Marine and Tropical Biology in Belize

Explore the amazing biological diversity of the Caribbean and the tropical landscape of Belize on this three week immersive program in partnership with Marymount University.  ProBelize and Marymount are teaming up to give students the opportunity to explore the reef, estuarine, mangrove, freshwater, and replanted jungle communities along with the complex manatee refuge, tropical beaches, and local ecology.

Program Overview:
  • Full room and board at the Manatee Refugee Lodge
    • double room with private bath
  • All onsite domestic transportation
  • Discussions about the local biology and ecology with local professionals
  • Pre-trip organizational discussions and program materials
  • Cultural and adventure activities throughout the program
  • Extensive staff support
  • 24 hour emergency access to support staff and offices
6 credits awarded by Marymount University
BIO 127 - Introduction to Marine and Tropical Biology (for non biology majors)
BIO 327 - Marine and Tropical Biology (for biology majors)

Dr. Todd Rimkus
Chair Biology and Physical Sciences
Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Jackie Black
Professor of Biology

Gales Point, Belize
About 25 miles south of Belize City lies the Southern Lagoon and the village of Gales Point.  This area is part of a huge estuary system of rivers, creeks, the Northern Lagoon and many channels that connect to Belize City. Gales Point was originally settled by logwood cutters in the early 1800's and many of their descendants still populate this Creole village. The neighboring Caribbean Sea, which feeds into the lagoon, is approximately 10 minutes away by boat.

The Southern Lagoon is bound on the west by the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Within these structures are caves, many containing remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization. Thick mangroves separate the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea to the east. These tangled forests provide a rich nursery and feeding grounds not only for fish, but also lobster, crabs and a multitude of other marine life, as well as nesting places for many water birds.

Sea grass beds along the lagoon bottom support a large local population of Manatees. These gentle "sea cows" can be seen basking at the surface or coming up for breath while grazing. Manatees in this area are protected and the subject of many research groups.

Easily accessible from the Lodge are miles of beach where one can wander in the solitude of sand, sea and sun. The observation of the egg laying and hatching of several varieties of sea turtles is a highlight. Loggerheads, hawksbill, and green turtles come ashore to a virtually undisturbed beach site on the Caribbean coast to lay their eggs.

  • Coral Reef Exploration through snorkeling
  • Visit Mangrove swamps, nurseries of the sea
  • Live at a manatee preserve
  • Visit Mayan ruins
  • Experience local cultural activities
May 27 - June 15, 2008

Includes: tuition, housing, board, local transportation, cultural events, field trips and basic travel insurance.
Does not include:
international airfare, airport taxes, visa fees, or personal expenses.
"I feel that during my time in Belize I was able to make a real difference to the local community; this is something I will never forget." - Jo, Belize NGO Intern
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