Field Studies in Marine Biology

BIOL 424, Spring 2016

Field Studies in Marine Biology is a 4-credit course that will allow students to conduct research studies in marine habitats.  Field work will take place in the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John).  While at the VIERS field station, students will conduct research studies and visit a variety of habitats, including sand beaches, seagrass beds, mangrove forests and coral reefs.  Before and after the trip, students will plan studies, write proposals, analyze data, prepare a research report and present findings.  


Travel dates: ~March 13-20, 2016

Additional course fee: ~$2000

Prerequisites: Instructor approval

  • Marine Biology is an official prerequisite, but students who have not taken the course may do preparatory work over the winter break.


Course times: Tuesdays 6:30-9:15 pm (Spring 2016 Semester)

Travel dates: Approximately March 13-20, 2016




Additional course fee$2000

  • Includes airfare between Albany and St. Thomas
  • Transportation between St. Thomas and the field station
  • Room & board at the field station
  • Excursions/activities at the field station
  • Travel insurance.


Payment schedule:

  • $800 due Oct 20
  • $600 due Nov 17
  • $600 due Jan 12


Optional fees:

  • Books for course (Marine Biology text, field guides)
  • Breakfast and lunch on departure day, lunch and dinner on return day
  • Snorkel equipment rental ($5/day)



  • The course fee is eligible for financial aid support; consult the Financial Aid office for more information.
  • Merit scholarships are available (minimum 3.2 GPA required; usually several hundred dollars per student; application due mid-October, notification of awards late-October.  Website:
  • Undergraduate research funds can be applied to travel costs, for up to $300 per student.

C:\fakepath\goodwin 4.jpeg


Course activities before travel:

  • Lectures on tropical marine habitats, aquatic techniques in pool
  • Project planning, grant writing


Activities during travel:

  • Data collection at marine habitats
  • Hikes to explore shoreline habitats
  • Snorkeling excursions to explore marine habitats (coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds) near the field station and around the island
  • Sunrise hike and night snorkel

C:\fakepath\goodwin 5.jpeg


Course activities after travel:

  • Data analysis
  • Lab report preparation
  • Presentation preparation

2014 Group Photo 

Contact Prof. Goodwin for more information (