Throughout the year, the BBFS hosts a number of Tropical Marine Biology or Shark Biology courses. Specific courses can be tailored to the needs of other colleges and high schools. For more information on any of the BBFS courses, or to inquire about getting your school or university involved, contact Dr. Samuel H. Gruber.
"I had the opportunity to visit BBFS in 2009 with my university as part of university credit. Needless to say, it changed my life. It truly inspired me to see numerous volunteers and employees selflessly helping and fighting for what they believed in. Being able to study and take part in shark research was very inspirational to me and I have gained an immense passion for sharks."
Tropical Marine Biology (MBF 514) | University of Miami, Miami, FL.
This is a 10 day course, open to University of Miami upper level undergraduates, and graduate students that takes place the first part of January each year. The course consists of formal lectures by Dr. Dean Grubbs and Dr. Samuel Gruber, daily field trips and evening laboratory sessions. Students are taken to diverse marine ecosystems around Bimini including mangrove forests, sea grass beds, rocky shorelines, coral reefs and artificial reefs. The students collect and identify organisms from these ecosystems and learn about their life history. The organisms are maintained at the lab using a number of saltwater aquariums. The final exam and laboratory practical are completed on the last days of the course. The students also enjoy a shark dive, and relax with a dinner out at one of the local Bahamian establishments on the final evening.
Shark Biology Course | Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL.
This 5-7 day shark biology course is a field component for a shark biology course at Eckerd College taught by Professor Dr. William A. Szelistowski. Students spend the vast majority of their time on field trips observing a variety of shark species around Bimini. Lectures, videos and project talks are also given by the staff of the Sharklab, including lectures by Dr. Samuel Gruber. Students participate in field techniques commonly used in the Sharklab’s ongoing research such as gillnetting or tracking Lemon sharks. Field trips include shark dives, stingray feedings, long lining, vertical deep water long lining, lemon shark chase downs, nurse shark feedings and even attempts at hammerhead baiting. The students relax with a dinner out at one of the local Bahamian establishments on the final evening.
Biology and Ecology of Elasmobranchs (Biology 3663) | University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB.
This 7 day Shark Biology Course is a field component for a shark biology course at UNB taught by Professor Dr. Stephen Turnbull. Students are taken on a number of daily field trips observing a variety of shark species around Bimini. They are also given classroom lectures, including those taught by Dr. Samuel Gruber. Shark related videos and documentaries are often given in the evenings. Field trips include shark dives, stingray feedings, long lining, vertical deep water long lining, lemon shark chase downs, nurse shark feedings and bull or hammerhead shark baiting. The students relax with a dinner out at one of the local Bahamian establishments on the final evening.
From Corals to Sharks: Tropical Marine Biology in the Bahamas
| Florida State
University, Tallahassee, FL
New for 2011, students from Florida State University will spend seven days at the Sharklab as part of a field intensive two-week course taught by FSU researcher, and longtime Sharklab alum, Dr. Dean Grubbs. Students will receive a hands-on introduction to the diversity and biology of sharks and their relatives through observation, handling and, in some cases, swimming with a variety of species. Furthermore, students will learn about methods used to study sharks and directly participate in active Sharklab research projects ranging from abundance surveys to electronic tracking of individual sharks. Finally, Bimini's proximity to the Gulf Stream, the steep continental slope, and Dr. Grubbs active research on deepwater sharks will provide students with the rare opportunity to observe and study species that have been seen by very few people. The course concludes with dinner out at a local Bahamian restaurant on the final evening.
Field Studies in Shark Biology (BIO 473) | Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC.
Marine science professor Dr. Dan Abel travels with a group of students every May to the Sharklab as the grand finale to his Shark Biology Course. A host of shark experts, including Dr. Samuel H. Gruber, Dr. Dean Grubbs, and Dr. Dan Abel serve as the courses professors for this 7 day course. Students learn about almost every aspect of shark biology, and witness several species of shark in their natural setting. Students also participate in field techniques used in the Sharklab's ongoing research. Sharks most often seen include Tiger, Lemon, Caribbean Reef, Blacknose, Blacktip, Nurse and sometime Bull sharks. A variety of rays are also observed including Eagle rays and Southern stingrays. Field trips include shark dives, stingray feedings, long lining, vertical deep water long lining, lemon shark chase downs and tracking, shark fishing and nurse shark feedings. The students relax with a dinner out at one of the local Bahamian establishments on the final evening.
To see a review and photos of CCU's Shark Course Click Here
More Info on CCU's Shark Research
Tropical Marine Biology (CFANS3500) | University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.
This is a 8-9 day course, open to University of Minnesota undergraduates takes place in August of each year. The course explores the natural history of the Caribbean. Students investigate several different marine ecosystems found on the island: mangroves, coral reefs, sandy and rocky inter-tidal zones. Two lectures are given daily by Dr. Peter Sorensen, Dr. Dean Grubbs and Dr. Samuel Gruber. Each lecture is followed by excursions designed to observe coral reefs, marine plant communities, fish and shark populations and the growing impacts of development on these ecosystems. The course ends with a short independent research project. The students relax with a dinner out at one of the local Bahamian establishments on the final evening of the course.
To see the 2009 brochure, click here.
Elasmobranch Biology | Naturalists / General Public
This is a 6 day course, open to the general public. This course covers the biology of sharks, rays, and skates. Shark experts, including Dr. Samuel Gruber teach students about the taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, life history, and behavior of elasmobranchs. Along with lectures, field trips and interaction with several species of sharks are elements of this course. This course is not a scheduled course, but may be offered from time to time based on interest and availability.