral Reef and deep-sea biology

  • Day 11

    Plankton Project Sampling

  • Day 12

    Presentation and Final Exam

Scholarship and Funding Ideas

Want to study abroad but not sure if you can afford it? You are not alone! Whilst studying abroad gives you an appreciation for the world outside of your home country, grows your character and confidence, gives you great opportunities, many still worry about paying off student debt in the future. Thankfully there are a couple of options you can pursue that may make that trip of a lifetime a little bit more affordable.

    APVMA Scholarship

    C.E.L.A Belize will sponsor two scholarships for APVMA members in each period (winter and summer). Each scholarship has a value of 50% of the regular cost of a single course or full program. A full program means two (2) courses (for a scholarship value of approximately $2500). Students can choose among any courses offered. Additional charges (late arrival/early departure, extra transcripts, credit from a U.S. college/university, etc.) will be charged directly to the student at their full price. Contact us for more details

  • Gilman Scholarship
    Gilman International

    The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide. Who can apply The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are planning to study abroad. The program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. Find out more here

  • Crowd Funding
    Crowd Funding

    So if a scholarship opportunity didn't work out, you can turn to many internet crowd funding sites to try and raise funds. If somebody can raise $6k for potato salad, who knows what you might be able to achieve.
    There are of course other crowd funding options such as indigogo and many more, so go on, get creative, get social and we'll see you soon.

Are you ready to book an amazing learning experience?

Download our class schedules now

Our Mission

To expand the world view of participants by providing high quality, relevant, dynamic, socially responsible and academically challenging experiences.

Our Vision

We are the number one choice in Belize for providing professional and academic education by exceeding our participants’ expectations and contributing to the success of the communities with which we work.

Our Core Values

Sustainability: We are committed to building a better understanding of Belize's rich cultures and biodiversity whilst ensuring our business activities have a beneficial and sustaining impact.

Respect: We treat everyone with dignity, equality, kindness and trust regardless of ethnicity, lifestyle, gender and beliefs.

Teamwork: We work together through cooperation, dedication, respect and open communication.

Collaboration: We actively pursue and value cooperative relationships in pursuit of our mission and vision.

CELA. Belize
Center for Engaged Learning Abroad

P.O. Box 177
San Ignacio
Central America
Tel: +501 670 0930

Center For Engaged Learning Abroad