Tropical Coral Reef Ecology in Nevis

Coral Reef in NevisMuskegon Community College’s Life Sciences Department and Math/Physical Science Department are offering a three-credit course – Biology/Geology 250: Tropical Coral Reef Ecology – this summer from June 1-8, 2019 and an optional second session of June 8-15, 2019 on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

Limited to 10 students, the course offers students a chance to study the biology, geology, and ecology of the tropical coral reef ecosystems in the West Indies. Specifically, the course explores the local, regional, and global threats, including the world’s third global bleaching event, faced by the reefs.

Divers by Coral Reef in West IndiesThe MCC team will explore a coral reef ecosystem using monitoring methodologies developed by the Reef Check program. In addition, students will be introduced to the history and culture of the island. They will participate in a variety of hands-on field activities, including ecosystem mapping, biodiversity surveys, field identification labs, and medicinal plant applications.

The eight-day course will allow you to:

  • be part of the effort to monitor the health of the reefs around St. Kitts and Nevis, West Indies
  • contribute real-world data to the effort of saving the Earth’s coral reefs
  • become a certified EcoDiver through the Reef Check program, which will allow you to collect data from reefs around the world and submit the data to the Reef Check organization
  • explore a rain forest and learn about medicinal plants
  • learn about sea turtle conservation; and
  • experience the food, music and culture of a Caribbean island.

The $2600 course fees include:

  • airfare from Grand Rapids to Nevis
  • travel insurance
  • ground transportation
  • lodging and food for 7 days and nights
  • dive fees (2 dives per day for 6 days)
  • a rain forest hike and island tour
  • Tuition for the course is not included in the course fee and does not include passport fees or international entrance/exit fees, money for additional food, snacks, or excursions not included in the course.
Important Information:
  • You must complete an application and be accepted into the course before you can register. Email Professor Mattone or Professor Kumpf for an application.
  • You must have a valid US passport and be 18 years of age to enroll in this course.
  • While you are not required to be SCUBA certified to participate in the course, it does provide a different level of enjoyment and learning than snorkeling. Prof. Mattone can give you recommendations on where to get SCUBA certified.
  • You can take the course for Biology or Geology credit.
  • This course does count as a lab course for the ASA/MTA.
  • Tuition payments can be spread out over 5 payments using the FACTS payment plan. Contact the Financial Aid office for more information.
Click here to apply for Biology/Geology 250: Tropical Coral Reef Ecology


For additional information, contact:

Darren Mattone
(231) 777-0398

Amber Kumpf
(231) 777-0463

Click here to read student updates and to view pictures from the 2018 Nevis experience